"This wave promises to be worse than the previous ones ...", recently whispered a radio boss at the approach of the publication this Thursday of the hearings by Médiamétrie, which we reveal in preview.
Because the various measures put in place to curb the circulation of Covid-19 have directly impacted the media.
Fewer workers on the roads, young people taking their courses at a distance, a stronger appetite for information… In one year, when confinement was not yet pronounced, the radio station lost 2.1 million listeners and now only has 40.1 million in total, its lowest level in 19 years for a start to the year.
Despite everything, France Inter remains the number one station in France, a title it has held for two years now.
Every day, it can thus count on 6.7 million faithful.
Although it misplaces 200,000, the radio station directed by Laurence Bloch is well ahead of its competitors.
Because opposite, RTL unscrews.
For the first time in seven years, it even goes below the symbolic bar of 6 million pairs of ears.
Several sections would be incriminated, in particular the end of the afternoon.
“The curfew at 6 pm did a lot of harm…”, underlines a competitor.
RMC at its lowest level in 13 years
Boosted by the news, Franceinfo shines and keeps the bronze medal recovered at the end of last year by bringing together 4.8 million addicts.
While all the antennas are on the decline, public radio 100% news shows an insolent progression of nearly 800,000 curious in one year.
It is still ahead of NRJ - which raises the bar after a difficult end of the year - France Bleu and a Skyrock in sharp decline.
The rap and R&B format saw the departure of nearly half a million listeners to now reach 3.4 million fans of urban music.
One of the radios that suffers the most is RMC.
With nearly 3.2 million people daily, it is falling to its lowest level in 13 years.
The fault in particular of a morning whose decline accelerated following the replacement of Jean-Jacques Bourdin by Apolline de Malherbe, but also to a few air holes in the grid, impacted at the end of the day by the curfew .
"We are also losing a little audience with the co-broadcasting of several programs on RMC Story and RMC Découverte," we say within the radio.
Europe 1, for its part, seems to be stabilizing at a low level with 2.7 million regulars.
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Among broadcasters, we are now impatiently awaiting the next wave of audiences, which will cover the months of April to June.
Because this time, the comparisons will be made over a period of the year 2020 already impacted by the health crisis.
“We can start to see the effects of the pandemic on radio at that time.
And take the necessary decisions to revitalize the market, ”concedes a director of the private sector.
Some even see some encouraging signs.
“The radio media will pick up.
This is not the first crisis that we have to go through ”, promise several leaders.