June 03, 2024

VRT in 2023: a strong report in a challenging year

VRT managed to reach, inform and connect Flemish people more than ever in 2023. VRT's annual report of 2023 shows that, on a weekly basis, the public broadcaster reached no less than 88.9% of all Flemish people and 89.4% of those under the age of 25. Strong results in a world where international digital platforms are becoming increasingly popular, disinformation is ubiquitous and news consumption takes mainly place on social media.

"In 2023 as well, VRT had an open mind and clear vision for the future. The strong results of VRT MAX and VRT NWS show that they have become digital anchor points for many Flemish people. At the same time, this year - as in 2023 - we will continue our investment in media literacy and the fight against disinformation. The transformation VRT has to go through at lightning speed is not obvious. But it is absolutely necessary in view of changing media use. This it a lot from our employees who, and I am grateful to them for this, give the best of themselves every day for public broadcasting." - Frederik Delaplace, CEO VRT

Always socially relevant content with impact

Creating impact was also VRT's trademark in 2023. With striking examples such as Het verhaal van Vlaanderen (Story of Flanders), where education, history, heritage and culture meet, the impactful documentary Godvergeten (Godforsaken) whose shockwaves are still spreading. And a top edition of The Warmest Week where experience was central, focusing on the topic of growing up without concerns. Public is woven like a thread throughout the daily operations of the public broadcaster. It is the core of VRT's DNA. From VRT NWS podcast Snapt ge mij nu? (Do you get me now?), which gives the floor to young people with ADHD to make the topic more discussable within that target group, to the VRT MAX series Los het op (Fix it). It is about how Klara and Studio Brussel pay attention to young, musical talent with initiatives and competitions such as De Twintigers and De nieuwe lichting. Or how VRT makes Zomerhit accessible to everyone with interpreters of Flemish Sign Language who keep on interpreting, even in the pouring rain.

"The Fleming could turn to VRT in 2023 for a recognisable and connecting offer that always stems from the heart of society. Difficult themes were not shunned. Wonderful programmes like De club (The Club), Na de rouwstoet (After the Funeral Procession) and Dagen zonder broer (Days without My Brother) moved many Flemish people. As a result, the Fleming spoke more and increasingly without taboo about grief, abuse, infertility and could find recognition and interpretation in our offering." - Karen Donders, Director of Public Engagement, Talent and Organisation

Story of FlandersStory of Flanders

Digital growth spurt VRT NWS and VRT MAX

VRT NWS tapped into a younger audience with its Instagram channel nws.nws.nws, reaching 84.4% of Flemish youngsters with its news offer. VRT MAX grew to become the most important digital video and audio platform in Flanders, with 54.7% of Flemish people registering as users. VRT NWS and VRT MAX, VRT's two central digital destinations, form the building blocks of the future of public broadcasting. 

On a theme such as 'promoting reading', VRT is also strongly committed to digital. VRT MAX bundles all VRT programmes related to books and even encourages the very young to read. For those with impaired hearing, there are versions in Flemish Sign Language.

Cooperation and strengthening of the Flemish media ecosystem 

A strong VRT also strengthens many other players. The public broadcaster fulfils its core mission together with numerous actors in Flemish civil society. Collaborations in the field of culture, innovation, the creative sector, but also in the media sector itself, underline VRT's added value in society. From projects with partners such as Kom op tegen kanker (Stand up against cancer) and Mediawijs (Media wise).

In addition, VRT plays its undeniable role in strengthening the Flemish media ecosystem. From start-ups to Flemish production houses, VRT invested in the local creative sector in 2023. The broadcaster works intensively with the Flemish production sector to promote Flemish programmes internationally from concept phase to finished production. Cooperation with foreign partners is important not only to generate additional funding, but also to acquire additional revenues that flow back to Flanders to producers and VRT. Moreover, VRT's presence at international festivals strengthens the image and image of a creative quality Flemish sector.


Strong figures

The figures from the annual report show that VRT continued to be a guide for all Flemish people in 2023. Some of the results:  

  • VRT reached no less than 88.9% of all Flemish people and 89.4% of those under the age of 25;

  • More than 3.6 million registered VRT users in 2023;

  • VRT NWS reached 84.4% of Flemish young people with its news offer;

  • 54.7% of Flemish people registered on VRT MAX;

  • VRT receives an average score of 7.3 from Flemish people, making it the best-rated of the major media brands in Flanders;

  • 53% of Flemish people give VRT a score of 8 out of 10 or more, no major media brand does better in Flanders.