In 2015, the share of radio of the total market volume was €63m or 1.6 percent. The share of radio advertising was €61.1m or 5.2 percent of total media advertising in 2016.
Finland has a dual system of public broadcasting channels and commercial radio stations. All radio and TV programmes are broadcast by the owner of broadcasting networks, Digita, which is owned by the European infrastructure fund First State Investments.
Radio broadcasting lasting more than three months is subject to a programme licence. The possession and use of a transmitter requires a radio licence granted by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA). The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle is allowed to broadcast radio and television programmes without an operating licence.
Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle is Finland's national public service broadcasting company and started radio broadcasts in 1926. Yle radio channels are broadcast in Finnish, Swedish and Sámi language. Yle is a state-owned company and its operations are regulated by the law. The state has to own at least 70 percent of the shares of Yle. Currently, the state has a 99.98 percent stake.
The operations of Yle are led by the administrative council with 21 members. The parliament elects the members of the administrative council on the first sitting of the electoral period.
A curiosity is Yle’s weekly news bulletin in Latin - Nuntii Latini (News in Latin). It is available also online and it is one of the rare news services in Latin outside Vatican City.
Yle Sámi Radio serves Sámi people nationwide on the Yle website. On the air, Sámi Radio covers the Sámi areas in northern Lapland and is jointly operated with Sweden and Norway. Yle Sámi radio services are also available on FM radio, cable television, online, on Facebook and Twitter, on teletext and as podcasts.
For the Swedish-speaking audience, Yle offers the national channel Radio Vega, which broadcasts Swedish-language cultural and current affairs, news and regional programmes. Eight cities on the south and west coasts have an editorial office for Swedish-language broadcasting: Porvoo, Helsinki, Raasepori, Turku, Kristiinankaupunki, Vaasa, Pietarsaari and Kokkola.
In 2016, there were six nationwide public service FM radio channels and 26 regional channels. Yle has four national Finnish-language channels (Yle Radio 1, Yle Radio Suomi, YleX and Yle Puhe) and two Swedish language channels (Yle Radio Vega and Yle X3M). The only truly national radio channel is Yle Radio Suomi with a coverage of 100 percent of the population aged 9+ years.
Regional channels transmit at designated times on Radio Suomi and on the Swedish-language channel Radio Vega. The first two regional channels were started in Helsinki metropolitan area in 1971.
Yle runs three specialty channels: a multilingual audio service, a classical music channel and a talk radio.
Yle Mondo is a multilingual radio service with programming in English, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, French, German, Danish, Estonian and Russian. Except for Yle programming in Russian, English and Plain Finnish, the programmes come from foreign radio stations. The channel can only be heard in Helsinki on FM and on the cable network.
Yle Klassinen is a 24h channel for classical music: symphonies, concertos, concerts of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO), EBU concerts as well as BBC Proms. Yle Klassinen is only available on the Internet. The transmission of radio channels on TV ended on 30 June, 2016 and there are currently no networks broadcasting digital audio.
The talk radio Yle Puhe broadcasts news, cultural programmes, interviews, politics, sports, reruns, discussions and commentaries, all without music.
The most recent awarding of radio broadcasting licences took place in 2012, when ten national, two metropolitan and 54 regional and local stations received their licences, valid until the end of 2019.The FICORA has been awarding licences since January 1st, 2015.
In 2012, RadioMedia organisation and Yle introduced a jointly produced online service at Radiot.fi. The service offers online streams of nearly all Finnish radio stations having online streaming either via a web browser on any device or via an app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Nearly all public service and commercial radio channels are also available online at Radiot.fi.
There are 30 commercial radio companies as members in RadioMedia with a 90 percent share of radio licences in Finland.
In 2015, RadioMedia and Teosto, a non-profit organization administering and protecting composers’ and music publishers’ copyrights, signed an agreement on channel-neutral copyright payments, enabling the transmission of content regardless of the number of channels used.
Commercial radio ownership in Finland is highly concentrated. Nearly four fifths, or 78 percent, of radio listening happens on either on the channels of either of the two biggest media companies, Nelonen Media or Bauer Media.
On average a Finn has access to 20 different radio stations. In larger cities and especially in metropolitan Helsinki, the amount of stations available is bigger than in smaller communities. Finns are loyal to a station: on average a Finn listens to just 1.5 channels per day. Some 3.6 million Finns listen to the radio every day. On average, people aged 9+ listen to three hours of radio every day. The majority, about 96 percent, listen to FM radio (Finnpanel). Daily radio listening decreased between 1991 and 2015 by half an hour: in 1991 listening time was 3 h 26 min and in 2015 2 h 59 min. In 2015, for the population aged 9+, the daily reach on an average day was 58 percent for people aged 9-24 years, 72 percent for 25-44 year olds and 85 percent for those over 45 years. On an average day in October 2015, the listening time of radio and recordings in the age group 9-24 years consisted of: radio 1 h 15 min, YouTube music 21 min, Spotify 30 min and recordings 18 min. In the age group 25-44 years, the figures were radio 2 h 32 min, YouTube music 7 min, Spotify 15 min and recordings 17 min. In the oldest age group of over 45 years, radio listening was 3 h 42 min and the other sources combined just 8 min (Finnpanel).
In November 2016, the daily reach of radio broadcasting was 76 percent in the population aged 9+ years. Daily radio listening per listener was exactly three hours. Commercial radio dominates the total daily reach of radio over the public service radio by Yle. For commercial radio, the share of total daily reach or daily number of listeners (at least 15 minutes of listening to the radio) was 51 percent and 1 h 35 min per listener and for Yle channels 37 percent and 1 h 26 min per listener.
Regarding nationwide channels, Yle Radio Suomi was in the lead by daily reach with 23 percent and 55 min per listener. The second was commercial nationwide Radio SuomiPOP with 13 percent and 17 min. The third was commercial nationwide Radio Nova with 11 percent and 17 min per listener.
In 2015, the total revenue of commercial radio stations was €62.5m. Regarding all radio advertising, national advertising accounts for 70 percent and local advertising for 30 percent. Regarding all radio advertising, the share of the largest five stations was 79 percent.
The largest commercial radio group in 2015 was Nelonen Media by Sanoma Media Finland with 17 percent of the listening time. Sanoma Media Finland operates four radio channels (percentage of coverage of the population aged 9+): Radio SuomiPOP (95 percent), Radio Rock (87 percent), Radio Aalto (90 percent) and Radio Loop (71 percent).
The second largest in 2015 was Bauer Media (Germany) with a 16 percent share of the listening time. The Finnish MTV company sold its radio, Radio Nova, to Bauer Media in 2015. Radio Nova, started in May 1997, was the first nationwide commercial radio station.
Bauer Media group has seven radio channels (percentage of weekly reach of the population aged 9+) in 2016: Radio Nova (24 percent), Iskelmä (14 percent), KISS (9 percent), Radio City (7 percent), SuomiRock, Radio Pooki and Play Radio (less than 1 percent). In addition, Bauer Media operates seven web properties: Voice.fi, Radionova.fi, Iskelma.fi, Radiocity.fi, Kiss.fi, Radiosuomirock.fi and Asema.net. The parent company Bauer Media Group is a German family-owned company.
There is just one truly national commercial radio, Radio Nova, since the other radio stations are semi-national or operate in chain format in several cities. Practically all radio stations are available on the Internet and radio companies are actively developing web radio services. Some 1.3 million people already listen to the radio on the Internet.
The third largest was NRJ (France) with a 4 percent share of the listening time with channels NRJ (93 percent) and Radio Nostalgia (70 percent).
The peak listening was between 8:00 and 8:15. Radio prime time on a workday takes place between 7:15 and 16:30. On a workday, the biggest amount of listeners is at 8 o’clock in the morning, a total of 1.3 million. To many Finns, radio is important in the summer, so in 2015, the most popular listening time of the year was on August 14th.
Radio Nova had the largest coverage of Bauer Media radios with 100 percent coverage of the population aged 9+ years, or seven percent of the total listening time. Measured by daily reach, which means the average daily number of listeners listening to at least 15 minutes a day, Radio Nova has 533,000 listeners or 11 percent of the population aged 9+ years. Likewise, the weekly reach, which means the weekly number of listeners listening for at least 15 minutes, of Radio Nova is 1,248 million listeners or 25 percent of the population. The third figure is presented proportionally to the whole demographic population (per head) and proportionally to the people who have listened to the channel (per listener). On an average day the time spent listening to Radio Nova was 41 minutes per head and 1 h 51 min per listener.
The best indicator of a radio channel’s popularity is age: The younger the listener, the greater the inclination to listen to a commercial radio channel than to a public service channel. In addition, the tendency of younger people to listen to a commercial radio is greater in metropolitan Helsinki than elsewhere in the country. Just in two age groups, those of 55-64 years and the over 65s, the listening shares of the public service channels are greater than of the commercial channels. In all other age groups from 9 to 54 years, the proportion of those listening to commercial channels is greater than those listening to public service radio channels.