OSLO — Seven months after the transition to digital radio, daily listening to radio in Norway fell below 50%. In fact, from weeks 25 to 28, listening fell from 59.1% to 48.5%, as shown in the latest report from TNS Kantar and reported by nettavisen.no. Last summer, before the national FMs were all turned off in Norway, daily listening was between 65-70% of the population.
“The new record-low number of listeners is dramatic. It is urgent for both media diversity and the preparedness in our country that radio broadcasting comes to an entirely different level. In order to secure the future of the radio, we need to turn the national FM network backon before even more flights from the radio,” Center Party Cultural Spokesman Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen said in an article from senterpartiet.no.
To put this in perspective, I need mention that Norway’s Center Party proposed, in the autumn of 2016, to stop the FM shutdown until “a good DAB network was in place.” That proposal didn’t work, and the Center Party agreed that “the government has to closely monitor the closure of the FM network and continuously ensure that preparedness is not affected and that coverage is met in line with the parliamentary assumptions,” according to the same article.
“…the Storting’s [Norwegian Parliament’s] assumptions that the closure of the FM network would not affect Norwegian preparedness and security have obviously not been met by the government,” said Jacobsen. “It was also a mistake to turn off the national FM network before DAB was well-developed and enough people wanted to use it. The FM network needs to be turned on again!”