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Published by David McLoughlin

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Published by: David McLoughlin on Jun 08, 2009
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This is an overview of generalist radios in Spain:

RADIO AUDIENCE (in thousands of listeners)
National market in Feb-March 2005


Listeners Radios


Cadena SER

4,858 Radio Euskadi 264
Cadena COPE 2,189 Radio Galega 143

1,715 Com Radio 102

Onda Cero


Catalunya Radio 610
Sur Radio


Source : Anuario SGAE de las artes Escénicas, Musicales y
Audiovisuales, 2005

More specifically, the following are Spain’s musical radio stations:

MUSICAL RADIO AUDIENCE (in thousands of listeners)
National market in Feb-March 2005


Listeners Radios


40 Principales 2,576 Kiss FM


Cadena Dial 1,238 Radio Clásica 130
Cadena 100

713 Flaix FM



696 Canal Fiesta 430

Radio Olé

376 Rac 105




Source : EGM


Encuesta de hábitos y prácticas culturales en España (SGAE)


As one can see, radio in Spain is dominated by the group SER (part of the media
company PRISA) and has been for many years. This is largely due to its charts radio
show,“Los 40 Principales”, and its Spanish language network Cadena Dial, the most
popular musical network in the country.“Los 40 Principales” has an audience
rating of 2,576m daily listeners, which makes it the largest generalist radio in the

country. It is very difficult for a small record label’s artists to be broadcast on Los

40 Principales.

Spain’s leading telecommunications company, Telefónica, has bought the Onda

Cero and Voz networks, making it the 2nd

radio group in the country. The 3rd


group of commercial radio is COPE, which is run by the Catholic Church.

Formula radio, playing charts music, is more or less the only type of musical
programme in Spain, and this situation makes it difficult for those not reaching the
magical Gold record sales quotas to survive.

The National Spanish Radio, RNE Radio 3, claims to be the only national radio, and

the only one of any weight, to support almost exclusively ‘independent’ music. It is

the only radio station to incorporate artists ranging from those with a single demo
to foreign groups not yet distributed in Spain, as well as backing all festivals of
independent music. This is done without having to put up with any type of
advertising or news items of any kind, which makes Radio 3 a strong supporter of
the independent Spanish musical industry; its listeners are loyal and it contains a
high degree of musical culture.

There are also very few ‘pirate’ radios, with just a scattering of listeners. At the

time of the creation of municipal radios, there was a strong possibility of setting up
a network of independent-minded radios if they had not opted for the charts
formula. There are practically no university radios.

In 1997, the Circulo de Bellas Artes was founded in Madrid with its own radio,
Radio Circulo. It is one of the rare radios presenting open-minded and eclectic

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