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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Radio in the round: reflections on the future of sound media

Berry, Richard (2023) Radio in the round: reflections on the future of sound media. In: Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781501385308 (In Press)

Item Type: Book Section


Short: When looking to the future of radio, the question ‘what is radio’ becomes more relevant than ever as it requires us to reflect on our definitions. Technical? Social? Economics? This chapter explores these concepts in a reflection on what the future might look (or rather sound) like?

Long: Radio is a medium that has endured world wars and the arrival of waves of new technologies competing for the attention of generations of listeners. A hundred years on from the foundation of the BBC, radio lives in a landscape that is increasingly alive with aural experiences: from podcasts and audiobooks, to smart speakers and social audio platforms, like Clubhouse. The future for sound media looks bright.
When looking to the future, the question ‘what is “radio” becomes more relevant than ever as it requires us to reflect on our definitions of the medium and how they relate to current industry practices.
Today’s radio industry would be unrecognisable to those early pioneers of the 1920’s, not least due to the impacts of the internet as both a threat and an opportunity. The modern radio studio is scattered with computers, screens, and often cameras; all reflective of the multiplatform environment the radio/audio industry now finds itself at heart of. You are now just as likely to see a radio presenter in a social media video or hear them on a podcast as you are to hear them live on a radio set. Radio could be driving home listening to a radio-station produced podcast, watching live music produced by a radio station via YouTube, or tuning in to spin-off radio stations via DAB or smartphone apps. In these activities we might consider there are differences between radio and the cultural or economic affairs of a radio station, as a place or a collection or practices.
The contemporary radio industry is multi-faceted and often seen as part of a wider audio landscape, suggesting a future that is no longer confined by traditional forms of linear broadcasting. It is in these scenarios that we can see how radio has adapted, but also how the boundaries of the medium can become points of debate.
This chapter uses what we might call radio industry studies to explore some of these developments and reflect on the interactions between new content forms, technologies, and our understandings of what radio is in an era when the industry might spend less of its time making what we have traditionally consider to be radio.
Keywords: Radio, Audio, Podcasting,

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Depositing User: Richard Berry


Item ID: 15554
ISBN: 9781501385308
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ORCID for Richard Berry: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2023 11:11
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2023 11:11


Author: Richard Berry ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications


Media > Radio

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