Sunday 16 October 2016

Digital Transition in Norway: Commercial Radio Will Be a Loser

Public Service Continues to Dominate Norwegian Radio Landscape - Analog and Digital
No sign of commercial radio will increased its listening share with the transition from FM to DAB+. NRK has now about 70% of all listening in Norway. The two national commercial networks P4 Hele Norge (MTG) and Radio Norge (Bauer Media) should be concerned about the recent listening figures. 

Radio Norway has been a clear decline in listening figures according to Kantar TNS, compared to summer this year and last fall. Radio Norway’s market share in week 39 was 7.3%, against 8.2% during w 31och 8.6 in w 39, 2015. 

The hope was that the launch of additional channels would help, but not for Bauer. Radio Rock also has a lower market share, while Kiss is far from the top of its predecessor Radio1. 

Bauer P4 can not be seen as winners. Admittedly, the market share increased from week 31 to 39 as in this way in the fall for P4. But NRK is not unexpected the big winner. DAB channel NRK P1+ increased however from the proportion of 4.3 to 6.0%, almost 50% more listeners in one year. Continuing this trend is no longer before the P1+ is ahead of Radio Norway. 

The MD of Bauer Media Lasse Kokvik does not look forward to the upcoming FM switch-off staring in 2017. He has noted that both car importers and listeners are experiencing bad DAB reception and are quite worried prior to this transition. In the daily Dagens Næringsliv he asks for more thoughtfulness before switching-off FM i record time.

Commercial radio in Norway has a much weaker position in relation to the public service - 26% - than in Sweden where commercial radio has approximately 35% of the listeners or Finland with almost half of the listening share.

Of the channels that only broadcast in the DAB network reaches NRK's three P1 +, MP3, and P13 together 10%. Of the other DAB channels - NRK three and four commercial - no channel has reached one (1) percent of the listening. For example, NRK Allnews channel has only 0.9% of listening. 

The outcome of the measurements so far indicate lack of listeners demand for a wide range of radio channels be it on NRK or commercial broadcasting. This has so far been one of the major arguments to replace the FM network with DAB +.

NRK is a state-owned public service radio and television broadcaster. MTG and Bauer runs de facto commercial radio duopolies in the four major Nordic countries.

PPM figures for Norway the week 39, 2016 - Market share in % ( in parentesis week 31, 2016) 

National channels (FM and DAB+)
NRK TOTAL - 68,6 - (68,0) 
NRK P1 - 44,1 - (44,6) 
NRK P2 - 5,2 - (4,5) 
NRK P3 - 7,9 (7,5)
P4 (MTG) - 17,6 (17,2)
Radio Norge (Bauer) - 7,3 - (8,2) 

Local Commercial Radio
P5 - 1,5 - (1,5)
NRJ+ - 1, 5 - (2,0) 

Digital only channels
NRK P1+ - 6,0 - (6,1) 
NRK mP3 - 2,8 - (2,7) 
NRK P13 - 1,0 - (1,0) 
NRK Klassisk - 0,2 - (0,2) 
NRK Nyheter - 0,9 - (0,7) 
NRK Sport - 0,4 - (0,8)

P4 Andre - 0,0 - (0,1)
Radio Norge Soft 0,5 - (0,2)
Radio Rock - 0,7 - (0,9)
Kiss - 0,8 - (0,6) 
(Source: Kantar TNS, tidigare TNS Gallup) Listening shares does not include local radio outside metropolitan areas and community radio.

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