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RadioAsia 2014: New radio app connects NHK to youth audiences

Japanese public broadcaster NHK says its new mobile radio app is connecting them to a large youth audience not listening to conventional radio.

Speaking at the ABU’s RadioAsia2014 conference in Sri Lanka, Koji Ogawa, Programme Director at the NHK Radio Programme Center, said that in Japan, 70 per cent of people aged in their 20s accessed the Internet from their smartphones.

To connect with this audience segment, NHK launched a new radio app so people could listen and engage with NHK Radio on their phones.

This has been especially successful in large cities in Japan and three million apps have already been downloaded, Mr Ogawa told the conference in Colombo.

The app has “connected us to new listeners”, he said. 

NHK surveyed those who loaded the app, finding that 38 per cent of people said they had never or almost never listened to NHK before. The majority of these new listeners were young people.

As a result of their research findings, NHK has introduced more programming for young people to take advantage of the new audience that has been opened up by the app.

Social media engagement used in these new programs has linked listeners who have “shared feelings” and has been very successful in harnessing this new audience listening through the app, Mr Ogawa added.