The committed engineer and entrepreneur founded today's Lawo AG in 1970
How large is your radio market both in terms of number of radio stations (public and private) and overall advertising revenue (in USD)?
There are seven public stations and 50 private stations. In 2019, ad spend was €55.6 million (about US$65 million) on analog radio and €2 million (approx. US$2.34 million) on digital radio; so the total was €57.6 million (approx. US$67 million) . In 2020, those figures were respectively €69.7 million (about US$81 million) and €1.4 million (about US$1.6 million), for a total of €71.1 million (US$83 million). Source: Kantar
Is your radio market growing in terms of new players in radio or audio starting up in 2021?
One local new commercial FM radio station has been licensed but has not started yet. All commercial FM radio licenses were renewed in the beginning of 2020. All FM stations also operate online, but we have no data for purely online radio stations.
Obviously, podcast players are constantly coming to the market. The largest launch this year was PodMe, the first subscription-only podcast service.
Has your radio audience grown over the COVID pandemic, and how does it look now?
No. Little has changed
How has radio advertising revenue performed over the same period?
Revenue has declined, but there are signs it is picking up. In 2019, the revenue was €69.7 million (about US$81 million) and in 2020, it was €57.2 million (approx. US$67 million). For 2021, it will be over €60 million (approx. US$70 million); so, less than in 2019. Cumulative growth after September 2021 was 17%.
What is the most important new opportunity that radio stations in your market are pursuing in terms of investment in capital and human resources?
On-demand audio and programmatic advertising.
What seem to be the most challenging technological, programming, strategic and/or sales goals among radio owners in your market?
In terms of strategy, programming and sales, the pandemic affected radio advertising sales more negatively than the media advertising generally. This slowed down the plans which radio stations had for the new licensing period, which began in 2020. In terms of technology, there is a strong will to invest more in technology and digitization than is currently possible (due to the pandemic).
How advanced is your market in terms of the transition of FM radio operators into audio streaming, audio on demand and digital radio such as DAB or DRM?
Finland tried DAB and decided not to continue. Instead, Finland decided that digitization of terrestrial radio will happen through other technologies like 5G broadcasting. (Our internet penetration is one of the highest in the world). All RadioMedia members stream FM stations. We also have our own radio player generating both public and private stations (radiot.fi) and the biggest broadcast companies have their own advanced audio services that also include live radio, on-demand, podcasts, ebooks, etc.
It’s worth noting that data in Finland is inexpensive and there is no limit to the amount of internet data in consumer contracts (e.g., for €20 — the equivalent of about US$23 a month — you can use as much data as you want). Consequently, data use in Finland is, per capita, amongst the highest in the world.
What regulatory body oversees radio in your country?
Traficom, Finnish Transport and Communication Agency
Are there other noteworthy radio industry organizations in your country? If so, who are they?
No, RadioMedia is the only one.
Riina Aho, Research and Development Manager
Stefan Möller, Managing Director