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Radio retains popularity in Finland

Figures released this week suggest that Finns are quite conservative when it comes to their radio listening habits. The only surprise upstart on the radio scene is urban-contemporary channel Loop.

Yle Kainuuta voi kuunnella nettiradiosta missä päin maailmaa tahansa.
Internet radio remains a fringe phenomenon. Image: Katja Oittinen / Yle

Some 3.7 million people – or more than two thirds of Finland’s population – listen to the radio every day.

The average listener stays tuned in for just over three hours a day, according to figures released by Finnpanel on Wednesday. That figure has remained nearly the same for several years. Radio listenership also stays virtually unchanged throughout the year.

Younger listeners favour commercial channels, with Radio Suomipop the number-one station among those aged 25-44. The most popular among older listeners is Yle Radio Suomi.

Loop takes a leap

The strongest new arrival is Loop, owned by Sanoma’s Nelonen Media, which concentrates on high-energy hip-hop, R&B and dance music with a minimum of talk. With nearly 20 broadcast frequencies around the country, it was launched in late 2013. Overall commercial radio stations produced all-time-record profits in 2014, beating the previous record from 2011.

Those under the age of 45 tend to listen to the radio at work and in the car, accounting for 61 percent of all listening. Older demographics are more likely to listen at home. The vast majority of listening still takes place via traditional radio sets, with 10 percent each via computers or phones and even less on tablets.

Prime time listening hours are between 7.15 am and 4.30 pm, when more than a million pairs of ears are typically tuned in. The number usually peaks around 8.00-8.15 am.

Finnish listeners are loyal to their favourite stations. Most usually listen to between one and two channels,  some the more adventurous tuning into three in any given week.

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