Thursday 9 September 2021

Internet Most Important Platform for Digital Radio in Germany

Stagnant Growth for DAB while FM radio remains strong 

The latest figures on digital radio use for the entire population over the age of 14 were presented by KANTAR/die Medienanstalten at the digital radio day in Berlin. There are now many indications that the Internet continues to take over as the most important platform for digital radio.
Although the exponential growth is not realized, according to "Digitization report Audio 2021", 27% (last year 24.3%) of households in Germany have at least one DAB receiver. The still dominant radio distribution platform FM has a penetration of 88.9%, but with a slight downward trend. Radio receivers for the internet are found in 16.8% of households (this share does not include smartphones, laptops, etc.). 48.9% of the respondents use Internet radio. An increase of 9% compared with the previous year.      (More facts and analysis below).

The most common type of receiver is the 25.5% smartphone. With DAB+ 30.4%, with a slower growth. FM decreases to 90.5%.

For the most commonly used reception type, 57.9% respondents state FM, 16.6% web radio and 12.5% ​​DAB+.

Most used radio reception method - Distribution% 2021 (2019)
FM 57.9 (68.7)
Internet 16.6 (11.0)
DAB + 12.5 (7.2)
Cable / Satellite 2.0 (3.5)
Use of digital receiver type - Distribution% 2021 (2019)
Internet 48.9 (41.5)
DAB + 30.4 (23.9)
Satellite 12.2 (11.8)
Cable 10.4 (9.0)


Digitization has changed the listening behavior in general in cars. Terrestrial radio (FM / DAB) is still dominant (78.3%) but decreases slowly when listening in cars via the Internet to broadcast radio (33%), play, podcasts and other streaming services.

There are currently 21.7 million receivers for DAB+ (13.1 in homes and 8.5 in cars). At the same time, there are 122 million FM receivers in Germany. There are also 65 million smartphones which all can be used for digital radio listening online.

Commercial broadcasters in Germany demand that the FM networks will not be closed. The added value that digital radio creates on the Internet is significantly more interesting for listeners than the DAB system offer. Thus, there is an obvious tendency that the Internet, not DAB+, will become the entirely dominant platform for digital radio listening in Germany, while analogue FM broadcasting is viable for another decade.