In the radio market, the public service company Sveriges Radio (Swedish Radio) is the dominant actor. It has 75 percent of the radio audience market. Sveriges Radio offers three national channels, P1 (news, culture and public affairs), P2 (classical music), P3 (youth), and one regional channel, P4, which offers news and current-affairs programming in 25 regions. P4 also contains some national programming, including news and sports. It is targeted at an age group of 40 plus and is the individual Swedish radio channel with the highest ratings (about 30 percent in 2015). Public service radio is financed by a license fee and advertising is not allowed.
Since the introduction of local commercial radio, in 1993, four Swedish networks with national ambitions developed, but later merged into two: MTG Radio and Bauer Media (previously SBS). All in all, there are about 100 local broadcasting licenses for commercial radio, and Bauer Media controls around 75 of them.
On an average day, 70 percent of the population listens to radio, a figure which has been stable for decades. However, the time spent listening has decreased significantly over time, from 3 hours a day in the mid-80s to 2 hours a day in 2015. The development of mp3 and music streaming services, such as Spotify, is probably the explanation.
The private radio market has been under economic pressure from the outset. Stations have not attracted as large an audience as expected and their percentage share of media advertising has never been over 3 percent.