The immediate future of a leading online information resource for digital radio has been secured, after WorldDMB agreed to sponsor the Wohnort.org website. Wohnort.org celebrated its tenth birthday at the beginning of May but had been temporarily suspended earlier in the year due to financial pressures.
The website was created in 2000 by consultant Carey Taylor, who describes the early incarnation as a "hobby page". Wohnort.org went on to be a source of data about digital radio for broadcasters, journalists, analysts and DAB receiver manufacturers, with information about stations around world using the Eureka 147 technologies; DAB, DAB+ and DMB (digital multimedia broadcasting).
In recent years the growth in DAB-based services has made the hobbyist nature of Wohnort unsustainable. "I felt that with so much going on, without some form of financial support it would not be possible to keep the site up to date and I did not want to see the quality of information decline," Taylor explains.
He considered closing the site but assistance has now come from WorldDMB, the international body that oversees the implementation of Eureka 147-based services. "We have decided to sponsor Wohnort as it is a great independent resource that actually gives a true picture of what's on-air around the world," comments Jorn Jensen, president of WorldDMB.
Taylor says the relationship with WorldDMB is important "because it secures the existence of the site". He adds that editorial independence has been assured by WorldDMB.
DAB has been criticised as an expensive, obsolete technology that is heard by only small audiences, something Taylor refutes. "The enhancements to the original specification, such as the additional audio codec, DMB and IP tunnelling, demonstrate that it is flexible enough to keep up with the times," he comments.
"The reason digital radio was slow to take off, in my opinion, was because the focus was on the technology of the system rather than the content it could deliver. Where DAB has broadened listener choice by offering attractive content that is not available in analogue, it has succeeded."