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The digitisation of French radio: demassification or hybridisation?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Geoff Hare



Digital broadcasting in France has nearly two years advance on the UK. French digital satellite television has about a million and a half subscribers - the biggest of the three programme providers, CanalSatellite, has viewers in over one million households, who have access thereby to a series of thematic channels, plus some premium channels for extra subscription, plus pay-per-view (paiement à la séance) and extra radio and interactive services - in all CanalSatellite offers 112 different channels or services. The ten percent of homes subscribing to cable TV also have potential access to digital channels and services as the major cable companies are rapidly switching to digital following the digital satellite developments. What is happening to radio in the midst of this change in the consumption of home audiovisual services? Is it being swamped in the explosion of new TV channels and services? In this review of recent changes I shall describe four new types of radio broadcasting, and argue that digitisation is, as for TV, having a demassification effect on the consumption side, and, much more so than for TV, causing a hybridisation of the medium in terms of the product or its programmes and services. In order to put the current transformation in context and to give an idea of its scale, I shall first review the changes to radio broadcasting in the 1980s.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hare GE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Web Journal of French Media Studies

Year: 1998

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 01/11/1998

Date deposited: 11/12/2007

ISSN (print): 1460-6550

Publisher: Newcastle University