Radio France and the Bayard group will launch in September an enclosure for children, an alternative “to cultural standardization”, announced the leaders of the two groups in an interview with the newspaper Les Echos published yesterday.
Reunited in the joint venture “La chouette radio”, Radio France and Bayard will market at around 80 euros a small transistor named “Merlin” offering some 200 content (stories, music, documentaries) suitable for children between 3 and 10 years old.
The content, of which each group will bring “about half” at the start, “will be renewed, free of charge, perhaps at a rate of a quarter to a third per month, depending on the uses”, specifies Pascal Ruffenach, CEO of Bayard, publisher of Pomme d’api, Astrapi or J’aime lire.
Each group contributed 350,000 euros, supplemented by an investment of 1.4 million euros from the Banque des Territoires, the structure of the Caisse des Dépôts.
Without waves or screen, the object, made in France, will not be connected to the Internet, will not result in “data collection for monetization purposes” and will not contain advertising, ensures Sibyle Veil, patron of the public radio group Radio France.
With a target of 50,000 speakers sold by Christmas, the two groups first aim for a balance before reinvesting the profits over time.
“Withdrawing remuneration from this forum is a bit of a response to platforms, a way of collecting the equivalent of neighboring rights for the press to finance new content”, for Mr. Ruffenach.
The creation of the joint venture “La chouette radio” had caused a stir at the beginning of April within the round house of radio and music.
The elected officials of the Central Social and Economic Committee (CSE) of Radio France said they were opposed to this structure “with commercial aims”.
“It is part of a strategy of finding own resources in order to compensate for the withdrawal of the supervision in terms of public funding”, they denounced in an opinion broadcast by CGT Radio France.
They were also worried about “the conservation of editorial control by Radio France and the sustainability of content”, fearing that they “are associated with those of the competition and that the name Radio France does not serve as a guarantee of quality”.