Norway to ditch FM, only DAB

Staff Writer

In two years, Norway will be the first country in Europe and the world for that matter to flick the switch off on FM.

Late last week Norway’s Ministry for Culture announced the national FM-switch off, as they complete the transition to DAB.

For a bit of perspective Norway’s entire population would just about fit into Sydney, but they are a little further ahead in terms of DAB’s reach.

The latest TNS Gallup Digital survey has 56% of Norway’s listeners using digital radio daily, though 44% still use FM but not for much longer.

Compare that to Australia, while we had a nice boost in Survey 1 for 2015; we sit at about 24% on DAB.

Norway’s coverage with DAB is way ahead of many markets. The government network NRK has at least 99.5 % coverage and for Commercial Radio it’s 92.8 %. Community radio in Norway lags a little with only 50% coverage. DAB in cars is also behind with the results showing only 20% having a receiver in their car.

 Thor Gjermund Eriksen, head of NRK has said publicly:

“This is an important day for everyone who loves radio. The minister`s decision allows us to concentrate our resources even more upon what is most important, namely to create high quality and diverse radio-content to our listeners.”

“The DAB-coverage in Norway now exceeds FM-coverage. DAB provides Norway with 22 national channels, as opposed to five channels transmitting nationwide on FM.”

The big switch off for FM is slated to start January 11th 2017 and be wrapped by the end of the year.

Radio Today’s Brad March has a great wrap on the growth of DAB+ here in Australia.

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