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DAB+ Listening Sees Increase in Bavaria

Overall radio listening in the German state remains strong no matter the platform

Across Bavaria, radio listening remains strong and increasingly it is digital.

According to the latest Funkanalyse Bayern Hörfunk survey, 82.4% of Bavarians aged 14 and older reported listening to the radio on weekdays with 25.7% tuning to one or more of Bavaria’s 80-plus local radio stations. Total daily audio listening in any format was at 91.1% with 10.8% of respondents reporting listening to their own music collection and 27.6% using streaming services.

There was a slight dip of one percentage point from 2021 to 2022 in radio listening; however, it during the 2021 survey period Bavaria was in a COVID-related lockdown and the difference is attributed to greater mobility during the 2022 survey period.

When it came to how Bavarians tuned to the radio, analog FM remains strong with 58.7% of daily weekday listening among those age 14+. Digital platforms were used for 42% of daily weekday listening; 27.8% of daily weekday listening was via DAB+, 16.5% via the internet, 2.5% via cable, and 1.1% via satellite. Most people enjoyed both analog and digital radio services, but 21.5% reported listening only via digital platforms.

A slide from Funkanalyse Bayern Hörfunk 2022 showing weekday daily listening by platform among those aged 14 and older. Total radio listening is 82.4%, FM radio is 58.7%, Internet radio is 16.5%, DAB+ radio is 27.8%, cable radio is 2.5% and satellite radio is 1.1%. Total digital listening is 42%.
A slide from Funkanalyse Bayern Hörfunk 2022 showing weekday daily listening by platform, 14+. Total radio listening is the gray bar to the left; UKW is the German-language acronym for FM radio.

About 44% of the Bavarian population has access to DAB+ radios and the survey found there are about 3 million daily DAB+ listeners in the state, an increase of about 150,000 people from the prior survey. About 15% of these people reported listening to radio only via DAB+, causing Bavarian State Center for New Media (BLM) President Dr. Thorsten Schmiege to note that “The future belongs to DAB+.”

[Related: 2021: Best Year Yet for DAB+ in Germany]

The greatest daily radio consumers were aged 50 and older, with 87.6% of their daily listening being to radio, 21.4% of which was to local radio. Those aged 14–29, however, listened to radio and streaming services in near equal amounts — 68.5% for radio vs. 66.3% to streaming services. Those aged 30–49 were the largest consumers of local radio with 32.9% of their daily listening happening on local radio; total daily radio listening for this group was at 83.2%.

Bar chart showing time spent listening to audio via radio, local radio, owned music, and streaming services. Across all age groups, radio listening is highest, but among 14- to 29-year-olds streaming audio is approaching the same level of use as radio.
Audio listening by age group showing total audio (gray), total radio (dark blue), local radio (light blue), owned music (green), and streaming (orange). Local radio listening is also included within the total radio bar.

The survey found that among those 14+, public-service broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk held about 47% of the market share compared to 40% for private broadcasters in the state, an increase of 0.1% for both compared to 2021. National broadcasters or stations originating from outside of Bavaria accounted for 13% of the market share, a drop of 0.2%.

Among all listeners, the top station was BR’s Bayern 1 at 29.5% of daily listening, followed by private hit music station Antenne Bayern at 21.5% and BR’s Bayern 3 at 18.9%. However, Bayern 1 benefits greatly from listeners age 50+; looking just at listeners 14–49, Antenne Bayern rates a Monday–Friday daily reach of 25.6% and Bayern 3 scores 23.5%, while Bayern 1 drops to 17.8%.

Most radio listening, more than 59%, continued to occur in the home, followed by listening at work (23.1%), in the car (14.9%), and other locations (2.7%).

“Local radio and local television are relevant — the new figures clearly show that. … They prove that local information, mixed with the human factor — emotion, dialect, humor — works!” Schmiege stated. He also noted that having good coverage is does not always equate to success, pointing instead to quality content, a presence on all available platforms, and real local talent.

The 2022 Funkanalyse Bayern Hörfunk survey was conducted by survey firm Kantar. Around 23,000 people aged 14+ were contacted across Bavaria for the radio survey. The results were released July 5, 2002, at the Lokalrundfunktage local radio conference. Full survey results are available via the Funkanalyse website.