Sunday 12 February 2017

Dutch Go for Digital Radio, But Not for DAB

Lack of consumer demand might kill DAB+ in the Netherlands
The government’s multi-million euro campaign to get people to switch to DAB is failing, according to public broadcaster Nos. Radio sellers and car dealers report few people switching to the DAB+ system, even though the government wants everyone to have made the change by 2017. Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp wants to increase competition between broadcasters and says there is more room for new players using DAB+ to replace FM. But Internet seems to be the stumbling block.

Switching off FM in 2017 is a fairytale, Sander Tinnemans of told Nos. He says the government is not doing enough to encourage people to move to DAB+ and forecasts it will take 10 more years before people are ready. Online retailer Coolblue says while sales of digital radios have increased, internet radios are much more popular. Many consumers have switched from FM to internet radio, at home and in their car,’ the retailer said. This means the sale of wireless speakers is growing more strongly than Dab radios, says Coolblue according to DutchNews.

The Dutch market for smartphones, tablets and e-readers is ‘fully saturated’ and almost everyone who wishes to own one or more of the devices does so, market research group GfK says. Some 83% of the over 12s now have a smartphone. The number of smart phones and tablets in Dutch households doubled over the past five years according to DutchNews.

The conservative-liberal party VVD which is heading the present government says in its manifesto for the March 15 general elections that if staying in power it will cut the public broadcaster NPO budget with 300 million euro. This will almost halve the NPO operations leading to a closure of at least one of three TV channels and also the DAB-only channels. VVD is the major party in the parliament with 40 of 150 seats. However, in the opinion polls today PVV (Geert Wilder's Freedom Party) is leading the race.

Also read
Dutch Broadcast Provider on DAB: “It’s Still Too Early”
A Third Hongkong DAB Broadcaster To Sign Off