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Tune into French ra­dio and you will not be dis­ap­pointed, as

Living France - - Les Pratiques -

ore than 85% of French peo­ple lis­ten to the ra­dio, en­joy­ing a mix of mu­sic, news, cul­ture, ad­vice and hu­mour avail­able through­out the day on na­tional and lo­cal sta­tions.

They tune in on av­er­age for three hours per day, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the Con­seil Supérieur de l’Au­dio­vi­suel (CSA). And they have plenty of sta­tions to choose from, with more than 900 ana­logue pri­vate ra­dio sta­tions, a thriv­ing pub­lic ra­dio offering via the seven sta­tions of Ra­dio France, plus a ded­i­cated mo­tor­way ra­dio ser­vice – all air­ing across close to 8,000 fre­quen­cies.

In re­al­ity, the pop­u­lar­ity of ra­dio in France is prob­a­bly even greater, as the CSA fig­ures don’t take into ac­count the grow­ing num­ber of lis­ten­ers ac­cess­ing their ra­dio con­tent by satel­lite or on­line, pod­cast­ing and stream­ing to their hearts’ con­tent.

Since the gov­ern­ment opened up the air­waves to com­pe­ti­tion in 1981, ra­dio in France has evolved into a highly di­verse offering, un­der the guidance of the CSA whose mis­sion it is to en­sure an eclec­tic mix while pro­tect­ing na­tional in­ter­ests. For ex­am­ple, spe­cial­ist mu­sic ra­dio sta­tions are man­dated to de­vote at least 40% of the playlist to French-lan­guage songs, of which at least 10% must be new songs, prefer­ably by up-and-com­ing French artists.

It has be­come a thriv­ing busi­ness too along the way, no­tably in re­cent years. Net rev­enues from ra­dio ad­ver­tis­ing in 2013 stood at €736m, rep­re­sent­ing a 7% share of me­dia ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue – the ma­jor­ity through the larger ra­dio groups and the Les Indés Ra­dio, a group of 129 sta­tions pool­ing

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