France is a highly developed and technologically advanced country, with a population of 64.3 million as of 2009.These figures include 4.9 million immigrants, a third coming from Europe (Portugal, Poland, Italy), another third from Maghreb, 12 percent from sub-Saharan Africa and 17 percent from the rest of the world, mainly Asia (Turkey included).
A French household has an average budget of 2,270 euro a year for media and multimedia spending.
From this, 50 percent goes to mobile phone subscription, 32 percent to the equipment (TV, computers) and 18 percent to printed press, the cinema and digital content (2008).
The present media landscape in France has its cultural roots in the postwar period, when the state decided to regulate an industry that lost credit after the collaborationist Vichy regime.
The state is hence still very present in the written press (via a recently renewed system of subsidies), the TV (with France Televisions as a major actor and its president almost directly appointed by the state), the radio (Radio France group has two stations in the top five in terms of audience), the cinema (with a complex system of subsidies handled by the National Cinematographic Center, or the CNC), and more recently on the Internet (with regulations on cultural products, downloading and property rights known as Hadopi).
For example, leading daily newspaper Le Figaro lost 10m euro in 2007 with a circulation of 344,479 copies at a retail price of €1.30.
The industry and the government organised during four months in fall 2008 an extraordinary conference about this issue .
As a result, the state decided to invest 600m euro in the written press over the next three years in order to support it.
The investment comes notably through a cut in postal and delivery fees and buying advertising spaces in the dailies.
State-level decisions regarding French media are thus awaited with impatience and are often very important moments.