Radio-Innovations: On the way to Interactive Radio

At this year’s conference of the Institute for Broadcasting Economics we expect about 100 attendees form the industry and science.

Combining traditional broadcast radio with the Internet leads to innovative applications – reaching from on-demand media, dynamic non-linear radio programs, increased variety of interactivity between broadcaster and listener, specific targeting of interest groups, flexible forms of mobile consumption up to individualized and “responsive radio”. Especially in the field of music program arrangement, innovative functionalities and use patterns have already been successfully implemented, well-known examples include Spotify and Amazon Prime Music.

This year’s conference of the Institute for Broadcasting Economics, Germany, addresses current and trendsetting innovations from the application and innovation perspective in the realm of radio. Thereby we focus less on individualized music recommendation systems, as those have already been explored quite intensively. Instead, we trace the challenges of speech-based radio (e.g. features, interviews, news, radio play etc.). Yet, this is an important, but rarely considered, innovation field in science and practice.

In addition to the conceptual foundations, we will cover challenges and implications of interactive radio. This includes questions of dynamic, individualized and partially automated program management, creation of new formats, finding the optimal mix of speech-based and music-based content, the design of context-based recommender systems, the classification of content, the establishment of social media as a source for radio content, and the impact of such innovations on the radio landscape in general and in particular on (new) business models, value-added services, recipients, and content providers. We will also discuss cost and benefit aspects on a societal level, e.g. conflicting effects on the diversity of content and therefore –potentially– also on the public decision and opinion making process in context of individual and interactive radio innovations.

We currently acquire innovative protagonists, such as: Bayerischer Rundfunk/BR (Germany), NPR Digital Media (USA), BBC (UK), Deutschlandradio/DR, Soundticker, Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk/SWR, …

The conference programme will be published soon.


Zach Brand

Zach Brand is NPR Vice President of Digital Media. In this role, Brand oversees NPR digital technology and product development efforts, including NPR's Digital Services division, the development of, mobile applications, and the Internet-connected cars initiative. Prior to moving into his current position in 2012, Brand served as VP of Digital Technology Strategy and Operations, where he managed the development and operation of NPR's web, mobile and library systems. As the NPR Senior Director of Digital Media Technical Strategy and Operation, a position he held for four years, Brand focused on developing extensible and reusable architectures for tools and content. He was instrumental in the production of the various iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile applications. Prior to joining NPR in 2007, Brand oversaw technology for Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, including,, and Brand earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University.

Dr. Christine Bauer

Mag. DI Dr. Christine Bauer is a Postdoc-Researcher at the Department of Information Systems and Information Management of the University of Cologne. She is also lecturer at the University of Vienna and the Danube University Krems. Previously she worked as a university assistent at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, as a guest lecturer at the University of Popular Music and Music Business ("Popakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg") and as a researcher at the E-Commerce Competence Center (EC3; Vienna). 2013 and 2015 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. She studied International Business Administration at the University of Vienna, Information Systems at the TU Wien and did her PhD in Information Systems at the University of Vienna. Moreover she studied at the University of Wales Swansea and at the Vienna Conservatory. Before her academic career she worked in the Austrian Collecting Society "AKM" and established the section of online music licensing. Her current research focus is: context-adaptive information and recommendation systems and e-business in creative industries particularly in the music sector.

Dr. Nicola Balkenhol

Dr. Nicola Balkenhol studied political science and german philology in Heidelberg and Hamburg. She did her PhD in political theory. After that she had a traineeship at the Evangelic Church in Rhineland. Moreovere she was a moderator and news editor at the private radio broadcaster "Radioropa Info" and a freelancer at several newspapers and German Broadcaster "Westdeutscher Rundfunk". From 1994 on she was a news editor at "Deutschlandfunk". 2012 she became consultant of the programme management of "Deutschlandradio". Since May 2016 she has been Head of Multimedia/ Online. 

Florian Novak

Mag. Florian Novak, Jahrgang 1974, ist Gründer und Geschäftsführer von Tonio – Ton mit Information ( und Geschäftsführer des Radiosenders LoungeFM ( Florian Novak ist Jurist und begleitet aktiv das Thema Hörfunk seit der Einführung von Privatradio in Österreich 1998. Zuerst als Mitbegründer und Gesellschafter von Radio Energy Wien (von 1997 bis 2007), später als Gründer des österreichischen Radiosenders LoungeFM. LoungeFM startete 2005 mit einem einzigartigen Musikmix als weltweit erstes Radio ausschließlich über UMTS, kurz darauf auch im Internet und zählt heute zu den erfolgreichsten Webradio-Angeboten Österreichs. Heute ist LoungeFM – achte Jahre nach dem Start über UKW – in den sechs größten Städten Österreichs auch analog empfangbar. 2014 folgte die Gründung des Start-Ups Tonio – Ton mit Information, das im vergangenen Jahr auch mit dem 1. Österreichischen Radiopreis des ORF und der Privatsender sowie mit dem Medienzukunftspreis ausgezeichnet wurde.

Mustafa Isik

Mustafa K. Isik is computer scientist, software developer and head of the department of software developement and platforms at Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR). But he simple considers himself as an ultra-geek and happy hacker. After his graduation from university (HM and TU Munich), he worked among others at BMW research and innovation, different startups, the media technology pioneer Avid, and Google in California. With his team "Digital Garage" he contributed to many successes of BR in the area of software developement: e.g. Grimme Online Award 2014 for the web presence of "Der neue Nahe Osten" and the German Price for online communication 2015 for the BR-MashUp-App. Mustafa Isik researched several years in the field of AR, VR and games developement and built up many independent podasts about themes like SuperHyperTurbo (2009). Nowadays he can be heard regulary in Geekweek. 

Tom von der Isar

Tom von der Isar is an experienced radio professional from Munich. He hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards and was the director of the first format for web TV approved by the Bayerischen Landeszentrale für neue Medien (BLM). Besides his work for soundticker, and his passion for the digital, he works behind and in front of the camera and does pioneering work for german Snapchat productions.

Bastian Sorge

Bastian Sorge is news editor and head of Service at "DASDING" which is a jung radio wave of German broadcaster "Südwestrundfunk" (SWR). Furthermore he worked as representation correspondent at "ARD-Hauptstadtstudio". Previously he was a reporter at "NDR-Studio Norderstedt" and news editor at  "Regiocast group". Bastian Sorge has been working as Twittert trainer for the Department of Central Information at SWR and has co-developed the new Social Media Desk at SWR broadcaster. He participated 2014 at "Future Workshop of Radio News" („Zukunftswerkstatt Radionachrichten“) in Magdeburg – the first conference by the public and private radio broadcasters about radio news. Since then has been accompanying the debate around #newsneu - the future radio news - also as speaker at symposia. Bastian Sorge has co-developed a new newscast at DASDING which has been broadcasting on workdays at 6 pm.

Prof. Dr. Hardy Gundlach

Hardy Gundlach. Prof. Dr., is a professor for information and media economics at Hamburg University of Aplied Science at the Faculty of Design, Media and Information. Until 2006 he was a research consultant of the Commission on Concentration in the Media (KEK). His doctoral thesis was about the public serve broadcasters between public service obligation and market competition. Prof. Dr. Hardy studied economic science, economic policy and public management. His current research projects are about the public service media in europe and their public value in a converging media landscape, about media use and media choices of users, and about the future of the professional information transfer, in particular about the economic and social role of the internet intermediaries and internet platforms.

Chris Baume

Chris Baume is a project research engineer at BBC R&D in London and the BBC lead for the Orpheus project. His research interests span a number of areas including semantic audio analysis, interaction design and spatial audio. Previously, he has collaborated with Queen Mary University to create a system for extracting mood information from music. He is currently developing next-generation audio production tools as part of his PhD research at the University of Surrey. Chris is a Chartered Engineer and a founding member of the BBC’s audio research group where he leads the production tools work stream.


6th October 2016
9:00am - 05:30pm

Conference booklet

Documents for Download:

Conference Programme
PDF Travel Map
PDF Uni Map