One in four Flemish people know DAB+. Almost one in five has a DAB+ device or wishes to purchase one. Of the total radio listening volume, 21 percent is digital. These are good results from the baseline measurement 'Digital Radio' by the research company Ipsos. And they are more than welcome during the week of digital radio. “We are therefore focusing our efforts on digitalisation and thanks to the technology we are bringing our radios to our listeners through all possible carriers,” states An Caers, director of Radio at MEDIALAAN.
What does the week of digital radio mean for the radio stations Qmusic and Joe?
An Caers: “This first edition of the week of digital radio is positive in many senses: we point out the power of the medium, we shed light on digital initiatives that will ensure the medium remains powerful in the future as well and we do this together with the three big media companies. In this, we are the driving force in the industry. We join forces in the area of technology, towards aggregators, smart speakers and the car industry. In addition, we're competitive when it comes to content. Our ambition is to be the most innovative, inspiring audio company in Flanders. Therefore it's a must to join in supporting and throwing light on existing initiatives!”
Steve van den Audenaerde, Business Development Manager Radio: “For the advertiser, the increasing range of digital radio forms a new opportunity. We can place a pre-roll at the start on the digital streams starting from 1 January 2019. This is a good chance for advertisers to claim a short and intensive moment. This allows him to communicate very intimately with the digital listener for 10 seconds. We will also create the possibility to provide mid-roll audio advertising to the listeners, in premium as well as in programmatic. And the theme channels, such as Q Workalicious, are exclusive opportunities for clients that wish to co-brand an exclusive radio channel of Q. For example, Hewlett Packard is already doing business with us to help fill in the Q-web channel for those at work.”
Qmusic has the Workalicious playlists especially for digital radio, and you can listen to the digital 70s and 80s channels on Joe. What are our aims within DAB+ in the future?
Steve Van den Audenaerde: “From a commercial point of view, we wish to increase the reach of the MEDIALAAN channels and reach some types of listeners better with an adjusted offer. On DAB+ that is 70s and 80s with Joe. Here the focus is probably mainly on age categories, but we also want to focus on other characteristics. With streaming we can really go very far. For example, we have Christmas channels, but we could also make "pop-up stations" or radios with a clear goal, together with an advertiser. In Australia, for example, there is a supermarket radio that is gaining a lot of acclaim from a wide audience. We could, for example, make such a digital channel together with a supermarket chain.”
An Caers: “Listeners are central to us. And they are choosing digital alternatives, next to a large share of traditional radio. In the future we will place our strong content on all relevant platforms. We will consider whether or not to add more DAB+ channels soon. But we will certainly extend the digital offer as 7 in 10 listeners say they want more content that is better adjusted to their music style. In other words, the future of radio will include more aspects.
What possibilities does DAB+ offer to advertisers that FM radio lacks?
Steve Van den Audenaerde: “For now we stick with audio advertising on new channels that allow them to reach a specific but wide audience. It is also possible to show text and images with DAB+, and in the future hybrid receivers via internet will allow a two-way communication; i.e. between DAB+ and an Internet connection. But that all lies in the future, even though we do closely follow innovations that allow radio to be brought in perfect quality at even more locations and times.”
An Caers: “DAB+ stands for better sound quality. This plays a particularly important role in the reach of Joe. While Joe could not always be received perfectly in Limburg, we now guarantee a good reception. Currently, 30% of cars already have DAB+ and this share will continue to increase. Therefore, those who wish to reach the 'driving listener', will do well in the future by choosing DAB+.”