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Concerns in European Radio

New study from EBU looks at radio broadcasters’ challenges and responses

Probably to no one’s surprise, a study released by the European Broadcasting Union suggests that European radio broadcasters face many of the same concerns U.S. radio broadcasters do.

The report, “Public Radio and New Media Platforms 2011,” looked at radio listening patterns in 31 EBU member countries and it contained 28 case studies. It also offered comparisons with the U.S. broadcasting scene.

A major focus of the study was the challenge of and approaches to the new media and social media that have been adopted by radio stations.

The report addressed “public service” (government-funded) radio, though the observations, lessons and conclusions could be applicable to European commercial radio and U.S. broadcasters as well.

Alex Shulzycki, head of EBU research, stated: “In an increasingly competitive radio market, European public broadcasters maintained a strong average 37% share for their national radio channels in 2010, unchanged from the previous year and this is also due to multiplatform distribution and social media.”

According to a summary, “The study found that public service broadcasters are successfully exploiting social media to reach new listeners and boost their relevance. One key finding was that while traditional AM/FM radio consumption is down, most public service radio broadcasters now provide online and mobile services, social media interactivity and smartphone applications that have actually extended their reach. Public radio broadcasters are adapting to and even shaping the new radio landscape by building their cross-platform presence to raise their profile and make their content more accessible.”