Norway: As a world first, Norway will switch off their FM-network next year. The digital switch-over will start on January 11 in the county of Nordland and then continue region by region before finishing in December. People seem to be prepared and 77 per cent of households in Nordland already have a digital radio, higher than the national average of 71 per cent.
– Listeners has responded well to digital radio and its offering of more content, says Ole Jørgen Torvmark, managing director of Digitalradio Norge, a company owned by NRK (the public service broadcaster), MTG Radio and Bauer Media.
– In a county such as Nordland with a number of smaller and wide spread communities listeners will get a lot more choice. Sound without the hassle of analogue noise is also appealing to many, says Torvmark.
Research by TNS Gallup show that people in this part of Norway are planning to upgrade their cars, but as many as 6 out of 10 will wait until the switch-over is actually happening. More than 3 out of 10 cars already have digital radio.
– There has been a formidable increase in digital listening in line with coverage.
– Digital radio from a device that is familiar, as opposed to digital on mobile or a computer, seem to explain how young and old make the transition so readily, Torvmark says.