On Monday, Nov. 6, at the start of Belgium’s “Week van de digitale radio” (Digital Radio Week), the digital radio group Digitale Radio Vlaanderen published the results of a bi-annual survey by research company IPSOS on radio consumption in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium.
The survey, assigned by Benjamin Dalle, Minister for Media, Youth and Brussels in the government of Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, revealed a significant increase in digital radio usage.
Close to half (49%) of radio consumption is now through digital media like DAB+, internet and digital TV, growing from 41% two years ago. DAB+ continues to take a major share of the listening, increasing from 19% in 2021 to 30%, substantially boosting the switch from FM to digital. Listening to DAB+ in cars also sees notable growth from 34% to 48%. In the 25-44 age bracket, 60% of the total radio consumption is now digital.
“Together with the sector, we have been working on the digitalization of radio for quite some time,” commented Dalle. “I’m happy to see that our efforts are paying off. Entering the digital radio landscape requires the audience following, which is what’s happening today. D-Day for the shutdown of FM broadcasts is approaching. We are preparing a high quality and viable digital radio environment, backed by the results of a large scale radio survey.”
“We’re delighted that our listeners are discovering and appreciating the new content alongside our major brands. Our non-stop streams like Radio 2 BeneBene and VRT De Tijdloze (The Timeless) have become fully fledged digital radio stations on DAB+ and the VRT Max app,” enthused Els Van de Sijpe, manager of VRT Radio and Audio. “Thanks to an ongoing interaction with the main channels and creative communication, our listeners are finding their way to our additional digital content.”
According to Dirk Lodewijckx, general manager for TV streaming and radio with DPG Media, digital radio is no longer a peripheral phenomenon. “The best example is our digital-only station Willy, which, together with Willy Class X, accounts for a market share of 3.1%,” he explained.
Mediahuis CEO Tom Klerkx is happy to see the positive trend. “We felt that the Flemish audience is switching to digital listening. The collaboration of the entire radio sector to persuade the audience from analog to digital, backed by effective communication and strong content, is paying off. We at Mediahuis believe in the strength of digital content — we want to surprise our listeners with extra digital stations, like the Play Nostalgie Disney station, preparing for Christmas.”
The Digital Radio Week is backed by a commercial campaign on the national public and commercial broadcasters and local radio stations.
You can see a breakdown of the results of the IPSOS survey on digital radio consumption here.