Digital Radio News From Europe

France’s CSA has approved seven sites in the Hauts-de-France (the north of France) for DAB+; Germany will remain a VHF country for the foreseeable future; and in Norway, over-the-air radio listenership appears to have stabilized
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PARIS — France’s CSA has approved seven sites in the Hauts-de-France (the north of France) for DAB+, to be launched in the region on June 19. This deployment will include 39 radio stations in the Lille area and between nine and 13 radio stations in the other areas of the region (Douai-Lens-Béthune- Arras, Valenciennes, Dunkirk and Calais-Boulogne-sur-Mer).

The new deployment plan provides for a first phase with a tight schedule (2018/2020), refocused on the densest areas of the territory (major cities, living areas of more than 175,000 inhabitants, major highways and roads), according to offremedia.com. The less populated areas will be covered after 2020.

“...DAB + is struggling to develop in France mainly because of the lack of enthusiasm of large private groups that favor investment in broadcasting via the internet,” according to the same article.

From Germany: “One thing is certain: at some point, the analog radio reception will be history, as in the case of [digital] television since 2003. The public radio stations have been pushing for years to make DAB + the successor to FM,” according to this article in tagesspeigel.de. Private broadcasters are mixed on the digital radio over-the-air concept: many see the digital future more on the Internet, using 5G.

“Nonetheless, Germany will remain a VHF country for the foreseeable future. The federal government has not committed to a shutdown date for the analog technology,” the same article goes on to say.

In Norway, over-the-air radio listenership appears to have stabilized. Key findings for March of 2018, reported by Kantar Media, are as follows:

  • Daily listenership in January was at 56.9%; in February 57.0%; in March 57.4%
  • Listening time: In January 71 minutes; in February 72 minutes; in March 74 minutes
  • While listening time has increased by three minutes in 2018, it is still eight minutes less listening than January 2017

“Listening on national channels seems to have stabilized after a gradual decline through the turn-off year 2017,” according the medietilsynet.no.

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