Swiss radio listeners going digital as FM loses ground

Three quarters of the Swiss population now tune in to the radio digitally. While DAB+ and internet radio use is increasing, FM is steadily losing listeners and will be switched off at the end of 2024.

In autumn 2021, radio listeners used digital platforms for an average of 75 out of 100 minutes of radio every day. This was announced by the Digital Migration working group (WG DigiMig) at the ARARO meeting on 4 February 2022. Digital radio use has jumped 26 percentage points over the last six years, from 49% in autumn 2015 to 75% last autumn. Meanwhile, FM use has halved over the same period, dropping from 51% to 25%. Only 12 out of 100 people surveyed said that they still listen to FM radio only. Listening to the radio online is becoming increasingly popular and – accounting for 37 of 100 minutes of radio listening – is practically neck and neck with DAB+ use (38 minutes).

Online listening popular in French and Italian-speaking regions

The digitalisation trend is most advanced in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, where some 77% of radio use is either via DAB+ or the internet (69% in French-speaking Switzerland, 68% in Italian-speaking Switzerland). In both the French and Italian-speaking regions, the internet is the most popular platform, accounting for slightly over a third of all radio use.

Digital radio used by all age groups

Digital radio now accounts for at least around 70% of use in each age group. Digital migration is most advanced among the 15 to 34 year olds, who represent 85% of use; among this cohort, the internet is the most popular platform, with 51% of radio use. Digital radio accounts for 69% of radio use among listeners aged 55 and over. DAB+ is the most popular platform for this age group, at 41%.

DAB+ most used at all locations

Home is by far the most popular place to listen to the radio (64% of all radio use). Some 19% of all radio listening takes place at work, mainly via DAB+ (41%) or the internet (38%). Radio listening in the car accounts for 12%. The highest proportion of radio use in cars is via DAB+ (47%). Together with the 12% for internet listening, a total of 59% of radio use in the car is now digital.

Six million DAB+ radios sold - DAB+ is the standard in all new cars

Almost 300,000 DAB+ radios were sold in Switzerland in 2021. An additional 285,000 DAB+ devices were fitted in vehicles. This pushes the total number of DAB+ radios in Switzerland up to nearly 6 million. In addition, a DAB+ radio was fitted as standard in 99.7% of all cars sold in 2021.

Specialist staff
Last modification 28.02.2022

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