FM Retained in the Netherlands - Until at Least 2035
The Dutch will stick to the broadcasts of national commercial radio stations via FM until at least 2035. This is evident from the announcement of the auction procedure of national commercial FM and DAB frequencies by Minister Micky Adriaansens (VVD) of Economic Affairs and Climate.
According to the minister, the transition from FM to digital infrastructures, including DAB+, is progressing too slowly, which means that switching off FM is not realistic before 2035. Research by Dialogic also shows that there is no other valuable use for the FM frequencies and there is no global visibility. for any use other than broadcast radio.
Radio companies will be given the time from March 7 to April 4, 2023 to submit their application to participate in the auction. In the period from July 27 to August 17, 2023, the permits will then be issued and announced on the basis of the results of the auction. Then will it be known who will have access to the combined national FM and DAB+ licenses from 1 September 2023
The auction will have to yield at least 73.7 million euros for the government. In the radio market, one party will from now on be allowed to own a maximum of three national radio stations.
The (draft) distribution rules assume an auction in which at least 50 percent news or Dutch music, respectively, must be broadcast f 07:00-1900.
The State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, Gunay Uslu (D66) will still have to decide whether the percentage for the news item will remain at 50 percent or will be increased. Earlier, Gunay Uslu did increase the percentage for the Dutch-language music lot from 30 to 50 percent.
The licenses for national commercial radio stations were auctioned for the last time in 2003. Digital radio, streaming services, podcasts and social media have changed the way we listen to music, entertainment or news in twenty years. By auctioning this summer, we will once again have a future-proof radio market in which newcomers will also have a chance. We deliberately auction for a period of twelve years, because that offers certainty to parties that have one or more winning bids, says Micky Adriaansens.