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Thursday, 8 November 2018

DAB Radio Setback for Bauer Media in Norway

Oslo rumours: Radio 1 closure, staff cuts.
In recent months, the low listening figures for most of the national commercial radio channels stay on. One of the two players hardest hit Bauer Media with its eight DAB channels has a 9.7% national radio market share versus the P4 seven channels total of 22.3%. Now rumours reveal extensive staff cuts in Bauer’s Norwegian operations and that the Radio 1 channel with only a 0,3% market share will be shut down after just one year of operation. – Since 2017 Bauer and P4 no longer broadcast on FM.

However, speculations about the cuts and closure of Radio 1 are rejected by Bauer Media’s director Lasse Kokvik in Oslo. I can reject any speculation about this, he told Media24.no, whose sources however say that employees has been informed that they will face a difficult time.

Since been closing the national FM networks in 2017, Bauer and P4 only operates DAB-only terrestrial channels together with public broadcaster NRK. Besides the main channel Radio Norway (3.2%) and P4 (14.1%), there is not any national commercial DAB channel that has more than 2.3% market share. Radio 1 has a market share of 0.3%. (Listener figures by Kantar).

For the NRK it looks better. Public service channels have a total market share of 67.8% (almost on level with its Swedish equivalent SR on FM). NRK P1 is still the major channel with 39.1% and P1+ 12.5%. However, none of the NRK’s other eight channels have a share of more than 4.7%.

In Sweden, where the main platform is FM, Bauer and P4 operates a total of ten channels on FM, while in Norway there are about 15 channels on DAB.

The expansion of FM frequency spectrum for commercial channels in Sweden has proved successful with increased listening. On the other hand, the Norwegian DAB initiative has suffered from problems in the form of irregular reception conditions and angry citizens who prefer to listen to the local radio on FM. In addition, only half the car park is equipped with DAB receivers.

Prior to the transition to DAB radio, Bauer (and SBS before) did not share the enthusiasm of competitor P4 over leaving the FM band. In other countries, Bauer’s main platform is still FM, although it also broadcasts DAB, as in Denmark and Great Britain. In Finland and Sweden Bauer is on only FM.

Bauer Media in Norway belongs to the Bauer Media Group in Hamburg, Germany. The Group operates in 17 countries, and the majority shareholder is Mrs Yvonne Bauer. P4 belongs to Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) – formerly MTG – and is part of the Swedish Kinnevik Group.

Also read
Lasse Kokvik og Bauer Media avviser at de skal legge ned Radio 1 (Medier24.no) (in Norwegian)

50 Percent of Norwegians Do Not Switch to DAB. Rather Stay on FM
Deep Decline for Radio Ads in Norway Bad News for DAB Broadcasters
Digital Transition in Norway: Commercial Radio Will Be a Loser

Digital Radio FM Insider News and opinion about future FM radio, terrestrial and online digital radio broadcasting. Pages News Q&A – Digital or FM Broadcasting Bands