Monday 23 July 2018

Government Will Not Reveal DAB Listening Figures in Norway

Minister of Culture meets sharp criticism in the Parliament
Culture Minister Trine Skei Grande (Venstre) will not take an initiative to find out how many people listen to DAB. It became apparent when she responded to a written question from Åslaug Sen-Jacobsen (Sp the Center party) in the Parliament. Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen is very disappointed with the minister. The question is, among other things, national preparedness and road safety.

Thus, it is still not possible to get an overview of the number of Norwegians listening to DAB radio daily since the national FM network was closed in 2017. I am very disappointed that the new Minister of Culture does not exploit the opportunity to deal with DAB problems in a different way from its predecessors, says Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen (Sp) to the major daily Aftenposten. The former NRK employee is very critical of several aspects of the DAB introduction.

Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen initiates his written question to the Minister of Culture: Will the Minister take the initiative the Media Authority should determine how many people belong to DAB, ie not digital listening, which includes the internet and more, but actually DAB listening? - I am most worried that the minister does not see the value of providing concrete factual data on how many people actually listen to DAB, through an independent instance as the Media Authority. What is the minister afraid of?

Aftenposten writes in an editorial that it is important to find out how many people actually listen to DAB radio. One of the main arguments for the transition from FM to DAB has been better emergency preparedness. But a better technology will not help if too few listeners use it.

Kantar's measurements for the first quarter of this year show that more than half a million daily radio listeners disappeared in connection with the transition from FM to DAB. Currently, only more than half of the cars on Norwegian roads have DAB radio, and one of three holiday cottages has no DAB radio.

However, for such a big, expensive, significant and controversial change of infrastructure in Norway, it would be strange if one refused to disclose the specific number of listeners which press and politicians requested because of that one cannot afford measuring equipment. In this case, the Minister of Culture should change her mind, Aftenposten says.

According to various measurements, the overall radio listening in Norway’s among the lowest in Europe. However, the measurements made by Kantar do not include listening to local FM radio, nor listening to crossborder radio on FM (mainly Swedish channels) or foreign radio on the Internet. Less than half of the Norwegian population is estimated to listen to radio via DAB.

Read full text of question in Strotinget
Skriftlig spørsmål fra Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen (Sp) til kulturministeren

Read more in Aftenposten
DAB-debatten: – Veldig skuffet over kulturministeren
Aftenposten mener: DAB-lyttingen må måles
Etterlyst: «Innhaldsbreidde og eigarmangfald» i DAB-radio