The research problem here defined as the necessity of thinking of the interactive potentialities of audio-on-demand is grounded in the presupposition that radio production cannot be based on the concept of discursive linearity anymore. This is the main assumption on which the project is rooted. In this sense, researchers intend to understand if radios are really proposing different contents on Internet or not.
To approach these preoccupations, researchers have defined a plan considering four different tasks:
1) Radio and social imaginary: approaching a theory on audio uses in digital context
The first one regarding a theoretical framework definition. Crossing the entire project timeline, this task is crucial as researchers understand that a theorizing effort should be carried out to improve studies on radio. This task will become prominent in different stages. At the beginning of the project’s execution, it will be a theoretical exploration, driven by the necessity to define concepts and instruments for empirical analysis. To deepen this task, researchers intend to examine how radio is being topic of journalistic coverage. The main point here is to analyse how radio has been represented in the press itself and how it seems to be reported its future. Then, uploading the inputs resulting from empirical work (Task 2 and Task 3), the intention is to draw results to support a theoretical discussion on the uses of radio and new digital audio contents.
2) From air to web: analysing complementariness between broadcast and webcast
The second and third tasks are instrumental ones. The main goal is to characterise the way radios are migrating to the internet and shaping (or not) a new audio offer, by a selected examination of what three traditional national broadcasters are offering on their websites. This examination is based on the observation of a specific set of categories as defined within Task 2 description.
3) Ways of listening: examining audio uses and radio habits on Web
Task number three is designed to evaluate how people are digitally listening and to know what they really use on Internet in terms of sound productions. The idea is also to explore the state of the so-called interactive culture and the predisposition of listeners to listen to not only linear live audio flux but also a selection of other possibilities. To carry out this task researchers will administrate an online questionnaire.
4) Sound creations in perspective: designing new models
The last task is a laboratorial experience. The purpose is to get students involved in the creation of new audio contents formats. Because of its practical/training character, this task is planned to last 16 months, along which students will try to conceive and test new proposals of contents to web environment in its multimedia character (where radio is struggling for a place). Under the researchers’ supervision the model resulting from this task should be tested in focus groups. Interviews will allow the researchers to evaluate the innovative character of the model and how people react to it.