Chile’s unique geography, stretching over 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) from north to south, makes radio a key media in areas far away from urban centers. Operating since 1922 and featuring the best citizen evaluation of all the media, radio plays a social role by providing information, education and entertainment.
Broadcasting from Santiago by means of frequency modulation (FM), well-renowned national actors compete with large foreign consortia. The local spectrum offers everything from school and community activities to exclusive webcasts.
The most traditional local radio station is Cooperativa. This has been a reference point for the industry since 1935, with programs specializing in news and sports. Relatively similar profiles are shared by stations such as Agricultura, Bío Bío and ADN Radio. These offer online and offline programs, as well as current events information and multimedia content by means of their respective web portals.
The rest of the radio dial is highly segmented, with everything from Christian to classical music, including local university stations, tropical beats, classic rock, electronic music, love songs and boleros. Specific local radio audiences include women, children and teenagers.
Besides ADN Radio, the Spanish group Prisa owns several classic brands on the Chilean radio dial: Pudahuel FM, Futuro, Concierto, FMDos, Rock&Pop, Corazón, Imagina, 40 Principales and Radio Uno. The second most important consortium in Santiago is the Dial group, the publishing holding arm of La Tercera newspaper, with six alternatives: Beethoven, Carolina, Paula, Duna, Zero and Radio Disney.
Comunicaciones Horizonte has Horizonte and oldies station Oasis under its wing, while the Bezanilla family owns the following Santiago radio stations: Tiempo, Romántica, Amadeus and Infinita. Canal 13 TV station manages Play FM.
Podcaster is a site developed in Chile by local youth, but does not exclude foreigners. By mid-2009 the site featured a collection of 10,000 program chapters in digital format with over 1.3 million downloads.