Monday, May 21, 2012

Eurovision Song Contest legend addresses EBU 18th annual Radio Assembly

As the world counts down to Saturday's final of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Baku, Bj√∂rn Ulvaeus has spoken candidly about ABBA,  whose phenomenal success followed its 1974 competition win. 

The singer and composer told delegates at the 18th EBU annual Radio Assembly in Stockholm in May that there was 'no chance' that pop group would reunite. However, he  did not rule out repeating his experience of hosting Swedish Radio's cult entertainment programme, Sommar.  

"It's a legendary radio show and the most prestigious one that you can do in this country. Everyone wants to do it," he said. However he said his 'poor episodic memory' was a hindrance. Mr Ulvaeus revealed he had used hypnosis in an attempt to recover memories from his past and had visited a girlfriend from his teenage years to help rebuild his memories. "Old friends share our common memories. It made for a very good program, I think." 

The two-day Assembly opened with an inspirational speech by the Swedish Minister for Culture and Media, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, about the role of public service media (PSM) in promoting democracy and freedom of expression.

"Public service broadcasting, and in particular public service radio, plays a fundamental role in terms of freedom of expression, media diversity and democracy," she said.

The conference also focused on the impact of technological innovation and structural shifts in audiences. Speakers and participants shared ideas about best practices and strategies for exploiting new opportunities and for adapting their services to the evolving needs of listeners.

Former BBC Radio 1 controller and Saatchi &Saatchi executive, Andy Parfitt,  urged delegates to reflect on the interests of young listeners. "Put yourself in their shoes. Advertisers do, but very often producers don't." Collaboration between Swedish Radio and streaming service Spotify was cited as an example of best practise. 

The 2013 EBU Radio Assembly will take place in Tenerife at the invitation of RTVE.
More from the EBU Radio Assembly

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

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