Mathieu Gallet CEO Radio France welcomed delegates to Paris in the first session of Radio Days Europe with the message that radio is the “medium for the future.”
“Beyond a simple tool of communication, radio is a medium that is close to us, it accompanies our lives. Radio is a space for debate and dialog… in a contemporary world where values are sometimes violently questioned, radio guides us and reflects our concerns.”
European Broadcasting Union Head of Radio Graham Dixon said radio is “a medium for everyone, rich or poor,” and urged radio people across the world to work together to serve their audiences.
“Radio is our piazza, where the diverse voices of the world reach our ears and our homes. It is the potential of radio that brings us here in Paris.”
Stefan Moller President of AER Finland said “radio needs to be everywhere. The consumer doesn’t care about the technology, they care about the content.” He urged public service and commercial radio businesses to co-operate on technology issues to make sure the medium remains connected to the audience, however they may choose to listen.
“Hopefully after this conference you can go back home and make better radio.”
Managing Director of Bauer Radio Dee Ford (pictured above) talked about her company’s rapid growth and success over the past few years. “At Bauer our passion for radio is as high as it has ever been. Listeners love content and advertisers love engaged listeners,” she said.
Bauer is now the ‘biggest radio operator across Europe, with over 60 stations in the UK and stations across Europe
“Radio weaves its way through the days, week and lives of its audience. We are passionate about growing our radio business, and that growth is going to come through digital.”
Ford believes it is innovation in content and platforms, delivered by brands that the audience trusts that makes radio successful.
The commercial radio industry and the BBC are going toe to toe in the UK for the first time ever, according to Ford. “For the first time ever, thanks to the new digital platforms, commercial radio now has a larger audience than the BBC.”
18 new digital stations went to air at the beginning of this month, bringing the number of national stations to 41 in the UK, 30 of them commercial. Many of them are Bauer stations.
“Audiences love the choice that is now on offer and I predict commercial radio listening is going to grow. Nine of the top ten commercial UK stations are Bauer owned.”
56% of listening is now done through a digital device. The biggest part of digital growth is coming from DAB broadcasts. “Growth has come from the launch of sub brands,” says Ford.
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