NMHH: a rádióműsorok vetélytársaivá válnak az egyénileg összeállított tartalmak

Published: 15 July 2019

Research study by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) reports a five percentage point drop in radio listeners in one year, at the same time an increase in the number of those listening to the radio at least three hours per day. The Authority’s audit made at the end of 2018 also revealed that, with the spread of the internet, radio and music listening habits are changing rapidly: an increasing number of people prefer content they can compile for themselves such as digital clips, music numbers and videos over edited content.

The order of popularity is music radio, custom content and talk radio

Most people (48%) prefer radio stations that play music the most, while custom compiled content is preferred by a fifth of the respondents, whereas talk radio programmes were only mentioned by only one out of ten. The younger the listener the more likely they prefer their own edited and compiled content over ready-made programmes.

In the age group between 30 and 60, music radio broadcasts (58%) are the most popular, whereas talk shows are favoured by elderly and retired people at a higher rate than by the other age groups (30%) and also preferred by women, although in the 40+ age group the generation effect is so strong that the gender gap disappears. One quarter of the elderly simply do not listen to anything (24%). Listening to own music collections usually downloaded to mobile phones or flash drives (22%), online radio and music (9%) and own CD, vinyl or cassette collections (7%) are more popular among young people than in the other age groups.

Internet listeners gave up on analogue content completely while those favouring traditional technologies listen even more

The majority of those who began listening to music or talk shows on the internet tend to listen to traditional radio less or have completely abandoned it. In 2018, only 47 percent of the 16+ age group listening to music or podcasts on the internet said that they still listen to the same amount of traditional radio broadcasts as before (among young people, this figure is only 30 per cent). One out of four respondents, however, reported that they listened to the radio less as a result of the internet. Three out of ten have either completely abandoned listening to the radio, or they had never listened to it before they began to use the internet.

Based on the research of the NMHH, the rate of radio listeners has somewhat fluctuated over the past decade but there was a drop last year: while in 2017 three-quarters of the 14+ age group said that at least occasionally they listened to the radio, in late 2018 only seven out of ten reported the same, which is almost six million people. The proportion of “real” radio listeners, i.e. who turn on their devices almost daily for some time dropped from 42 percent to 37 percent in one year, currently at three million. Those who continue to listen to radio stations tend to spend more time this way: in one year the proportion of those listening to radio programmes for up to one hour per day decreased from 42 to 35 percent, whereas the ratio of those spending three or more hours per day listening to radio programmes increased significantly from 31 to 38 percent.


Young people barely listen to the radio

In 2017, about seven out of ten from the under 30 age group occasionally listened to at least some radio programmes, but only half of these in 2018. The ratio of those listening to the radio every day dropped from one out of four to one out of seven in the same age group over the same time period. The length of time spent listening to the radio has not decreased significantly among young people. The ratio of young people under 20 listening to the radio is negligible: barely half of them do every now and then and only 1 percent on a daily basis.

One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the spread of the internet and internet-ready devices. Although most people still listen to radio broadcasts on a separate radio set (64%) or car radio (53%), the number of those using their mobile phones for this purpose significantly increased from 11 percent in 2017 to 15 percent in 2018. This type of change in radio listening habits was really spectacular among young people: the ratio of those using their mobile phones for this purpose increased from 26 to 42 per cent, and those listening to their MP3 players rose from 6 to 16 percent. The change observed in the young age group was not manifested at the level of the overall radio population.


Background of the research

The NMHH has been conducting large-pattern, nationally representative surveys for ten years to learn more about and understand the situation of the electronic communications sector, consumers’ habits, opinions and problems. The two most recent surveys were conducted in the autumn and December of 2018, one about Hungarian households and the other about Hungarian internet users aged 16 and over 16. The studies summarizing the key findings are available on the NMHH website. The Authority had previously published a number of summaries about the latest research (1, 2, 3, 4).