Big Data

– shaping the PSM and promoting music

2nd European Radio Forum in Wroclaw

The role of Big Data technology in reaching new audiences was addressed at a Polish Radio conference which was held in Wrocław. This year’s European Radio Forum was held under the slogan of “Big Data – shaping the PSM and promoting music”.

The event organized by Polskie Radio gathered experts and representatives of public service media from across the continent. In his opening speech, Mariusz Staniszewski, a member of the board of Polskie Radio, highlighted that radio has been expanding its online presence, including, above all, through social media. He also emphasized a need for tools to analyze a new web space.

Mr Staniszewski pointed out that new information distribution fields require engagement, without which Polskie Radio would risk losing its market position. He emphasized that radio cannot be regarded as an exclusively broadcast medium. “Navigating towards building hybrid media has forced us to use new tools for reaching listeners. Undoubtedly, social media is one such tool, I do not need to convince anyone of its rapidly growing role in information distribution. All the research shows it,” added Mr Staniszewski.

Mr Staniszewski stressed that traditional electronic media models do not meet the needs of consumers. Therefore, as he explained, Polskie Radio has created, from scratch, specialized social media editorial offices which provide us with basic data on users in real time.

Key role of social media

Mr Staniszewski estimated that processing mass data can benefit both Polskie Radio and listeners thanks to interaction. Today’s listener is an interactive one who has become a subject of information exchange and who shapes media and enters into a relationship with it. We, thanks to this relationship, acquire knowledge about our listeners. It is happening right now. Over past months we have gained a lot of information about the demographics of our listeners and their preferences, about the power of our brand, its vitality or the vitality of our each stations, explained Mr Staniszewski.

Some of Polskie Radio’s stations are available exclusive online. Mr Staniszewski explained that their development depends above all on the use of social media. “It is thanks to social media that we can profile a listener and target them with a tailored offer. In case of an Internet user we realize that audio alone is not enough. What is more, even adding an image may not be sufficient to hold listeners’ interest. The most important thing is interaction, the exchange of information both ways. As such, how each of our stations functions will depend on how we learn to function in online,” Mr Staniszewski said.

Vice President of the Supervisory Board of Polskie Radio, Zbigniew Hajłasz, said that in the past, Polskie Radio’s four nationwide radio stations used to broadcast in VHF only and that was enough to reach all inhabitants of Poland. “This is all in the past,” said Mr Hajłasz, pointing to new platforms of communicating with the audience: Internet bandwidth, DAB + digital signal, Internet portals, social media.

Data on Internet users in the service of public media

Data about what users look for on the web are collected primarily by giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. Of the public media in Europe only the BBC uses Big Data. Deputy Director of Radio BBC Graham Ellis said in Wroclaw that the station collects data from all those who listen to the program on the Internet. “Last year we introduced a logging mechanism for those who want to listen to the program. This was a big step for us as a public broadcaster. We have noticed that in this way we can offer better and more personalized service. We first introduced a voluntary logging, emphasizing the advantages of this solution. Since July of this year, logging in is mandatory for some of our services,” said Mr Ellis. Polskie Radio is also considering the use of data collected online to improve the quality of programs. At the same time, Legal Counsel from the European Broadcasting Union, Jenny Weinand, emphasized that data collected by broadcasters must be accessible to users and secure. “Many factors must be taken into account. It is about transparency, why we collect that data. Users must have their rights guaranteed, they must have access to these data, be able to modify or delete them,” added Ms Weinand.

Big Data – benefits and threats

The European Radio Forum, organized in collaboration with the National Music Forum, addressed Big Data-related issues, a method of legal collection of data on large groups of people and analyzing it and using for one’s own purposes. The conference took place at the National Music Forum in Wroclaw. It is one of the first concert venues to use Big Data strategies to reach the public and arouse interest in classical music.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss the benefits and threats of Big Data and to create a platform for exchanging opinions, experiences and best practices among experts interested in this technology.

Among the speakers, apart from the representatives of Polish public service broadcasters, there were: Deputy Director of Radio BBC – Graham Ellis, Director of Digitization in Radio France – Laurent Frisch, Legal Counsel in the EBU – Dr Jenny Weinand, leading Polish experts and specialists in the field of Big Data – Michał Sadowski and Edward Mężyk. The 2nd European Radio Forum was hosted by the Chairman of Polskie Radio, Jacek Sobala. More details on the 2nd European Radio Forum can be found at

Big Data