COPENHAGEN — The Danish government recently announced new media policies, and among them is a proposal that the FM band be shut down by 2021, reports radionytt.se.
The demise of the FM band will take place two years after 50% of radio listening takes place via digital platforms, or by 2021 at the latest. Use of digital radio sources is at 38% now.
In Switzerland, nearly 600,000 DAB-capable radios were sold in 2017. The country plans to start phasing out FM broadcasts from 2020 onwards. Earlier this year it was shown that more than 60% of the radio listening is done via digital sources—via streaming or over-the-air radio. The use of DAB+ showed an increase of 11 percent and now has a share of 34%; the use of the (analog) FM radio has decreased from 51% at the end of 2015 to 41% in early 2017, according to mediamagazine.nl.
In the UK, Connect FM has disappeared from its local DAB multiplex because of a “very substantial price increase” from Arqiva, according to RadioToday.
The station was a launch partner when the Northampton multiplex launched in 2013 and later joined DAB in Peterborough, and Herts, Beds and Bucks. More recently its sister station Radio Essex joined the Southend/Chelmsford mux.
“We are bitterly disappointed for our listeners to have to remove our Connect FM station from DAB in Northampton and Peterborough and at such short notice,” said Mark Jeeves, operations director of Connect FM. “We feel that Connect FM contributed significantly to the launch and promotion of DAB in this area and have been rewarded by Arqiva for our efforts with a huge uplift in price, which, if agreed to, would have made Connect FM unsustainable as a business.
“I don’t think this action by Arqiva sends a good message for smaller radio stations and clearly demonstrates the pricing power of multiplex owners over radio license operators and their willingness to put profit over service, despite there being plenty of capacity on the Northamptonshire and Peterborough multiplexes,” Jeeves said in the same article.