Digital Tipping Point for Radio will be reached in 2024

Digital Tipping Point for Radio will be reached in 2024

Do Belgians still listen to the radio? That's what tried to find out. Auxipress attended the Digital Radio Day 2024 where presented the results of its study. In 2023, 1500 Belgians, aged 12 to 74, were surveyed about their use of FM and digital radio, and the results are clear: radio must adapt! In this article, we present five key take-aways about Belgians and their radios.

1. The Digital Tipping Point

Digital radio (DAB+, Internet, digital TV) has been gaining momentum for a few years now, but this year it will completely eclipse FM radio! Digital and analog listening volumes will cross in 2024, as confirmed by Analog listening currently stands at 56% compared to 55% for digital. The digital shift is coming!

2. A Matter of Age?

Not all Belgians listen to the radio in the same way, and it primarily depends on their age. For those aged 12-44, digital radio is the main source. Those aged 45-65+ are still slightly more attached to traditional radio.

Specifically, 12-34-year-olds prefer music streaming and podcasts, while 45-65+ prefer FM/DAB+ radio:

3. Mobile Radio

The sale of digital radio receivers and other electronic devices is declining, except for smartphones. The smartphone has become the primary device for consuming content among 12-34-year-olds and represents the main threat to radios. Additionally, for this age group, streamers and YouTubers have replaced traditional radio presenters.

4. What are the most important criteria for consumers?

The four most important selection criteria for consumers are the sound quality of the music, listening comfort, voice sound quality, and ease of finding channels.

At this level, FM radio is less satisfactory while all other forms are more satisfying. However, digital radio maintains a high level of overall satisfaction.

5. The main challenges of radio

In light of these revelations, three major challenges emerge for radio stations in 2024: firstly, continuous technological adaptation is necessary to continue meeting the needs and expectations of consumers. Secondly, radio stations should position themselves against the competition of BigTechs (YouTube, Spotify, Apple, etc.). Finally, and most importantly, it is crucial to reconnect with younger audiences and bring back the 12-34 age group to radio. In 2024, FM radio stations need to reinvent themselves and create their own universe, just like television channels did in the face of streaming. Only the innovative survive in a constantly evolving media landscape.

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