The country’s FM spectrum is congested, and attempts to free up some of the spectrum for new players is proving difficult
This week “Week van de Digitale Radio” (“Digital Radio Week”) is putting DAB+ awareness in the spotlight in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium.
According to a survey by Ipsos Belgium, more than half the Flemish population is acquainted with DAB+ (last year it was a mere 39%), posting a growth in all age groups. Internet radio listening went from 12% to 14%, while listening to the digital TV’s radio channels remained at 6%.
According to GfK – Jato Dynamics, more than 1,250,000 DAB+ receiver sets have been sold in Belgium this year, a growth of 50% since 2019. In addition, 59% of all new cars sold in Belgium are now equipped with DAB+.
“We are taking the opportunity to digitize all our radio brands,” said VRT Radio manager Els Van de Sijpe.
“We continue to focus on the DAB+ radio experience as a follow-up to FM broadcasts. In addition, we use the internet’s wealth of possibilities to better serve our audience, with digital streams in RadioPlayer and our dedicated apps. Live radio remains a strong medium but we also see a growth in audio on demand,” he added.
“With our ‘feel-good brands’ Nostalgie and NRJ we have been reinforcing the role of radio as a companion — the strength of radio was evident during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Tom Klerkx, managing director of the Mediahuis radio department. “We noticed a substantial increase in our digital audience — offering the right content, on the right platform is key.”
Organized by Digitale Radio Vlaanderen cvba, which comprises public and commercial players, Digital Radio Week aims to provide information on the quality and advantages of DAB+. Flemish public and commercial broadcasters teamed up in a large-scale advertising campaign for DAB+ on radio and TV. The campaign draws the audience’s attention to the region’s various “digital only” radio channels, like MNM Hits, Klara Continuo, Q-Maximum Hits, NRJ, Nostalgie and Joe Best of Belgium.