Deutsche Welle’s radio, television and online services are used by at least 86 million adults around the world every week. Director General Erik Bettermann presented these figures to the Frankfurt Press Club. The projections are based on representative studies from more than 60 countries.
Radio programming from Deutsche Welle is especially successful in Africa. “In Ethiopia for example, we reach more than 10 percent of adults and 43 percent tune in to the Kiswahili program in Tanzania,” says Bettermann. He went on to say that the Hausa program is popular in Nigeria, where it has nearly 10 million listeners weekly.
Bettermann also said that other means of broadcasting are more successful in other parts of the world – in Europe people watch DW-TV and in Latin America users go online to DW-WORLD.DE. “The usage of our foreign-language media services shows that Deutsche Welle is well-received around the world,” emphasized Bettermann. He referred to the fact that 90 percent of listeners tune in to DW-RADIO broadcast in languages other than German. “Germany’s media footprint is important internationally and for many people offers an alternative perspective to global events,” said Bettermann. “This is due to Deutsche Welle’s credible and independent reporting.”
These results support Deutsche Welle’s orientation to its target audience of so-called “information seekers”. That was also shown in the results of a survey of DW-WORLD.DE users in 2007: “We are primarily reaching people with a higher level of education who are looking specifically for reliable information and news,” said Bettermann. Special programming projects with partners have also been successful: “Youth Across Borders”, a co-production from Deutsche Welle and the Egyptian television station ERTU has 1.1 million viewers weekly and a market share of 12.5 percent. This talk show is an example of how successful these co-productions can be. With 6.5 million users around the world weekly, DW-WORLD.DE is continuing its positive development. “That just shows that the multiplatform strategy is working,” said Bettermann. “Our target audience has different interests in every region and we can serve each of these based on the technological framework of their media market.”
With regards to the future, Deutsche Welle is focusing on the already-running regionalization of programming. “Competition for international broadcasters has become much more difficult,” said Bettermann. “However, with its range of multimedia services, Deutsche Welle doesn’t need to shy away from the growing competition.” He stated further that if Deutsche Welle wants to continue to play a determining role in the global media market, its services and distribution channels must be updated constantly to meet the changing conditions.