FM Listening in this country is now down to 36 Percent, yet still dominating … for now

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Switzerland anticipates FM to DAB + switch in mid-2022. FM drops to 36% of use, but for now it remains the dominant platform.

According to an internal document of SRG SSR (the Swiss public radio) of which the periodical Ticinonews gives an account , the definitive transition (switch-off) FM / DAB +, ie from analogue to digital radio over the air, will take place in summer 2022.

The news – which attests to a general European push towards the development of digital radio – has been confirmed by the spokesperson of the SSR Edi Estermann at Keystone-ATS agency, stating that “discussions are underway …” on the basis of an internal SRG document “.

“If analogue broadcasts were to be permanently interrupted by the end of July 2022, private broadcasters would need six months more to get digital”, explains the Swiss online newspaper Ticinonews.

Analogue is still the most widely used radio reception technology in Switzerland, with a 36% share (even if the IP / DAB + combination now surpasses it). However, the influence of technological change on the total number of listeners on the radio is uncertain. In Norway, the first country where the FM / DAB + switch-off took place, radio users fell by 20% one year after switching off analogue transmitters (which, however, only concerns national broadcasters).

In Italy, the shutdown should put an end to the thirty-year border interference conflict.

The Swiss decision, as mentioned at the beginning, confirms an ongoing trend throughout Europe. On the subject of the coordination of international radio broadcasts, Agcom, on the occasion of the RSPG (Radio Spectrum Policy Group) meetings of 10/05/2019 in Dublin and of 12/06/2019 in Brussels, informed that the planning of DAB + digital radio “ will be fully in line with Italian international rights (GE-06 + coordination agreements) and will be implemented as soon as possible to resolve interferences ”.

In other words, the intention of the Italian regulator is to push for coordinated planning of the DAB + to achieve, through the progressive shifting of radio use from FM to digital radio, a spontaneous solution to chronic analogical interference. 

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