Could the UK be the next to shut down FM radio?
January 10, 2017
The UK is shaking up a lot of things lately. Now it could become the next country to put the kibosh on FM radio.
The British government says it will look to move from frequency modulation (FM) to digital audio broadcasting (DAB) once digital listening to the latter hits the 50 percent listening threshold, a mark it’s well on the way to hitting.
As of third quarter 2016, DAB accounted for 45.5 percent of radio listening in the UK. That’s according to Radio Joint Audience Research, the official body in charge of measuring radio in the UK.
Within that segment, 32.3 percent came from DAB, while 8.0 percent was from the internet (including apps) and 5.2 from DTV radio, or audio channels provided with a digital TV service.
At the current pace, digital could account for at least 50 percent of radio listening in the UK by next year. That means the switch is could happen as soon as 2020, according to the BBC.
Norway begins to shutter FM this week
It would join a very small group of countries to pursue the FM-bopping option. This week Norway began a transition away from FM radio to DAB. The town of Bodoe is set to turn off its local network on Wednesday, and FM should be eliminated by the end of the year.
Other countries considering a similar transition in the coming years include Denmark and Switzerland.
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