Norway: Number of listeners per week remains stable after FM-switch off

The transition to digital radio has not led to a drop in weekly listeners, but Norwegians do not yet listen to radio as frequently as they used to.

Av radio.no

The number of weekly listeners is almost the same as before the switch off. However, the number of daily listeners is down by 463 000, according to listening figures just published for January 2018. Head of Digital Radio Norway, Ole Jørgen Torvmark thinks that fewer radios in Norwegian households, and consequently listening in fewer places than before, explains the (listener) drop.

”Listeners have been loyal but some need a little more time to replace all their household radios, particularly in Norway’s most populous regions that switched off only two months ago. While some will have replaced their kitchen radio, others may still need to upgrade the car radio or the one in the bedroom. Thus, they end up listening less often than what they used to”, says Torvmark.  “Our experience from the early switch off regions has shown that the listening figures drop at first, and they then start to rise again when consumers have had time to replace their FM radios”.

The number of radio devices that can receive national radio stations has been reduced by almost 50% after the FM-switch off, according to the Digital Radio Survey. (Kantar Media).

According to the PPM survey (Kantar Media) almost 3.7 million Norwegians listened weekly to radio in January 2018. That is only 44,000 less than in 2017.  2.6 million Norwegians listened to radio every day in January 2018, and that is 463,000 fewer daily listeners compared to 2017.

Weekly vs daily listeners to radio
Weekly listeners January 2017: 3,714,000
Weekly listeners January 2018: 3,670,000 (- 44,000 persons)

Daily listeners January 2017: 3,028,000
Daily listeners January 2018: 2,565,000 (- 463,000 pers.)

Radio devices in Norwegian households
Before the switch off: 10.1 million (FM and DAB)
After the switch off: 5.4 million (DAB only)

 New radio stations are popular

The figures show that listeners are tuning in to more stations than before, and smaller stations are growing at the expense of larger ones. New stations that had little or no distribution on FM now have 34 % of the market share.

“The intention with the transition to digital was to offer listeners more choice.  So it is gratifying to see that the radio audience has found and is listening to the new stations”, says Torvmark.