Unlike the print media, over the course of 2014, radio and television increased their global revenues by 0.8%, reaching a total amount of €8.5 million (disaggregated data is not available). According to the latest report published by Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (Authority for Communication Guarantees – AGCOM), radio is the second most frequently used media after television. AGCOM’s survey showed that about 68% of the Italian population listened to the radio for an average of 149 minutes per day (data based on the seven days preceding the survey).
Global consumption trends, shifting away from television and towards the internet, have provoked the Italian radio sector to undergo a number of transformations, both in terms of distribution and content. There has been a significant shift towards web broadcasting in podcast and on-demand modes, simulcasting on televisual platforms, and broadcasting through specific apps and streaming services. At the same time, editorial decisions have begun to favour light entertainment content over more traditional news stories. It is very likely that these trends are an outcome of increased competition, the personalisation and fragmentation of audience demands, and a need to attract advertising investments. In 2013, only 25.5% of the Italian population declared that they use the radio to access news, against 74.4% who used television, 62.2% who used the Internet and 56.2% who used newspapers (data related to a general use of the means, not to a specific period of time).
In terms of market share, the public broadcaster RAI operates three networks and leads the market with 21.9% of total sector revenues. Unlike the private broadcasters, RAI is funded through license fees, and therefore it operates with a competitive advantage. Following RAI, Finelco group holds 12.9% of total sector revenues, Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso holds 9.7%, RTL holds 9.3%, and RDS accounts for 6.6%. Other plays with lower levels of market shares include Fininvest group, with 3%; Il Sole 24 Ore, with 3%; and, Radio Italia, with 3%.
Private networks hold the largest share of audience. RTL 102.500 stands out with 19.5% of “listeners on the average day”, followed by RDS’s 13.5% share, Radio Deejay’s 13.2% share, Radio Italia’s 13% share, and Radio 105 Network’s 12.9% share. RAI, instead, occupies the sixth and the seventh positions, with RAI Radio 1 holding 12% of audience share and RAI Radio 2’s holding an 8.6% share. RAI Radio 3 comes in fourteenth position with a 4% share.