OSLO and BERLIN — In a recent article, I wrote that we can gain some sort of idea about how radio listening in Norway will trend based on the sales of radios there. If you agree with that then you will likely agree that there is likely to be an uptick in the use of radio there, even after the FM switch-off.
Over the course of 2017, while the nationwide FM networks were being switched off, Norwegians bought 1.1 million home and portable radios and 700,000 DAB+ adaptors for in-car use, along with 159,000 cars with pre-installed DAB+ radios, according to Radio.no. Prior to last year sales of radios were typically around 750,000 pieces including home and car products. By November 2017 85% of Norwegian households owned at least one DAB+ radio and 49% of all Norwegian private cars had a DAB+ radio (Digital radio survey, Kantar Media).
Meanwhile, the number of cars sold in Germany with digital radios installed has almost doubled since 2016, with The German Automobile Trust (DAT) announcing in its 2018 annual report that the take rate of new cars sold in Germany with DAB+ radio in 2017 was 39.1%. In 2015 only 13% of new cars were sold with DAB+ radio and by 2016 it was 21%. The data is based on surveys of new car buyers by the Society for Consumer research (GFK, commissioned by DAT), reports WorldDAB.org.
Ninety-eight percent of German highways are covered by the national DAB+ radio network coverage, along with 96% of the German population. National services include three programs from Deutschlandradio and nine from private broadcasters; from 2019 onwards, the national DAB+ offering is likely to increase from 16 to 30 stations. Already, regionally broadcast services include over 150 different DAB+ programs from the ARD regional broadcasters and private broadcasters, according to the same article.