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.
However, network coverage only describes where DAB+ can be used - but not how it is actually used. The state media authorities have noted this (for example in the current report Digitalisierungsbericht Audio 2021).
The market will develop over the next few years, and show which platform will prevail, says Schenk, who points out that the Internet offers alternatives, especially for the younger generation, which largely uses streaming services. "With this in mind, we do not want to set a shutdown date."
The media measurements show that Oliver Schenk is correct: 12.5% of Germans listen most to digital radio via DAB+ and 16.6% via the Internet. The FM share has fallen to 57.9 percent. In Saxony, 80% of radio listeners receive their programs via FM. (Source: Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk)