Powerful Competition

Sure, the radio stations rightly refer to their role as day attendants, tailor-made information,
entertainment and personalities. But the new music and video platforms and thousands of web radios are just a finger away on the smartphone.

The VHF biotope has thus received powerful competition: in addition to the digital alternative DAB + offer music streaming services, audio guides or audiobook platforms via web or app completely new listening experience. Apple’s iTunes Store alone has around 2,200 music apps. The end is approaching?

At least that’s the scenario of doomsday apologists.

But looking at the past few years, there is practically no other classic medium that is so unmolested and stable: the analogue FM

The VHF biotope has got powerful competition

Radio is still omnipresent. The number of listeners continues to rise year after year. And even the proportion of young radio listeners is growing. At least that’s what studies, such as the 2013 JIM study, show: 79 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds turn on a radio program at least several times a week. Five years ago, this value was 72 percent. The stationary radio also leads the teenagers to the hit list of the receivers, followed by the car radio. This has been stable for years. And just like the reach, the station’s advertising revenues are growing by two to four percent each year. Digitization or not, the German radio market is doing brilliantly. No trace of digital cannibalization. Is the motto that you should just keep going?

Not quite. Radio must master technological change: new platforms and transmission channels, new forms of use and content – they are coming or are already there. Relevance and awareness, trust and quality must be offered by all who want to be successful. The challenge is presumably above all in successfully recording the diversity, the wide range of possibilities of the radio future: from DAB + to the video stream, from social radio to user-generated content. What may seem like a Buzzwo rd bingo is only a small part of the numerous development trends in the radio market, which we locate in a matrix and which should have a high relevance to the future for many players.

Thanks to social media, the Brechtian vision of using distribution and communication equipment to make radio stations more and more palpable: the established radio stations are gradually expanding their offerings with many new functions, interaction possibilities and playlists, while new music services also provide news and information Integrating other traditional “radio elements.” Classic channels are becoming the domain of convergent and interactive media that see themselves as modern media brands.

Visions of the radio of the future always say that radio becomes interactive, personalized, social and non-linear. For the listener, the platform – the transmission path – loses importance, the content benefits gain relevance. The special strength of the classic VHF radio – the regional coverage area – will continue to be important as an orientation and identification space. However, this location can also be mapped in the smartphone with GPS function. A whole series of new so-called location-based services via the mobile phone do not stop at the radio.

Often the radio was therefore declared dead. Podcasting and web radios did not bring about the demise of the radio country, and despite smart TVs and iPods, smartphones and tablets, despite apps and the Internet, radio is still extremely successful at the core The fight over the ear cups is less violent than the eyeballs: radio is the perfect second medium, it can be used even while surfing the internet, surfing or chatting, which ensures its range and usage “not enough. The radio will adjust to it. Interactive as with Brecht, digitally at all, but above all individually, socially, mobilely and locally, as a mass as well as an individual medium. We want to point out these development paths in this issue of Digitaltrends LfM.

Trends and developments that are relevant for the medium of radio today or will become so in the future move like large celestial bodies in a planetary system. The most important thing today, so to speak our solar system, is that of linear audio formats. Above all, the uKW radios revolve around their orbits, and more and more digital radios via DAB +. Other developments such as podcasts, audioguides or audiobooks are bundled in the audio-on-demand system, but they affect the radio market somewhat less. By contrast, two planetary systems that will have a strong impact on the future of the radiation market can be located as streaming audio & video and mobile audio. Their respective planets such as web radio and personal streaming on the one hand or location-based radio, wearables and smart radio on the other, violently encircle the medium radio, even if they are still in the universe for some time to complete market penetration.