Now that Norway has started its transition from FM to DAB, it seems fair to ask what country might be next in line to make the change. �
Just last month digitalradio.it reported that starting Jan. 31, Italy�s RAS (Radiotelevisione special agency) has expanded the reception of DAB + programs in South Tyrol with the commissioning of the stations in San Vigilio, Casies, Corvara in Passiria, Schlinig, Anterselva, the valley of Braies and Maso Corto…� �Furthermore: ��…at the end of 2017 RAS will start [to turn] off the first small FM systems � therefore, in the purchase of a new radio device, the user is asked to choose a digital radio. The same applies to the purchase of a new car, which should be equipped with DAB + system.��Read more about it here. �
Digital radio has also �made great strides in Switzerland. It�s expected that in 2020 the gradual replacement of FM with DAB + will begin across Switzerland, according to radioszene.de. (You can read more about it here.) As of last August, 53% of all radio listening in Switzerland is digital, taking listening numbers ahead of analog for the first time. �At work and at home, listeners now clearly favor digital radio ahead of FM,� according to Switzerland�s MCDT. �
The UK is a likely candidate for the next major player to make the switch to DAB from analog FM. According to the UK�s Ofcom, �The government stated that it would consider a decision on whether to set a date for digital radio switchover when the following criteria were met:
- when 50% of all radio listening is via digital platforms; and
- when national DAB1 coverage is comparable to FM, and local DAB reaches 90%of�the population and all major roads. �
Ofcom also reported:�
- �Digital radio accounted for 45.5% of total listening hours in Q3 2016. This is a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percentage points in digital radio�s share of total listening hours.
- �Digital share of listening exceeded 50% in six local areas. Sussex had the highest share of radio listening via a digital platform, at 53.4%, followed by Berkshire and north Hampshire (53.2%), Swindon and west Wiltshire (51.4%), London (51.3%), Gloucestershire (50.2%) and Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire (50.1%).
- �DAB is the most popular platform for digital listening. In Q3 2016 it accounted for 70.3% of digital listening, while 11.9% was through a television and 17.8% was via the internet.�
So while the numbers aren�t quite there yet, digital radio continues to grow in the UK, and this could very well be the year that the government makes clear their plans for the switchover. �