European radio gets real about young listeners (Radiodays Europe)

A couple of session summaries emanating from the Radiodays Europe conference earlier this month indicate that public radio in Britain and Nordic countries is facing challenges of reduced listening to traditional radio among young people.

patrick collins radiodays 300w“You can’t think, if you build it they will come,” said Patrick Collins, Head of Youth Audiences at the BBC. “The key thing to think is, why would they come to us?”

That was in a session shared with Tina Gretlund of public broadcaster DR in Denmark. Gretlund’s research indicated that young people have screen habits that take up six hours a day. When asked which device they would miss most if it were taken away, 61% said the smartphone and less than 1% mentioned the radio.

“Young people want brilliant content all the time, and they want control,” said Collins, according to a write-up in Asia Radio Today. That’s an interesting remark, indicating that personalization of content is a leading consumer value which¬†makes the content experience good. “Control is shifting and we need to know how to work with that, we need to shift from wanting ourselves to be in control to give more control to the young audience,” Collins said.

In February the BBC released a new mobile app called BBC Music, in which personalized control is paramount. Users can shape the content, and music which has been over-the-air during the past week is available on-demand. Users can also export music into Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube accounts.


Brad Hill