Switzerland goes digital – DAB+ is now the most widely used radio reception method

The trend towards digital radio is continuing: three quarters of radio usage is now digital. DAB+ is the most widely used radio reception method, in all parts of the country. Only one in eight people say they still tune in exclusively to FM radio.

In autumn 2020, radio listeners received an average of 73 out of 100 radio minutes per day via digital means. Digital radio usage has thus increased by 24 percentage points over the last five years. This was announced by the Digital Migration working group (AG DigiMig) at the SRG 2021 GfK Annual Meeting on 25 February 2021. At 41 per cent, DAB+ is the most widely used reception mode in all parts of the country and in all age groups. Usage via the other two digital reception channels, internet radio and digital TV, has remained virtually constant, levelling off at 32 percent, while FM use has fallen by 24 percentage points over the past five years, and now stands at 27 per cent. Only 12 out of 100 people stated that they still listen to FM radio.

5.4 million DAB+ radios sold

In 2020, just under 600,000 DAB+ radios (including car radios) were sold. According to the six-monthly surveys of electronics stores conducted by the market research institute GfK, a total of 5.4 million DAB+ devices have been sold since 2000. This indicates coverage of about one and a half devices per household.

There is also a clear upward trend in DAB+ equipment in vehicles: 99 percent of all new cars are now equipped with a DAB+ radio as standard. Despite the pandemic-related slump in car sales, in 2020 the number of passenger cars equipped with DAB+ increased by 275,000 to just under 2 million vehicles. DAB+ usage in cars has also risen. DAB+ could be received in 42 per cent of all vehicles at the end of 2020; at 47 per cent, reception via DAB+ is higher than via FM (45%), and overall digital use (including the internet) stands at 55 per cent.

FM to be switched off in 2022/2023

The radio industry has agreed that it will switch entirely from FM to digital broadcasting via DAB+ in 2022 and 2023. The SRG will switch off its FM transmitters in August 2022, while private radio stations will do so by January 2023 at the latest. OFCOM is running an information campaign to prepare the public for this change. A range of communication campaigns have been running on radio, television, print, social media and billboards since 2017. Further information on DAB+ can be found on the DABPlus website.

Specialist staff
Last modification 25.02.2021

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