AER special bulletin – 4th edition – Radios and COVID19 – 02 April 2020



DanskeMedier calls for temporary relief package to ensure that media, as primary source of trustworthy news, does not succumb to the current crisis, and Parliament agrees
Danish media is heavily impacted by the corona crisis. Drops in advertising revenue is likely to have dramatic and permanent financial consequences. Therefore, the industry urged the government to launch a temporary relief package to ensure that media can continue to fulfil its task of informing citizens – both locally, regionally and nationally. The proposed support package asked to support the media industry experiencing a decrease in advertising revenue of more than 20%, to receive a compensation for 80% of the loss. Jesper Rosener, Chairman of DanskeMedier stated: “the crisis will have far-reaching economic consequences for the industry. The existing emergency packages are unfortunately very limited. That is why we call the government to act immediately to ensure the media industry also survives this crisis.”

The vast majority of the Parliament agreed to adopt an aid package to help the media sector at a time when it is critically needed. “The aid package for the media sector is based on the principle of compensation for advertising revenue loss, those who lost the most receive the highest compensation. We fully support the political intention. In addition, the package includes all media actors (daily and weekly newspapers, radios, magazines, digital media) which we, at DanskeMedier, have placed great emphasis on. The aid package also invests in media diversity in Denmark, which, in the long term, would fulfil its mission of educating citizens.” Jesper Rosener, Chairman of DanskeMedier commented.

Danskemedier has a Coronavirus dedicated page on website
The new web page provides an overview of the Government’s financial aid packages supporting media companies and detailed information ranging from eligibility to apply for support to compensation to employees.


Radio initiative
Local radio station Collines FM in the west of France, member of the SIRTI, has launched a special programme every Sunday to relieve residents of nursing homes of their anxiety from being afar from their loved ones. The programme allows family members and residents to exchange thoughtful messages on air. The initiative was welcomed by both groups who said. This topic was broadcast during the 13.00 TF1 Television news programme.
Advertising groups expect their revenues to experience a 20% decrease in 2020
CEOs of large groups (Havas, Vivendi) admit they had underestimated the effects of the corona crisis.
– Televisions expect their revenues to drop from 50 to 80% as numerous advertisers have cancelled their advertising campaigns.
– According to Kantar, Radio, TV and print have witnessed the cancellation of 30% to 80% of their advertising campaigns.
Audience data
– French citizens are seeking information: radio stations specialised in news such as France Inter, France Info (public) or RTL have seen their audience increase of 16% since March 9th on Deezer.
– Confinement is not profitable to Deezer and Spotify. Deezer is experiencing a decrease in its stream volumes and a change in their users’ habits.
– Mediamétrie, a French audience measurement organisation, says people watched 4 hours 29 minutes of TV daily in March. It is 45 minutes more than in March 2019.
– Podcast: Acast says audience listening of podcasts targeted to the youth has increased of 300%.

State aid: a €4 billion plan
French Junior Tech Minister announced a €4 billion plan to help French Tech through loan schemes, transition financing or early payment of the research credit tax.

Audiovisual Reform on hold
The Audiovisual Reform that aims at transposing the AVMSD and the EECC has been paused. The discussions in Parliament were reported to a “later date”; parliamentary activities have been limited to texts that are urgent and necessary to deal with the coronavirus crisis. French Culture Minister Franck Riester and three members of his cabinet are ill with coronavirus.

Jean-Noël Tronc from Sacem on adapting state aid to specificities of French authors
French artists’ Collective Management Organizations, Sacem, says authors are being hit by both a loss of revenues from advertising contracts and of music distribution in concerts or shops.

Collapse in revenues threatening the existence of private radios – Interview with Hans Demmel, Chairman of VAUNET
Private radio stations enjoy a particularly high level of trust in the regions and therefore play an important role in the current crisis in informing the population. However, radio stations are particularly suffering from the economic consequences of the crisis, with decreasing advertising revenues threatening, in some cases, their very existence. Hans Demmel, Chairman of VAUNET, said: “Private radio stations enjoy a particularly high level of trust in the regions and therefore play an important role in informing the population about the current crisis. However, radio stations are particularly suffering from the economic consequences of the crisis, with decreasing advertising revenues threatening, in some cases, their very existence“.


Independent Broadcasters welcome announcement by Minister Richard Bruton of further support for independent radio during Covid 19 crisis
IBI has welcomed the announcement by Minister Richard Bruton of allocating €2.5 millions to ensure the continuation of news, current affairs and information programming on independent radios now threatened by the sudden reduction in advertising revenue due to the crisis. “We’d like to thank Minister Bruton for acting swiftly in response to our urgent requests and we look forward to working with the BAI to quickly and effectively ensure this money which is so important to ensure the continuity of services to our listeners is distributed without delay,” said John Purcell, Chairman of IBI. “We’d like to acknowledge the work and effort of Minister Richard Bruton, Minister of Sate Sean Canney and the officials in the Department of Communications for acting swiftly to secure this essential funding. We are heartened by their recognition of the important role that radio is playing in servicing the communities we broadcast to and helping them mobilise in the face of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Our members complete attention will now be on serving the needs and interests of the millions of people who tune to independent radio every day”.


Commercial radio sees double-digit listening uplift as UK tunes in from home during lockdown
Commercial radio stations across the UK saw a double-digit increase in online listening in recent weeks:
– Global reported a significant increase in connected radio listening, with daily reach up 15% and hours up 9%, between 9-17 March;
– Bauer reported an average daily reach increase of 15%, and average daily hours up 13% week-on-week.
Alongside new figures released by Bauer and Global, many smaller local radio groups have also reported a surge in online listening numbers and time spent listening.
Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre, said: “As the UK acclimatises to a new world of working from home and enforced isolation, radio proves its strength as a hugely valuable source of information, reassurance, company and, most importantly, fun. As one of the most trusted and accessible forms of media, it is perhaps no surprise that so many are tuning in right now.”

Radiocentre has a COVID-19 hub
The new web page offers information and highlights on Radiocentre’s work during the corona crisis.

For further information, please contact francesca.fabbri(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign) and +32 2 736 91 31.