At 40, Radio Clique strengthens its uniqueness

Published on September 14, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.

Radio Clique is celebrating its 40th anniversary under the auspices of the grand foyer of the Opéra Garnier and is beginning this anniversary season by focusing on the ingredients that contribute to its success. During a conference organized this Thursday, the radio group Les Echos-Le Parisien presented the innovations of its return, after a 2022-2023 season ended with an audience record, at 2% audience share.

Since its launch in 1983, “ Clical Radio has grown to become the leading media in its category,” recalled the group’s CEO, Pierre Louette, underlining the doubling of audiences for this “fairly eclectic radio station for free spirits” since its takeover in 1999 by LMVH. A performance made possible by its unique positioning, which makes it aimed at fans of clical music but also of economics.

As a 40th anniversary gift, the station is offering a sound design signed by the film music composer Alexandre Desplat, twice Oscar winner (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “The Shape of Water”). Based on an E flat major chord, the musician created 60 short pieces, distilled over the course of the day and reflecting the spirit, according to him, “a little sophisticated, a little French” which animates the grid.

Morning revisited

This is transformed, without revolution, but by strengthening its strong points. “The new schedule has been designed to be ever more the radio you love,” summarized Pierre Louette. The emphasis is more than ever on information, notably with the recent arrival of the former editorial director of “JDD” and “Paris Match” Hervé Gattegno, and on the economy.

The economic Morning is extended by half an hour, between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., while the Morning – which brings together 400,000 daily listeners, out of the million who listen to the station every day – undergoes numerous adjustments. The reins are entrusted to David Abiker, already present in previous years to host the press review and who follows in the tradition of his predecessor Guillaume Durand. New voices bring their expertise to the air, such as Ruth Elkrief, Lucie Robequain (“Les Echos”) and Christophe Barbier.

Two cultural and historical chronicles are finally appearing, signed by Frank Ferrand, whose podcast “Franck Ferrand recounts” is the fifth most listened to in France, and by academician Marc Lambron. With all these changes, Radio Clique hopes to continue to attract its listeners to its CSP + target.

Territory coverage

But it is also banking on digital – nearly 3 million monthly digital streams, +6% year-on-year – to expand its footprint. A new application was launched a few months ago. To extend its coverage of the territory, Radio Clique is also investing in DAB+, which will allow it to be available digitally on all the main French motorways by early 2024. Within 5 years, the extension of its coverage to the entire territory could offer it an audience gain of 15 to 20%, the station hopes.

But the deployment of this technology takes time and the radio still suffers from its poor terrestrial coverage, with six times fewer frequencies than its competitor France Musique. “A very deep competitive asymmetry is not acceptable,” denounced Pierre Louette, who intends to put the subject on the table, among others, during the next general information conference organized by the government.

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