Almost 4.2 million DAB+ radios sold – FM consumption falls to 18%

As at the end of 2018, 4.19 million DAB+ radios had been sold in Switzerland. Two-thirds of all Swiss citizens now receive their radio programmes digitally, while only 18% of the population still listen exclusively to FM. According to studies available to OFCOM, the proportion of vehicles equipped with DAB+ radios also rose sharply last year.

The trend towards digital radio is continuing. Figures collected every six months by research institute GfK on behalf of OFCOM and the Digital Migration Working Group (DigiMig WG) show that use by Swiss citizens of digital radio averaged 64 minutes per 100 radio minutes per day. Of this figure, 33% was accounted for by DAB+ and 31% by Internet, cable and IPTV networks. At 36%, analogue FM usage, though falling, remains the highest, whereas the proportion of those who listened exclusively to VHF in 2018 was only 18%, compared with 24% in the previous year.

In 2018, 286'200 DAB+ radios were sold, while around 303'000 more radios had already been installed as standard or retrofitted in vehicles. According to GfK's half-yearly surveys, which cover almost all electronics dealers, this means that a total of 4'190'455 DAB+ devices have been sold to date.

New EU regulation already fulfilled in Switzerland

OFCOM surveys show that the proportion of new vehicles in which DAB+ reception is fitted as standard rose sharply again in 2018 and is now 91%, compared with 85% in the previous year. This means that the requirement that will apply in the European Union from the end of 2020, whereby every new passenger vehicle must be DAB+-capable, has almost already been met in Switzerland. And it is increasingly clear from the usage figures that more and more cars on Swiss roads are fitted with DAB+. In autumn 2018, for example, DAB+ accounted for 40 out of every 100 radio minutes listened to in a car, which means the DAB+ share has doubled within three years.

The radio industry is planning to gradually phase out analogue FM radio broadcasting by the end of 2024 at the latest and to use DAB+ as the main transmission technology instead. In order to support this switchover, OFCOM launched an information campaign in 2017. Since mid-2017, a range of information campaigns under the banner "Radio is changing" have been running in the print media and on radio, television and billboards. More information about DAB+ can be found on the DABPlus website.

Specialist staff
Last modification 15.02.2019

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