In November 2022, Czech Radio announced its new Strategy 27 for the Digital Age, which outlines the institution's priorities from now until 2027 in seven chapters.
The strategy aims to fulfil Czech Radio's vision to be the most trusted source of information and an innovative creator of audio experiences for all. In line with the mission of Czech Radio, Strategy 27 plays a key part in making Czech Radio a modern public service media and a partner for everyone by providing quality information, education, culture and entertainment and contributing to the protection and development of the fundamental values of a democratic society.
Over the past fifteen years, technological developments have strongly influenced the functioning of media houses, including public service ones. Unlike private media, public service media do not follow the dictates of the market or the wishes of interest groups, including political parties, but serve the public with pluralistic, imaginative and diverse programming.
Given that technological advances have changed people's desires and behaviour, public service media must keep up with the times to ensure that their services remain relevant to the public. New content distribution options and consumption patterns are changing the decades-old perception of the radio market. The advent of digital online services, especially on-demand listening and multimedia formats, not only creates new opportunities for Czech Radio to reach audiences, but it also invites Czech Radio to respond to increasingly dynamic global market trends. It is simply no longer possible to focus only on live linear broadcasting.
Thanks to new technologies, Czech Radio wants, above all, to enable its audience to listen in whenever and wherever they wish on different platforms. At Czech Radio, audio always comes first. Therefore, in the years to come, Czech Radio will build and develop all its content and technological activities on a common foundation, namely audio. It is the cornerstone for live broadcasting, but also for on demand services and other platforms.
Quality Work Environment
Czech Radio is a public institution with a century of history, but also a sizeable and sound present standing. Today, Czech Radio employs approximately 1,390 people and works with thousands of freelancers. As a traditional but modern public service medium, it adapts flexibly to change and is a leader in audio innovation.
Czech Radio is known for its stable working environment that simultaneously encourages creativity. It honours these values, which stem in particular from the Czech Radio Act and the Czech Radio Code of Conduct, and are, alongside independence or diversity, the greatest assets for the internal environment of a public service institution. Czech Radio hopes this will continue to be the case in the years to come.
In the highly competitive and dynamically developing media market in the Czech Republic, which is being driven forward by global trends in hybrid work, Czech Radio wants to offer its employees especially quality and credibility. To join Czech Radio is to work with the best in the industry, to be guided by public service values and to promote independence, accountability and diversity in the public service.
Czech Radio considers taking on the challenges associated with the environmental sustainability of its operations, production and broadcasting to be a strategic priority.
In the coming years, it will proactively and systematically take all necessary steps to be prepared to respond flexibly to external and internal requirements for environmental sustainability. Indeed, by its very nature as a public service, Czech Radio has a responsibility not only to broadcast on climate change adaptation, but also to behave in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
Particularly at a time when our society is commemorating the 100th anniversary of Czech Radio broadcasting and, together with the staff of Czech Radio, is thinking about what kind of radio we would like for the next 100 years, it cannot be forgotten that Czech Radio as an institution also consumes the resources of our planet and that it is its duty to the public to do so as sustainably as possible.
Czech Radio therefore has the ambition to be among the first in the Czech media market to implement new, more environmentally friendly processes and practices. It has already decided to prioritise energy-friendly DAB+ distribution, and by switching off its medium wave (AM) broadcasts, it has made a significant contribution to the energy efficiency of its distribution. By doing so, it also supports its credibility as a public service media outlet acting in line with its Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainable Funding and Legislation
Stable and predictable funding is an essential prerequisite for Czech Radio to not only continue to provide its current breadth of services to listeners, but to also develop these services.
The form of the radio license fee is ideal because it guarantees the independence of Czech Radio and creates a direct link between the institution and the public.
Czech Radio has a mixed funding model, which means that, in addition to its main source of funding – radio licence fees, which account for almost 95 % of Czech Radio's total income – it seeks to secure additional funding through commercial activities within the framework defined by law. The main commercial activities include advertising, sponsorship and the sale of rights.
Development and Synergy of Programme Content
The main objective of Czech Radio continues to be the synergy of stations to reach the widest possible audience of all different ages, minorities and specific groups.
The breadth of the station portfolio, ranging from news and current affairs to regional topics, entertainment, culture and special-interest stations (music, sports), aims to ensure sufficient programming diversity to meet the growing needs and expectations of listeners. In order to successfully deliver this content to the widest possible audience, Czech Radio will develop and deepen the compatibility of different distribution channels (terrestrial and digital broadcasting, streaming services, on-demand production, mobile applications) with an emphasis on the development of digital services.
Listeners Above All
Czech Radio must respond to the dynamic changes in media behaviour and radio audiences by continuously modifying the targeting of its stations, as well as their content offerings and distribution methods.
Research data will continue to be an important source for mapping these changes, using the most modern tools available to measure the success of Czech Radio and the entire radio market.
Currently, in the Czech Republic and abroad, we are witnessing an interest in on-demand listening, thanks to which people are not bound to a fixed broadcasting time, to the programme of just one favourite station, or even to solely online streaming.
The on-demand method is effective not only for people who are not interested in linear broadcasting and want to choose specific programmes according to their time possibilities, but it is also very suitable for formats or titles that require more concentrated listening, involve listener interaction, or appeal to an audience that prefers listening to digital on-demand content, i.e. podcasts. Czech Radio sees the creation and offering of on-demand content as a growth segment and considers its development to be essential for reaching especially younger and newer audiences, but also for retaining existing and older listeners, who are expected to use on-demand content to an increasing extent thanks to their increasing digital and technological literacy.
Download the original Czech publication HERE.