Open Broadcast


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Open Broadcast is a not-for-profit radio project with studios in Switzerland. This station is unique for it's endeavour to produce high quality user-generated content exclusively. The studios and infrastructure are provided by a Swiss technology firm called Digris. The long term aim is that Open Broadcast would survive on it's own, as a separate structure.


User generated content

All content on Open Broadcast is user generated. Access to the platform is granted through invitations and a mentor system. Users can be invited to join-in by already existing users. Invited users (i.e. users who do not work for Open Broadcast), can choose among several roles, depending on their competence: authors, responsible for the content and editors, responsible for the schedule.


The radio schedule layout "provides the frame for the creative content of our users" (Open Broadcast), in compliance with the stations broadcasting licence. In theory, editors do have a say on the future development of the schedule concept, but there is no standardized way for submitting change request. Luckily, the schedule provides time slots for a wide variety of broadcast formats. The schedule differentiates between weekdays and weekends, and provides for 10 different time slots a day.


Open Broadcast does not implement the concept of radio shows,. The broadcast is entirely composed of playlists and the ocasional live show, enabling a looser and playful involvement by it's participants. A playlist can be composed of audio already in the database and audio uploaded by the users. The upload process is particularly meticulous as to identify the uploaded track, thus providing quality data for the licence management. In fact, realizing and testing this license management application is one of goals of Digris, the company sponsoring Open Broadcast. After users have created a playlist, they can reserve a free time slot in the schedule. The editors are responsible for checking that the content complies with the schedule guidelines for a particular time slot.

The platform

Open Broadcast produced it's own brand of radio automation software, the "Open Broadcast Platform". This platform is very usable and bug free, though it is based on an obsolete framework, which hinders it's maintenance. The platform provides excellent usability, complete functionality for scheduling and broadcasting audio playlists, and is quite stable.

Open Broadcast started transmitting on FM and DAB+ first in Basel, then in Zurich. After excessive claims by the local recording industry organization, Open Broadcast has retreated into streaming only.

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