The mighty, the new and the missing in Swiss radio
Michael Hedges January 21, 2008
The public broadcaster in Switzerland holds mighty high audience shares, overwhelming privately owned stations. The latest radio audience survey shows a few changes. By this time next year the country’s radio market could be quite different.
Like in most of Europe, privately owned broadcasting did not exist in Switzerland 20 years ago. But pirate stations became legitimate and those who made the rules decided to allow local radio with private owners. Over the course of time privately owned stations in the largest Swiss cities - notably Zürich and Basel – and the densely populated (for Switzerland) center made their marks, usually in small increments.
In the last year or so a spate of consolidation has brought in ownership changes, largely among the mighty Swiss publishing houses. More recently two marginal FM stations in the Zürich area have changed owners, both to long-time broadcasters. On top of that, by the end of February Swiss regulators will announce the licensing of as many as ten new FM stations.
None of this has had significant impact on the audience shares of Swiss public broadcaster SSR-SRG. In the dominant Swiss-German speaking region the public stations have a 69.2% market share, reported by the MediaPulse/PublicaData survey of the second half of 2007, released last week (Friday January 18). In the tiny Italian speaking region SSR-SRG stations have an 83.7% market share. The French speaking western Switzerland gives the public broadcaster is lowest market share – only 63.9%. In both the German and Italian regions, the SSR-SRG audience share increased from the same period in 2006. In few countries is radio market share as concentrated within one institution as in Switzerland.
The small Italian speaking region hosts, arguably, the highest market share for any European public broadcaster, 71.3% in the 2nd half of 2007, unchanged year on year. Main general interest channel RETE 1 holds a 51.1% market share, up from 50.9%. RETE 2, the arts and culture channel, dropped to 5.9% from 6.4%. Youth channel RETE 3 increased to 14.3% from 14.0% one year on. Interestingly, other SSR-SRG radio channels increased market share in the Italian speaking region to 12.3% from 11.5%.
Being overwhelmed by the concentration of SSR-SRG radio channels has not stopped the two private stations in the Italian speaking region. Radio 3i, not to be confused with the private equity group with the same name, increased its market share to 4.4% from 4.2% on year on. Radio Fiume Ticino dropped to 2.15 market share from 2.3% on year on.
Radio audience estimates in Switzerland are unique for many reasons. Radio audience has been measured continuously by the electronic Radiocontrol device since 2001, often referred to as the ‘Swiss watch’. Last year audience measurement was reorganized and is now conducted by a private foundation, MediaPulse. Data cited was provided by PublicaData, the marketing provider for surveys produced by MediaPulse and a subsidiary of SSR-SRG. Survey figures cited are for persons 15 years and older, Monday through Sunday.
21 gennaio 2008
Gli svizzeri fedelissimi delle radio pubbliche
Per FTM Follow the Media, Michael Hedges commenta gli ultimi rilevamenti sulla popolarità delle stazioni radiofoniche elvetiche, pubblicati pochi giorni fa relativamente al 2 semestre 2007 (dopo l'introduzione di un nuovo meccanismo di misurazione). A 20 anni dall'avvento della radiofonia commerciale, la radio pubblica continua a dominare la classifica con cifre più "bulgare" che svizzere. Il Canton Ticino detiene addirittura il primato europeo come regione più affezionata alle trasmissioni non commerciali (ascolto superiore all'80%). Se si aggiunge quanto osservato giorni fa dal quotidiano online TicinoLibero.ch, ovvero la concentrazione nelle mani del microimpero mediatico del giornalista (e candidato politico) Filippo Lombardi delle uniche tre concessioni radiofoniche private del Cantone (Teleticino, 3ii e prossimmante Fiume Ticino), i nostri cugini a sud del Gottardo non sembrano godere - al di là dell'indubbia qualità dell'offerta - di una grande biodiversità di voci. Entro febbraio, verranno tuttavia rilasciate le licenze per numerose nuove stazioni, forse il quadro futuro sarà meno ingessato.