Today, the radio market comprises national networks and local radio stations. This segment started to emerge in its modern form in the mid-1990s, when FM radio stations appeared in Russia. The newcomers were of foreign origin, and the first networks of commercial FM radio Evropa Plus, Radio Maximum, Nostalgie have been set up by French and American companies. But at the same time the growing popularity of Russian music brought about a number of new stations and networks with Russian music formats and domestic ownership. The key players in the radio market today are several scores of central radio stations: By various estimates, there are from 35 to 40 radio networks operating in the country. The development of regional radio broadcasting occurs mostly because local broadcasters join the existing networks.
Radio broadcasting in Russia is developing with a comparatively good business dynamic. As in other media sectors, ownership of radio stations is either state or private, and the key players are the state-owned channels with news-and-music content (Radio Rossii, Mayak). Music channels (Russkoje Radio, Dorozhnoe Radio, Avtoradio, Europa+, Retro FM, etc) are their main competitors though focused on different audience clusters. Most of them use FM frequencies that limit the distribution within a single place or a small city (Radio Broadcasting in Russia, 2014, 58). A few radio broadcasters offer a talk-radio format, these include the traditionally popular Echo Moskvy and its recent rivals RSN or Komsomolskaya Pravda or Business-FM.
The key players in the Russian radio market are represented by following holdings:
- Gazprom-Media Radio: Echo Moskvy, Comedy Radio, Like FM, Relax FM, Detskoe Radio, Avtoradio, Yumor FM, Radio ENERGY, Radio Romantica
- All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK): Radio Rossii, Vesti FM, Mayak, Radio Cultura, Yu FM
- European Media Group: Europa Plus, Retro FM, Dorozhnoe Radio, Radio 7, Sport FM, Novoe Radio
- Russian Media Group: Russkoe radio, Radio Maximum, Khit FM, DFM, Radio Monte Carlo
- Holding group controlled by Mikhail Gutseriev: Radio Dacha, Love Radio, Taxi FM, Radio Shanson, Strana FM, Govorit Moskva, Vostok FM, Vesna FM
- Multimedia Holding: Nashe Radio, Best FM, Rock FM, RU FM, Radio Jazz.