Radio in France

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Benoit Cassaigne, Senior VP for Médiamétrie ­ a national audience research company, gave an overall description of how the sector works in the country. This includes almost 900 operators, 20 national networks with 7000 FM frequencies. There is one public broadcaster in France and five private groups ­ inside this, programming across stations is separated as either Music, General, Special or Local Interest. 

From Radio France, Serge Shick outlined some strategic problems a public service broadcaster must overcome in the country. One of these is an issue shared by many broadcasters globally: keeping relevant with audiences through social and digital means. The problem of ‘renewal’ is highlighted keenly also ­ the mission of a public broadcaster is to stay close to an audience that may be ageing slower than the station. A brand must reaffirm and renew its goals to keep its audience. Shick shows some station­specific goals for ‘renewal’ ­ these include improve music variation, digital interaction and audience engagement.

Radio TV’s Frederic Degouy was next onto the podium. The broadcaster’s ‘Head of Marketing’ discussed the latest two radio stations to be launched in France, RMC ­a news and sport station, and BFM Business Radio. Degouy was keen to highlight that 81.2% of over 13s listen to a Next station during a week. He also detailed how after the company’s initial conception as a radio group, they now own TV stations and are a large digital presence in the country ­ Degouy maintains they are the leading news/ talk broadcasters to be used digitally, with 32% of 13­24’s interacting with the brand through mobile. 

Sylvain Rodinson, from A­Category Radios, was last to address the group. This body runs non-profit Community Radio Stations throughout the country. Rodinson explained that there are 700 of these across the country and its territories, with 2,500 employees and 30,0000 volunteers involved, which have an estimated 1.5 listeners each day ­ they tune in to a range of programmes which cover anything from gardening to LGBT.

The session proved that for a conference dedicated to the future of radio, and how we need to adapt and innovate to reach an audience, France was the perfect country to visit.

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