At first glance, Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. may seem like yet another state-run media company in Europe: heavily subsidized by taxpayers and existing for the sake of fulfilling constitutional obligations. Rai, however, is a key player in the Italian mediascape. Its television channels collectively held over one-third of Italy's TV audience share in the first half of 2021. During the same period, its three radio stations had almost eight million listeners altogether, placing them among the top 15 radio stations in Italy. Rai still struggles, however, to establish as much of a solid online audience as it did offline. Less than one out of five internet users surveyed in Italy at the beginning of 2021 said they used the websites of this state-owned enterprise (SOE) as a news source.
Television: a slow decrease?
Albeit still hegemonic in the realm of Italian TV, Rai saw its audience share shrink almost every year throughout the past decade. In 2011, it accounted for 40.2 percent of the viewership. In the first half of 2021, the share stood at 36.3 percent. When looking at the prime time in Italy, the decline is even sharper, with a decrease of five percentage points in audience share between 2011 and 2021. And the quality of the content may be another challenge. According to a 2020 survey, the best-evaluated show broadcast by Rai's channels was a movie made in Hollywood, as opposed to all other programs produced by the national public broadcasting company.
Reaching multiple screens
Rai still has a long way to go in the field of subscription video-on-demand (SVoD). During a single week in the second half of 2021, Rai 1 ranked sixth by the number of legitimate streams in Italy. The company's streaming service, RaiPlay, placed 15th. Yet Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3, and Rai Premium accounted for over 4.2 million hours of the total stream duration in Italy in the same period. This suggests that the SOE has the upper hand when it comes to production capacity and branding – viewers across the Italian peninsula are already familiar with Rai's channels. Furthermore, the popularity of its streaming platform can help the national broadcaster to reach more people. In July 2021, RaiPlay was the fifth most downloaded app at Apple's App Store in Italy, just below TikTok and ahead of rising stars like Telegram and Shein.
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In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "Rai (Radiotelevisione Italiana)".