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Christian Schalt, General Manager at RS2

The future is AC and it's digital

The aging population of Europe will chose AC rather than CHR, and the listening will be digital in the future.

A pan-european panel discussed the future of radio with an aging European population in mind. Already the average age is just over 40, and it is likely to increase in the years to come. This means a shift from CHR to AC as the predominant format, and moving from a single analogue signal to multi-platform digital distribution.
But AC stations have a problem. Presenters don’t find the format as attractive as the more upbeat younger formats. Why? Because listeners are considered to be old and dull.  The same could be said for the listeners, who view AC stations in much the same way.
A reinvention of AC is required. The session focused on how you love your listener, how you communicate and how you can program with passion.
At Spanish radio station Cadena 100 they make sure that all presenters have a picture of the listener in their minds. All aspects of the stations output, marketing, online and events reflect this collective focus. Despite it having a majority of female listeners, they still insist on programming for both sexes.
The importance of being seen and heard made Berlin-based RS2 give away a car every day. An extremely successful promotion, albeit expensive. Christian Schalt, General Manager at RS2, said promotion was a key ingredient in reinventing the AC format and making it exciting for listeners and staff.