Thursday, 14 October 2021

Norway To Retain FM Radio For Another Ten Years

Good news for local radio but not for the DAB lobby

Today the government led by the conservative Erna Solberg was replaced by a coalition of the Social Democrats and the Center Party (Sp). The new government declaration clarifies that the focus is on local radio being able to continue broadcasting on FM until 2031. MP Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen (Sp) has supported local radio in the desire for extension and is very pleased with today's statement: This is something I have worked a lot with, and therefore I am happy that we in SP have had an impact on the platform, she says. Even if this coalition government will not have a majority in the Stortinget, Sem-Jacobsen believes that the proposal will be adopted. 

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

German state of Saxony writes off previous schedule for FM switch-off

Market demand will now steer technology choice for future radio platform.

Saxony has one of the best DAB+ coverage in the country. According to previous plans would FM be phased out in 2025. Now the government of Saxony has decided that there will not be any shutdown date for FM.  

The proportion of use of DAB + and radio via the Internet has increased in recent years - while the use of FM is declining. However, Saxon Media Minister Oliver Schenk believes that commercial radio stations must be taken into account. It’s a life or death matter; their advertising revenue. If you turn off a technology like FM, which is widely used today, and switch to a new standard that is not yet widely used by the population, there will automatically be less money in the coffers. "And this is a problem for an industry that already had major problems during the pandemic," the media minister said.

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).

Monday, 6 September 2021

FM Remains the Economic Basis of Commercial Radio in Germany

Alleged energy savings with DAB not enough for a comprehensive analysis.

Digitalisierungsberichts Audio (report for audio digitization) was presented today at the media authorities' Digital Radio Day in Berlin.
Marco Maier, chairman of the department for radio and audio services at the commercial radio organization VAUNET, says that the report documents the dynamics of the digital sector and the uninterrupted high relevance of FM radio in Germany. This form of distribution will therefore remain the economic basis for private commercial radio in Germany for a long time to come. Here his message is clear and he also questions another report which claims that DAB implies "green radio".

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Norway Will Probably Retain FM radio

Political majority against choking FM for local radio

Close to the election this month, the Norwegian Local Radio Association has asked politicians in the culture sector what is their approach to Norwegian local radio. Local radio is not allowed to expand on FM by setting up new transmitters on FM, even in order to increase coverage of its own license area. Several politicians in the Parliament believe that this is wrong and there is now a majority for other solutions. Only Høyre (Conservative party) is clearly opposed to approving new FM transmitters. As mentioned previously there is now a political majority rejecting also the proposal by the Ministry of Culture for a total advertising ban for FM radio in the metro areas. Such a ban would seriously damage community broadcasters especially minority radio which cannot afford switching over to DAB+.

Also read:  Minority Broadcasters in Norway Hit By Government Proposal

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Swiss FM Radio Switch-Off Postponed

Radio station agree to switch off at the end of 2024. But yet the case is not closed.

Last year private radio broadcasters and public broadcaster SRG agreed on an early and staggered shutdown of the FM stations: in August 2022 for the SRG and in January 2023 for the private broadcasters.  In the past weeks and months, however, the shutdown has become more and more a political issue: the former media minister Doris Leuthard had already joined the discussion in June and advised the government to halt the process. Now FM will be retained for another couple of years.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Private Terrestrial Radio Transmissions In Sweden Financed by Government?

The conservative party wants taxpayers to save commercial radio.

If a right-wing coalition takes replaces the red-green government next year it is likely that the Moderaterna (the Conservatives) will get through the reform proposals in their media policy program. One of the  proposals for commercial radio which, among other things, means that the state should take over the cost of the infrastructure for all terrestrial radio across the country. In the background are the high costs that the two commercial radio companies have for their terrestrial distribution on both FM and DAB, while at the same time having a smaller and continuing declining share of radio listening in Sweden.

The proposal emphasizes that the commercial radio and television of the future need predictable and long-term rules of the game and technology-neutral legislation. Increased state responsibility and a lower bar for obtaining a broadcasting permit would mean that commercial radio would have more leeway to develop new forms and business models, without abandoning parts of the country.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

High Level Questioning of Swiss FM Shutdown

Plans for winding up FM radio might be postponed
Kommission für Verkehr und Fernmeldewesen des Nationalrats (Transport and Telecommunications Commission (KVF-N) in the Parliament ) demands that the federal government examine in more depth the consequences of not switching off FM (UKW) radio stations. The parliamentary services announced Tuesday.
The commission invited to the hearing representatives from the broadcasting industry, including the media pioneer Roger Schawinski, and the responsible communication agency OFCOM.  The MEPs in the commission wanted to further discuss the shutdown again at the end of August.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Minority Broadcasters in Norway Hit By Government Proposal

Feminist radio station shocked by proposed changes for local radio
Oslo community radio broadcaster radiOrakel is shocked by the proposal to change the license terms for local radio and says that the changes further tighten strict and unfair framework conditions. This is stated in a consultation submission to the proposal from the Ministry of Culture with new rules for local radios which will have their licenses extended after 2021. radiOrakel is one of several local radio stations that still broadcast in the so-called switch-off areas, where the parliament passed a ban on commercial local radio on FM in order to protect the major national DAB-only commercial players Bauer and P4 group (NENT). Now community radio in Norway is on the road to become squeezed out of business.
radiOrakel is the worlds oldest feminist radio station, and has since 1982 produced experimental journalism, creative comedy and investigative radio plays; all with a queer angle. The music profile covers everything from niche punk voices to doom and hip hop! 

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Flood Disaster Gives Second Thought About Not Retaining FM Radio

Sirens and FM radio is the best solution in the event of a disaster

The flood disaster in Germany has put the finger on emergency alert systems (EAS).  While the digital radio platforms as DAB and online as well as mobile networks went out of service FM radio most of the time stayed on. In German media now there is a debate on the importance of a robust broadcasting system. The new digital might not be better than proven analogue platforms. FM radio programs reach 74.7 percent of the German-speaking population aged 14 and over per working day (Monday-Friday). Online audio has a daily reach of 11.4 percent (8.0 million) ahead of DAB+ with 9.8 percent (6.9 million). And a great major part of all cars, buses and trucks on the road are not equipped with DAB+ (This includes most foreign registered vehicles).

Friday, 30 July 2021

Australia Is Testing Digital Medium Wave Broadcasting

Geographical range significant in case of emergency

Public broadcaster ABC National Radio is again testing in DRM mode A on 747 kHz, from the Broadcast Australia Site at Dockers Plains, Victoria.  Although DAB+ is established in the five metro cities the government policy is to retain both AM and FM in order to secure a national and countryside coverage for emergency alert systems (EAS). 

There are several hundred medium wave AM stations in Australia for public, community and commercial broadcasting. 

Thursday, 29 July 2021

First 5G Broadcast in Spain

Mobile technology is expanding terrestrial radio/tv 
Televisión de Galicia (CRTVG) has become the first Spanish public channel to carry out a live broadcast using 5G technology with connectivity provided by Telefónica.The live connection was made from Monte del Gozo, in Santiago de Compostela fthe Galician regional channel. Mercedes Fernández, manager of innovation at Telefónica España, said: 5G represents a revolutionary change in live broadcasts of the media, by making them more efficient and flexible. In fact, the media is one of the sectors that will obtain the greatest benefits with the arrival of 5G together with industry and the connected car.