Summary of our market study

The global radio market saw a decline from $115.7 billion to $110.8 billion in 2020 due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was expected to recover with a CAGR of 5% from 2021, reaching $126.2 billion by 2023. Western Europe accounted for 50% of the market share in 2020, while Africa held the smallest share at 8%. Internet radio services have grown in popularity, offering better sound quality and specific genre channels. In France, the radio market has remained stable, with public service radios like Radio France and private commercial stations like RTL and Europe 1 being key players.

The sector’s revenue is largely generated from advertising and public broadcasting contributions, totaling approximately €610.5 million. COVID-19 brought a historic decline in listenership with over two million fewer listeners between 2019 and 2020, profoundly affecting traditional listening habits and highlighting the rising competition from podcasts and streaming platforms such as Spotify and Deezer. The French market saw a shift towards digital offers and DAB broadcasting innovations, with listeners' motivations primarily focused on music (59%) and information (55%).

Despite challenges, the French radio market continues to adapt, maintaining high audience engagement, particularly in older demographics.

Radio Market Trends and Demand Analysis in France

In France, the radio industry has been experiencing stable demand with generalist, thematic, local, community, and international stations all vying for listeners' attention. Notably, RTL and France Inter, which are leading the pack, have secured substantial audience shares. Despite facing challenges from digital advances, these radio stations have maintained a strong position in the market. The French population has shown a consistent fondness for radio, with a high cumulative audience reaching over 75 percent and an impressive listening time investment. However, the 13-24 age group has demonstrated a significant decline in radio listenership, dropping from over 80 percent to approximately 68 percent in a span of ten years. This shift can be attributed to the rise of alternative platforms such as social networks and music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music, which are increasingly popular among younger demographics.

On the financial front, the French radio sector's revenues, which primarily come from advertising and public broadcasting contributions, have been estimated to be just over 610 million euros, although this number has seen a decline in recent years. When analyzing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's evident that listener habits have drastically changed, leading to a historic drop in the audience by more than two million people in 2020. This decrease is linked to reduced mobility during confinements and an increase in remote working—factors that have historically driven radio listening habits, especially during commutes.

Despite a shift in listening behaviors, French people still invest a substantial amount of time with the medium, averaging between two to three hours a day. The motivation behind tuning in varies, with music (approximately 59 percent) and information (around 55 percent) being the primary drivers. The ease of entertainment and practical information, such as weather updates or traffic news, also contribute to these motivations.

As France grapples with the digital revolution, the radio market landscape has been evolving. Online offerings have become a new frontier, with the number of web radio stations increasing to around 308 stations. These offerings are expected to encourage loyalty among a tech-savvy, younger audience. Competing with the radio market are podcasts and streaming platforms, which are rapidly gaining traction. The number of listeners who enjoy unique podcasts per month has been growing, indicating an appetite for on-demand audio content. Streaming platforms like Deezer are also reshaping the market by offering personalized music listening experiences, challenging traditional radio stations' hold on the music-listening.

Key Market Players Shaping the French Radio Landscape

The French radio market is characterized by a diverse tapestry of broadcasters, ranging from public service radio to commercial enterprises and digital disruptors. Each of these entities plays a distinctive role in shaping the auditory experience of French listeners.

  • Radio France At the pinnacle of the public service domain is Radio France, the leading radio group in the nation. With robust stations such as France Inter, France Musique, France Culture, Franceinfo, and the local network of France Bleu stations, Radio France serves as a cultural beacon, offering a wide array of programming that spans news, music, culture and entertainment. Their financing structure relies heavily on the public broadcasting contribution and their significant market share secures them a formidable position to secure advertising contracts.
  • RTL and NRJ Group Delving into the private sector, RTL emerges as a significant player with a strong audience following. It competes closely with Radio France and is known for its engaging talk shows and variety of entertainment programs. Similarly, the NRJ Group, boasting popular stations like NRJ, Skyrock, and Fun Radio, targets a younger demographic with its music-centric content. These stations, however, face stiff competition from online streaming services and social networks, which are increasingly drawing the attention of younger audiences.
  • France Télévisions and Radio France Internationale Also noteworthy in the public service sphere are France Télévisions and Radio France Internationale, both contributing to the diverse radio offerings. While France Télévisions extends its reach with radio services in Outre-mer, Radio France Internationale focuses on a global audience, bringing French perspectives to listeners worldwide.
  • DAB Broadcasting : In the arena of technological innovation, DAB broadcasting presents a revolutionary advance in radio transmission. With its ability to provide better sound quality, station selection by name, and the transmission of enriched content, DAB is setting new standards in the radio broadcast experience and allowing for an array of new digital stations to emerge.
  • Deezer and Spotify : On the frontier of internet radio and streaming services, companies like Deezer and Spotify are redefining musical consumption with their personalized recommendation algorithms and extensive libraries that challenge traditional radio's foothold in the music domain. Deezer's smart move into the audio sector with its bundle offerings and expansion into radios and podcasts exemplifies the evolving consumption habits in France.
  • Podcast Creators and Independent Media: Moreover, the rise of 'native' podcast producers and independent media outlets cannot be overlooked. These content creators are capturing parts of the audience with their innovative
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Broadcasting (abbreviated radio) refers to the emission of signals via electromagnetic waves that are received directly by the public. Several types of radio stations can be distinguished in France:

  • Public Service Radio These are attached to three groups, Radio France, Radio France Internationale and France Télévisions;
  • Private radio stations (associative or commercial).

Radio stations with a wide variety of content and audience shares coexist in France, with generalist, thematic, local, community and international stations sharing the market.

RTL and France Inter remain the most listened-to radio stations in France Radio France is the leading radio group in France, with a stable market share. This position allows them to sign many advertising contracts, particularly with the mass retail sector which accounts for nearly 40% of the sector's advertising revenue.

Radio stations, especially music stations (NRJ, Skyrock, Fun radio) suffer from competition from social networks and streaming (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music...). The drop in the audience concerns especially the 13-24 year olds, while only 68% of 13-24 year olds listened to the radio at least once in the day in 2019, they were more than 80% 10 years ago.

To face the rise of competing services, radio stations can count on a loyal older audience, a high cumulative audience (over 75%) and a substantial listening time. To renew themselves, radio stations are now focusing on technological innovations such as web radio, the creation of shared content and the explosion of listening to podcasts .

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Le marché mondial de la radio
  • Évolution de l'audience radio en France
  • Chiffre d'affaires du secteur de la radio en France
  • Évolution du temps d'écoute quotidien des Français
  • Les audiences cumulées par tranches d'âges
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Latest news

TF1 shifts its business model to on-demand television - 21/12/2023
  • Launch of TF1+ on January 8
  • MyTF1 advertising revenues: around 100 million euros per year
  • Advertising revenues for group channels: just over 1.5 billion euros
  • 15.000 hours of premium content on TF1+ 200 family films, 200 TV movies,
  • MyTF1 is consulted 3 hours per subscriber per month
  • Netflix and YouTube viewed approximately 22 hours per month
  • Netflix has around 40,000 hours of programming
  • Amazon and Disney+ have nearly 15,000 hours of programming
TF1 looks ahead to 2022 - 14/02/2023
  • Revenues for the Bouygues group subsidiary in 2022: up 3.3% to 2.51 billion euros.
  • Year-on-year growth of 27.5% for Newen, audiovisual production division.
  • Advertising sales in 2022: stable at 1.67 billion euros (on a like-for-like basis).
  • Total program costs in 2022: 987 million euros.
  • Budget for program schedules in the coming years: around 1 billion euros.
  • Operating income before non-recurring items (OI) in 2022: 316 million euros (+2.5 million year-on-year).
  • Share of profits returned to shareholders: 60%.
The merger of TF1 and M6 would be a jackpot for Nicolas de Tavernost. - 16/03/2022
  • M6 CEO to earn 5.9 million euros
  • Twice as much as TF1's CEO
  • The French competition authority has yet to give its opinion on the merger
  • M6 has a stock market valuation 20% higher (2.17 billion euros vs. 1.8 billion euros) than TF1, and a higher rate of return.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Next Radio TV (RMC et BFM Business)
ISA Media Development
Europe 1 (Lagardère Groupe)
Espace Group
Radio France
TF1 Groupe

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