How to tune into kids as a radio audience?

Challenge

DR has great offers for children, with lots of high quality TV and online platforms. Now DR Ultra was about to launch a new online radio channel for children, but needed insights into how to connect with kids through radio, and clear recommendations on how to design the new channel.

Approach

We began to explore kids’ radio usage, until we ran into a bit of a problem… kids don’t listen to the radio. We zoomed out and investigated their general media habits instead, in order to understand the wider context and once again bring relevance to the radio.

Result

We pivoted DR’s focus, and created a refreshing new concept for them. It focused on curating context-flexible universes of content, clustered by theme of interest, independent of the conventional sorting of platform categories into ‘radio’ and ‘television’.

Danish Broadcasting Service

How can we make radio relevant for kids?

“The project was a real eye-opener for us. We just wanted to know a bit more about the kids, but now we can see that we are standing at a crossroads and need to start doing something completely new.”

Dennis Glintborg, Editor at DR Ultra

Introduction

A broader scope

DR contacted us because they were looking to launch a new online radio for kids, and wanted to know their target group better. Traditionally, DR categorizes their content either as TV, radio or web. So naturally they asked us to look into the radio-habits of kids. However, as we started talking with the 10-12 year olds, we realised the kids just couldn’t relate to the radio because it is not a part of their lives.



So, instead of focusing on radio habits, we broadened our scope to look at how the kids use media generally in their everyday lives.

“The radio is for the Queen, or the Prime Minister to listen to.
Not something for children.”

Young respondent

Method

Pairing up good friends to gain insights

We conducted a number of ethnographic interviews by pairing up good friends, participating in school days and evenings at home with the family. Through the combination of in-depth knowledge gained from the interviews, and the observations in ‘real life’, we began to see a clear picture of a different way of engaging with media and content.

“My mom listens to it in the morning.
I think it is a sort of black box in the kitchen.”

Young respondent

Result

A complete landscape to engage in

Based on our analysis, we provided a number of recommendations on how DR could adjust and fine tune its perspective, and create new media content that kids would actually be drawn to.

We envisioned the new product as a multitude of universes, each based on a theme of content. Instead of separating visuals, sound and social content by platform, we mixed them all together and presented the kids with a complete landscape from which they could curate and remix their own customized experience. This gives them the opportunity to adapt the content to the context they are in, and create a platform that supports their own way of learning and teaching within their group of peers. We sorted the specific recommendations across three main categories; approach, format and content, to make it actionable for the designers at DR to work with.

That’s how we flipped the initial problem: kids don’t relate to radio, into the solution: stop thinking in platform categories, and start thinking in flexible universes of content.

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