PRESS RELEASE – Podcasts kill the radio star? / 1 in 2 Belgian podcast listeners prefer podcasts over radio

Research Ipsos: Podcasts just as credible as TV, radio, and newspapers

Half of the Belgian podcast listeners prefer listening to podcasts over turning on the radio. This becomes clear from the results of the first national Belgian podcast research targeting 1500 Belgians done by Ipsos and commissioned by Mediafin. In addition, more than 8 in 10 listeners find that the audio episodes offer more knowledge and interpretation on specific (news) topics than other media. This results in the fact that news podcasts are competing increasingly with news programmes on the radio, meaning ‘audio on demand’ is claiming an increasingly bigger part of the media landscape.

29% of the Belgians listen to podcasts, meaning the share of Belgian podcast listeners increases year on year – especially amongst youngsters, where the channel is most popular. 47% of the 18 to 24-year-olds listen to a podcast; and 44% of the 25 to 34-year-olds. This is why, over recent years, a lot of media companies invested in the production of podcasts. Just about every newspaper offers a podcast nowadays, which gives them a boost as a new channel. Today, as a result, news consumers regard podcasts as an equally credible channel as radio, TV, and newspapers. Even more: in terms of credibility, podcasts receive on average the best score (6.6/10) in comparison to TV (6.4/10), radio (6.5/10) and newspapers (6.4/10).  De Tijd and L’Echo also launched a daily news podcast at the beginning of the year.

To have a daily podcast date with our audience was a strategic choice. 79% of the Belgian podcast listeners included in our research indicated they find it easier to access info via podcasts than via other media. In addition, for 81% of the listeners, podcasts helps them to understand certain topics better than through other channels. As a news channel, it is our task to distribute information in the most accessible way possible. In this regard, podcasts can no longer be ignored.”

Peter Quaghebeur, CEO of Mediafin – publisher of De Tijd and L’Echo

“Even though our daily podcasts have only been around for a few months, we are already seeing that they are immensely successful. In our first month, we already reached more listeners than we dared to dream. So, the demand for daily news podcast is clearly great. It is also clear that a lot of younger people are finding their way to our podcast, which also reflects on the reader audience of the newspapers of De Tijd and L’Echo, where we notice a rejuvenation as well.”

Karel Dierickx, Head of Audio at Mediafin

More intense experience than radio

Most of all, people like to listen at home (48%), in their spare time (26%), when travelling on public transport (20%), in the car (17%) or just before going to sleep (17%). For this reason, podcasts fit perfectly in the current “on-demand media culture”; and in that regard, they offer an added benefit over live radio broadcasts. According to academics, people listen more actively to podcasts than they listen to the radio. This is where still various opportunities lie for podcast makers.

“Each channel has its own habits, reasons to exist and unspoken rules. This is not different when it comes to podcasts. For example, listening to podcasts is a far more individual and more intense audio experience than radio. What’s more, a more intimate relationship develops between the podcast host and the listeners. A good understanding of and relationship with your podcast audience allow both the makers and advertisers to strongly capitalise on this.”

Dorien Luyckx, researcher University of Antwerp

Importance of advertisers

The more often a channel is used, the more interesting it is for advertisers, which is why the various media platforms compete with one another for advertising revenue. As a result, podcast makers are increasingly experimenting with advertisements in their episodes. This makes podcasts an increasingly interesting investment for advertisers. The research shows that for 4 in 10 listeners advertising in podcasts generates more attention, credibility, and relevance than advertising on social media, websites, newspapers, magazines, and radio.

“People accept that advertising is needed to maintain a free service. But it should not be too predominant and disturb the content too much. In addition, it seems that a strong brand behind the podcast is important for half the Belgian podcast listeners. Also, half of the listeners find a branded or native form of podcasts more credible than branded content in other media, such as advertorials in the newspaper for example.”

David Versweyveld, Research Director at Ipsos Connect

The research results were presented on 18 May 2022 during the Trustmedia event: “The Power of Podcast”. Further information via

Over het onderzoek

The research was done between 11/01/2022 and 26/01/2022 by Ipsos commissioned by Mediafin. In total, 1500 people were questioned by means of an online survey. The respondents were all between 18 and 70 years old. The sample was weighted based on age, gender, region, and social class.