National Norway radio stations switch off FM

National radio stations went fully digital in Norway on Wednesday 13th December, at 11:11.11am, after a year-long transition.

The last regions to get the FM stations were Troms, Finnmark and Svalbard. Now there’s only local stations left using the FM band, which will continue for some time.

Ole Jørgen Torvmark, CEO of Digital Radio Norway (DRN) says listeners are leaving it till the last minute to buy new radio sets, with most buying just after the FM switch-off.

Norway currently has 31 national radio channels on DAB, compared to the 5 national channels previous on FM. The new National channels, transmitting only on DAB, have gained more listeners in 2017. New channels now account for about one-third of the total listening. Every day, 1.4 million Norwegians listen to channels that had not existed without the digital radio shift.

Total listening is expected to increase gradually in 2018 when the last listeners do the conversion.

Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, had this to say: “We congratulate the Norwegian broadcasters and Digital Radio Norway on completing the transition to digital radio and becoming the first country in the world to switch-off FM transmissions for major stations. Digital radio continues to make great progress in the UK and, with digital listening now at 48.8%, we are looking forward to the majority of all radio listening being via a digital platform in the new year. There are many lessons that we can learn from the Norway experience, particularly in relation to making sure there are the right products and resources to help listeners upgrade to digital radio in their car.”

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