At the opening of today’s International Radio Festival Conference, Joanna Spitteri CEO of the Malta Broadcasting Authority, welcomed delegates to her island and spoke about radio in Malta.
There are 13 National Broadcaster stations in Malta and 24 long term community radio stations in the country.
There are 10 more short term special event stations and 4 local commercial stations. All stations have been on DAB+ since 1991.
Before 1991 there was only the public service broadcaster stations.
Two of the commercial stations are owned by the two big political parties in Malta.
74% are regular listeners to radio according to audience surveys. Peak listening time is 9am and at work listening is also strong. Listening declines from 8pm.
Average daily radio listening time is 3.16 hours.
11% of the population has a DAB+ radio set, with under 21 year olds the largest users of digital radios. Young people are also beginning to listen to radio on other devices such as smart phones, connected watches and tvs.
“Radio has continually evolved with the times and keeps advancing with new technology,” said Spitteri.
Conference founder Darryl von Daniken said: “Our conference is a boutique event which gets so many different broadcasting cultures together in one room.
“Radio has the best authentic connection with its audiences… Malta understands the value that music brings to its economy, so this is a fitting place to have a radio conference.”
In a later session, David Lowe, creator of the new BBC News theme explained how it evolved from the iconic BBC pips which began in the 1920s, adding a dance beat and a few inspiring musical notes to create the amazingly current theme now used by BBC News.
During the festival, broadcasters from around the world are live from the Festival radio studio every two hours. Iconic UK Pirate Radio veteran, now part of United DJs, was on air as part of the festival.