Thursday 30 April 2015

Dark Clouds for DAB Radio in the Nordic Countries

Vanishing prospects for FM switch-off in Denmark, Norway and Sweden
An FM switch-off in the Nordic countries might be more far off than ever. The opposition is competent and vocal. DAB listening today is measured at 17 % in Denmark, 19 % in Norway and less than 1 % in Sweden. Finland opted out of DAB irrevocably already 2005. With increasing on-line listening and retained FM the DAB-system is expected to have a difficult time surviving on free market terms and without government intervention. Here is an update of the future situation for FM and DAB broadcasting in three major Nordic countries.

Friday 24 April 2015

No FM Switch-Off in Norway

No success yet for DAB radio in the Nordic countries
the Norwegian Minister of Culture says that the FM switch-off goal of 50% "Digital listening” has been reached. However, this figure include listenership of DVB-T and Internet radio. Last week, the Government Statistical Bureau reported that listening to DAB radio is presently limited to 19% on a daily basis, says the Norwegian Local Radio Association in a press-release. 

Monday 20 April 2015

London Rock Station Leaving DAB for Online.

Might signal the beginning of the end of the linear radio platform for certain services
TeamRock Radio is leaving DAB radio in June to concentrate on podcasting and online streaming, TeamRock Radio is making the change from broadcast to podcast as it comes off the national digital radio platform. 

Friday 17 April 2015

Norway First Country to Introduce DAB Radio By Coercion

Picture: Oppland Arbeiderblad
Millions of motorists in radio shadow. FM retained for local radio. Political struggle expected. 
Norwegian Minister of Culture says that as the terms now have been met i.e. 50 % are "listening digitally" there will be an FM switch-off 2017.  But local commercial radio and community radio outside the five largest cities can continue on FM. However, opposition to this proposal is expected in Stortinget (the parliament) later this Spring. 
This successful step towards introduction of the DAB system in Norway has been made because of heavy lobbying not by market driven demands.

Thursday 16 April 2015

National Audit Devastating for DAB Radio Introduction in Sweden

Report envisages major risks with a transition. Reasonable to retain FM radio.
The proposed transition to the (terrestrial) digital radio DAB+ platform entails major risks and will probably not be profitable from a wider societal viewpoint. The best choice is to retain the FM network, according to the national auditor Margareta Åberg. 

The consultation round by the Ministry of Culture concluded on March 23. There were several decisive objections from the institutions most qualified to make a judgment on the proposal for a transition to DAB 2016-2022. Adding to this an extensive and critical report was presented yesterday to the Parliament by Riksrevisionen (The National Audit Office). The Ministry of Culture is expected to take a final decision regarding this issue next month. The independent analysis by the National Audit Office makes it probable that 20 years of efforts to introduce DAB in Sweden will come to a definite end.

Sunday 12 April 2015

U.S. Politicians Calls For FM in Smartphones

Minimal effort required to active FM radio
The Indiana State Senate has adopted a resolution urging wireless carriers to activate the FM radio receivers in smartphones. The resolution focuses on radio’s public safety role and comes as Indiana-based Emmis Communications has stepped up advocacy efforts to get FM receivers activated. The company says similar legislative actions are set to take place in other states.

Friday 10 April 2015

Community Radio and Television Join Forces in Sweden

A new media structure is born. Renowned media personality to head new organization.
Again the local democracy must be conquered, says Lotta Gröning, renowned journalist and historian, elected as President of Community Media Sweden (CMS) a new umbrella organization constituted today in Upsala by National Association of Open Channels (ROK) and Community Radio Association (NRO).

Sunday 5 April 2015

DAB Radio Proposal Near Death in Swedish Consultation Round.

Plan for a transition from FM to DAB+ rejected by expertise and major authorities.
The proposal for a transition from FM to DAB+ 2016-2022 has been rejected by central public institutions and many experts in Sweden. Only some minor authorities are behind the proposal together with established DAB proponents. This confirms the unison negative opinion in media when the proposal was presented to the Government in December 2014. The negative and positive respondents are listed below.

After receiving an inquiry report by the National Audit Office on April 14 the Ministry of Culture will consider the next step; a proposal to the Parliament for a transition to DAB, to continue with more inquiries or to scrap the idea of replacing FM, which then will put an end to 20 years of efforts to introduce DAB radio in Sweden. 

Friday 3 April 2015

UK Analogue Radio Licences Extended

Commercial Radio To Stay on FM for Another Five Years
Analogue radio licences for the three national commercial networks and more than 60 local commercial radio stations are to be renewed for a further five years following a change in legislation. The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed the extension, which will secure the analogue future of these radio stations, including Classic FM, TalkSport and Absolute.

Delayed Austrian Digital Radio Project

Major Participants Drop Out of Vienna DAB+ Test
The planned DAB+ test for Vienna and environs, originally scheduled for the middle of April, has now been pushed back to the end of May. Two important participants, public broadcaster ORF, and the national commercial broadcaster Kronehit, have dropped out of the test, according to ORF had plans to test a youth channel FM21 / Ö3Plus.

FM Radio To Cover Indian Border Audience

Government calls for FM in border areas
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked the country’s defence force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to set up radio communication in border areas, according to The Times of India. He said the SSB should consider starting FM radio channels in the border areas so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme could reach there. Also if needed he could also communicate with the forces though these channels.