One of the great things about DAB Digital Radio is that it provides room for more stations to be broadcast. However, there is still a fixed capacity to what it can deliver. This is a shame as often there are many broadcasters who would like to take part in local digital radio and there is either not enough room, or their idea is very niche and it wouldn’t be able to support a stand-alone radio station. For Oxford we have therefore created a special kind of channel, a podcast channel.
You might be aware of podcasts – they’re audio programmes that you can subscribe to and then download over the internet to your computer or MP3 player. Well, many of the new DAB digital radios that are coming out will have special functionality that allows the radio receiver to pick up podcasts that we broadcast over the air.
In the same way that you tune into a radio station, you’ll be able to tune into the podcast channel and select which of the podcast programmes you would like to listen to. Think of it as digital radio, on-demand.
We have the capacity to broadcast a number of these podcasts on the local multiplex for Oxford. Below are the first 11 organisations that we’ve talked to about providing podcasts, but there’s plenty of room for more. If you want to delcare an interest in providing podcasts over DAB to receivers in Oxfordshire, please email us – email@example.com.
News and Information
• ‘ITN On’ – a news and information service. The service will initially be audio, but as technology develops ITN wish to review opportunities for video.
• ‘Channelfly’ produce one of the UK’s biggest music magazines (The Fly), manage bands like Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs and operate a large network of music venues (The Barfly). Already a podcast producer, Channelfly will bring a great music service to the area.
• ‘Totallyradio’ is an internet delivered specialist music service. Covering genres from hip hop to nu jazz, their material will include a range of specialist music created by their producers as well as local talent.
Charity and Learning
• ‘Headliners’ (formerly Children’s Express) is a charity that encourages learning through journalism. They act as a news agency with young people writing and recording their own stories for broadcast. DAB podcasts will be an excellent opportunity for local children to get their stories on the air.
• ‘Bardwell Road Centre’. St Clare’s College is a Oxford language school where the students produce a weekly podcast for those learning English. Broadcasting on DAB will give their students a voice in the community as well as helping new Oxford residents with their English.
• Passion for the Planet are a DAB operator that are keen to expand but need to do at an appropriate rate. Their podcast will include best of material from their existing services with local features of interest to Oxfordshire residents.
• ‘Sabras Radio’ broadcast on DAB in Leicester and London, as well as online. They are keen to develop local podcasts for specific areas and are keen to launch one for Oxford’s Asian population.
• ‘Sunrise’ broadcast a number of Asian services, and will broadcast their broad Sunrise Asian service on Channel 4’s national multiplex. Sunrise are keen to develop their youth Asian focused service, Yarr, through podcasts in markets were the potential audience size is not sufficient to maintain a full service.
We believe that digital radio should be open to as many broadcasters as possible. There are already many local podcasters in Oxfordshire. DAB offers them a new outlet for their locally specific material:
• ‘Banburyshire Brolly’ is a local podcast for Banbury that highlights issues for the area and plays music from new local bands.
• ‘Alternative Kitchen Garden’ – Emma Cooper produces a weekly podcast on local organic gardening. With subjects ranging from a visit to the nearby Ryton Gardens or a talk about why Lavender is useful in the garden, it’s perfect for gardening fans all over the county.