Both radio listening time and the numbers of Norwegians turning in to national radio station fell in 2017. A double-digit dive in listening came after Norway became the first country in the world to switch off its national FM radio transmission last year and convert to DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting).
The move forced everyone in Norway who listens to the radio to buy new DAB radios and that was not popular. Most households and businesses did, but despite the plethora of new and specialized DAB radio channels offered by state broadcaster NRK, ratings fell. News bureau NTB reported this week that average listening time to national radio channels dropped by 10 minutes, from 84 minutes a month in December 2016 to 74 minutes in December 2017.
That marks a nearly 12 percent decline in listening time by the of the year, according to the new numbers from the national communications authority Medietilsynet. The FM radio shutdown was regionally phased in throughout the year, and by December, DAB had taken over nationwide.
NRK lost the most listeners, while the commercial P4 group and Bauer Media were stable. The numbers of daily radio listeners also fell, though, by 8.9 percent.
NRK’s new niche stations are also taking listeners away from the traditional channels P1, P2 and P3, plus the commercial P4 and Radio Norge. Niche channels such as NRK P1+, Klem and Radio Rock now attract 36 percent of daily listeners, while the traditional channels now have 42.1 percent, down from 60 percent in 2016. NRK’s P1, however, continued to attract the single largest audience.