Blu Radio is the newest station chain that operates today in Colombia. Its first broadcast was made in September of 2012 and since then it has not stopped growing in audience with local stations and a strong presence in digital channels.
As the manager of the chain, Carlos Arturo Gallego, said, the advantage of Blu Radio is that it was born in the 21st Century, in the digital era, so from day one it has a large digital structure, they are not traditional and they like it break paradigms.
Another advantage of being born in the XXI Century is that Blu Radio is IP. The matrices, the consoles, the entire workflow and until the signal is issued is in IP. The only thing they have analog is the FM transmission. And this is possible thanks to the fact that in Colombia there is very good internet penetration and coverage. In other countries of the region, where things are different, they have many problems when it comes to making special transmissions.
Although the structure of the digital area of the station is large and growing, it is still unprofitable, monetization is a pending issue. His manager explained that digital is a mandatory area for any medium and that they have given a lot of space. Since they started, digital was the protagonist and that's why they took a lot of advantage to the competition.
Blu Radio is part of Caracol TV, a media conglomerate that also has a television channel and newspaper, all gathered in the same venue. This represents a significant benefit, because its team of five engineers who support the operation of the station, led by Beatriz González, can count on technical and human resources with extensive experience in IT and TV to be able to make ideas come true.
La Kalle, radio and TV hybrid
One of those ideas, which took a lot of time and effort from work teams from different areas to be a reality, was La Kalle. This is a Blu Radio project that brings together all the experience of the media group to which it belongs: television, radio and the digital world.
Carlos Arturo Gallego emphasized that "What we did with La Kalle was a mixture that can not be fitted into any medium. It goes to the rhythm of the radio, which is much faster, but with the quality of the video demanded by television and broadcast by DTT. And it is also digital because it is streamed on its own platform ".
The transmission of La Kalle through all its channels, shares the same content at the same time. To achieve this, they made a technological integration in which the manufacturers were linked and that today allows radio and television systems to be talked about, that the radio console gives orders to the television console. The entire project took a year and only the communication between the two teams took almost five months.
In addition, they have a small studio in which there are two fixed scenarios and one with chroma key that has allowed them to play and acquire a great experience in this field. The lighting of this study was a challenge because they had to locate all the lights in a small space. For the presenters there are costumes, they make up, they make television production.
New developments of the radio
For Carlos Arturo Gallego, DAB and HD radio in Colombia is something almost impossible, because commercial radio is very strong and there was no legislation in this regard. That's why streaming came and surpassed them all.
Regarding the case of Norway, he said FM radio went out because it is a very small country where public radio is the one that decides. The case of Spain is the clearest, they have DAB since 12 years ago and nothing happens, the big channels continue to broadcast on DAB and FM.
Finally, he pointed out that "radio continues to be the protagonist, especially in Colombia where it is an industry, which stands out among many countries. Today with all the changes the radio is not for anyone. The radio must be multimedia, it must have financial muscle and know how to do it ".