Last update: 08-08-2017 - older versions

German Government will mandate Digital Interface in most radios
Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is working to promote digital radio services by mandating certain features in new radios. The Action Plan for the Transformation of Radio Broadcasting in the Digital Age Roadmap - Progress Report for the Digital Radio Board / Bill of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy - Fourth Law amending the Telecommunications Act (English translation) suggests that high-quality radio receivers may only be sold if they are suitable for the reception of standards-appropriate digital signals. According to the bill, devices which are “primarily intended for the reception of sound broadcasting and which are capable of displaying program names must be provided with at least one interface, according to the recognised rules of technology, which allows the user to receive and reproduce digitally encoded contents." Whether that interface is DAB+, LAN or WLAN does not matter, according to the same article. Source

Read the BMWi press release

EU-wide market development of digital radio

At its meeting on 29 June 2016 in Berlin, the German-French Radio Commission requested the German and the French Governments to ask EU Institutions to assist with EU-wide market development of digital radio, by making it mandatory for all new radio receivers sold to be equipped with DAB+. 

German Ministry for Digital Infrastructure: DAB+ broadcast is the successor to FM

With its first meeting in June 2015, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is the host of a high-level Digital Radio Board for Germany which has the task to create the framework for a roadmap regarding a smooth transition from FM to DAB+ as soon as possible considering that the switch from analogue to digital radio in Germany is necessary and inevitable.

The Digital Radio Board currently comprises 15 high-level representatives of BMVI and federal states, ARD, Deutschlandradio, commercial broadcasters, regional media authorities, radio set and car manufacturers and the federal network agency.

By common accord between its members, the board is heading to create a specific timetable within a year's time for the switch from the analogue to  digital terrestrial radio.

Read the BMVI press release.

The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate has announced support for an initiative outlining that all radio devices should have digital capability. This can be seen as a very important initiative for the development of digital radio in Germany and across the rest of Europe.

Useful Documents

Fact-sheet by ARD-Generalsekretatiat Dr. Susanne Pfab 

Statement by the head of production- and technology (PTKO) Dr. Ulrich Liebenow

Digital Radio Action Plan

German Minister Dorothee Bär published in February 2017 the Digital Radio Action Plan on the BMVI (Federal Ministry of Traffic and Transport) website:

The plan was passed by a majority of the Board, with the exception of VPRT (one of the two associations which represent private broadcasters) who opposed the plan and have now left the Board. Nonetheless, the rollout of the plan will continue and the remaining partners on the Board are now obliged to follow the eight measures written in the roadmap.  There will now be a series of discussions with the individual states (Länder), led by Rhineland-Palatinate (Heike Raab) and BMVI (Dorothee Bär). The Digital Radio Board is headed by State Secretary Bär and includes representatives from the individual states, broadcasters, the federal network agency and industry.

The plan is available in English here

2nd national multiplex (Bundesmux)

The allocation of frequencies for the 2nd national DAB+ multiplex has been approved by the Presidents of the German Laender. The Tender process launched the week commencing 12 December 2016 and will complete on 6 June 2017 when the Gremienvorsitzendenkonferenz will decide who will be the “winner” of the process. From then on, the winner will start building infrastructure, rent office space and hire staff. More on the background here: The second MUX will not start earlier than December 2017, rather in Q1 2018. The second national DAB+ multiplex, which was initially requested in September 2016, will aim to cover nationwide private radio programs.

Four applications for the second nationwide DAB+ multiplex have been submitted to the Sächsisches Landesanstalt für private Rundfunk und neue Medien (SLM) and include Digital Audio Broadcasting Platform DABP GmbH, Absolut Digital GmbH  & Co. KG, Media Broadcast Digital Radio GmbH and Radi/o digital GmbH.

1st national multiplex

The nationwide DAB+ network was extended by around 50 transmitters with a completion date of 2016. In June 20017, there were 117 transmitters broadcasting. Germany is now developing a DSO strategy. Now, with the first national mux, 96% of all people are covered (June 2017).


Last update: 16-05-2017 - older versions

Digital radio is available in all metropolitan areas. The total coverage (combined coverage of ARD multiplexes and the national multiplex) is 95% of the area and more than 96% of the population (mobile outdoor). The combined coverage (mobile indoor) is 74.1% of the area and 82.1% of the population.

The 1st level road coverage of the national network is 12,700 km which is equal to 98%.

ARD multiplexes in particular cover 81.65% of the area and 89.5% of the population.

As of January 2017 the nationwide DAB+ network has 110 transmitters. In addition, 2017 plans the commissioning of additional stations to spread the national digital radio programmes. Media Broadcast has announced the further expansion of its network for the national digital radio offering in channel 5C. As announced by the service provider on May 8, the commissioning of further transmitter locations in the federal territory is planned in the coming weeks. This will further optimise the supply of the national offer in the DAB+ standard. The main focus of the project will be in rural areas in Baden-Württemberg (connected to the network on 20 April 2017), Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein. This creates further supply areas.

Detailed information on the network coverage can be found on

Map of the national multiplex which covers 95.5% of the area of Germany as of Dec 2016 (source Media Broadcast).

German Commercial Radio gains access to Hamburg Region via DAB+
While most regional and local commercial radio stations in southern Germany transmitted on FM, and were available via the internet, and had for at least several years been available on DAB+, commercial stations in the north part of Germany were not available via DAB+ at all. That geographical division is now being erased: Last September, RSH, the most popular station in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, started broadcasting via DAB+ in the Hamburg region. Source

Last update: 11-07-2016 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

In total, there are more than 150 radio stations which can be received digitally across the 16 German Bundeslaender: 11 national programmes, over 60 public stations distributed  by ARD members, and around 80 commercial stations (regional or local). The majority of radio programmes are equipped with accompanying data services including at least Dynamic Label Segment or DL+ and Slideshow. See Slideshow on air.  In particular, all public ARD radio brands are broadcast with additional services accompanying the live audio service: Now-next information (DLS/DL+), Programme previews (EPG), Weather and traffic charts, news headlines, track/title-cover (slideshow/categorised slideshow), Future mobility service (TPEG), and Hybrid EPGs and Slideshows (RadioVIS and RadioEPG). Download a presentation on Slideshow in Germany.

National programme offers

Nine commercial radio services as well as three radio programmes from the national public broadcaster Deutschlandradio are broadcast on the national multiplex, which is operated by Media Broadcast. Pop, rock, electronic, and classical music are available as well as spoken word content, debates and Christian, culture radio, and national league football content. This combines an attractive selection of both mainstream and niche content.

Regulation for a second national multiplex is pending.

Regional programme offers

More than 60 radio programmes provided by the nine ARD-broadcasters are available. The majority of those are ARD’s well-known FM-brands as well as 17 new digital-only stations with a terrestrial provision exclusively via DAB+ such as NDR Blue, WDR KiRaKa, BR PULS, or MDR Klassik. All ARD programmes are equipped with an ARD-wide identical (and mandatory) set of data services to accompany the live audio service.

In addition, around 80 commercial services are provided via regional or local multiplexes operated by Media Broadcast.

Regional Services on air in Germany


Population: 10.7 million

Total coverage: 92.7 %

Two networks, one mixed multiplex for public and commercial programmes, the second with public programmes. By end of 2014 the mixed multiplex will be extended by adding nine commercial radio programmes, alongside the further network development to increase the coverage of both multiplexes.


Population: 12.0 million

Total coverage: 96.0%

Two networks, one for public programmes, the second for commercial programmes. Additional local networks are available in the major Bavarian cities such as Munich, Nürnberg, Ingolstadt and Augsburg. Together with the national multiplex up to 49 radio programmes are available in some regions.


Population: 3.5 million

Total coverage: 100%

Two networks, one for public programmes, the second for both public and commercial programmes, are fully covering Berlin and the surrounding area.


Population: 2.5 million

Total coverage: 69.9%

Brandenburg is currently just covered by the multiplexes which are being broadcast in Berlin. The majority of Brandenburgian people are living in the wider area around Berlin. The network expansion in the rural areas of Brandenburg is under consideration.


Population: 0.7 million

Total coverage: 92.3%

The Bremen area is covered by three multiplexes. The most important one provides the Radio Bremen programmes (Bremen Eins, Bremen Vier, Nordwestradio) as well as co-operated programmes such as Funkhaus Europa, WDR KiRaKa. Unique DAB-content is available on the service called Bremen Next.


Population: 1.8 million

Total coverage: 100%

There is one multiplex for public programmes, operated by NDR, which fully covers the area around Hamburg.


Population: 6 million

Total coverage: 93.2%

There are two networks, one for public radio programmes and the second for commercial programmes, covering the metropolitan area around Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. The public broadcaster mux covers rural areas as well as the important transit routes in northern Hesse.


Population: 1.6 million

Total coverage: 20.3%

There is one multiplex for public programmes, operated by NDR, which covers the metropolitan area around the capital Schwerin.


Population: 7.9 million

Total coverage: 83.5%

One multiplex for public programmes, operated by NDR, which covers the main transit routes as well as high-populated and rural areas.


Population: 17.8 million

Total coverage: 97.1%

One mixed multiplex for public and commercial programmes, operated by WDR, which covers the most populated federal state in Germany, including the so called Ruhr region.


Population: 4.0 million

Total coverage: 89.3%

One mixed multiplex for public and commercial programmes covers the metropolitan area in the Rhein-Main region as well as rural areas and the important transit routes.


Population: 1.0 million

Total coverage: 98.2%

One mixed multiplex for public and commercial programmes reaches nearly full coverage of Germany‘s smallest area state.


Population: 4.2 million

Total coverage: 98.4%

There is one mixed multiplex for public and commercial programmes, which has been on air before the DAB+ digital radio launch in 2011. This mixed multiplex covers the majority of Saxony. In addition, public broadcaster MDR has established new networks in the metropolitan areas of Saxony.


Population: 2.3 million

Total coverage: 95.7%

There is one mixed multiplex for both public and commercial programmes, which was already on air before the digital radio launch in 2011 and covers the majority of Saxony-Anhalt. In addition, public broadcaster MDR has established new networks in the metropolitan areas of Saxony-Anhalt.


Population: 2.8 million

Total coverage: 75.0 %

There is one multiplex for public programmes, operated by NDR, covers the main transit routes as well as the capital Kiel.


Population: 2.2 million

Total coverage: 88.3%

There is one mixed multiplex for public and commercial programmes, which has already been on air before the DAB+ digital radio launch in 2011 and covers the majority of Thuringia. In addition public broadcaster MDR has established new networks in the metropolitan areas of Thuringia.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 110 40 150

Last update: 11-05-2017 - older versions

The German government recommends DAB+ as the platform for the delivery of safety relevant traffic data.  All German car manufacturers provide DAB+ dealer fit solutions and they are working on the integration of additional data services for in-car usage such as Slideshow or EPG for in-car and TPEG in particular. Various aftermarket solutions are available to allow digital radio reception in car.

DAB+ as standard

In Germany, DAB radio is available in 80% of new cars – primarily as an option.

Take-up rate

The following statistics are from VDA's DAT automotive report 2016

  • take-up rate of new cars (German manufacturers) with DAB-radio (as standard and as an option): 21.4% in 2016 (2015: 14.4%)
  • Foreign manufacturers: 20.2%
  • Total fleet of new cars (German and foreign manufacturers) 21.0%.


Two commercial service providers (Garmin and Mediamobile) have been broadcasting traffic and travel information using the TPEG standard via the national DAB+ multiplex since 2013.  In addition, the public service ARD-TPEG-service is broadcast by several regional ARD-multiplexes, fulfilling the European Commission ITS directive requiring European Union member states to provide drivers with free safety related traffic information.

Last update: 09-08-2017 - older versions

The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate has announced support for an initiative outlining that all radio devices should have digital capability. This can be seen as a very important initiative for the development of digital radio in Germany and across the rest of Europe.

GfK sales figures indicate continuously a significant growth of the market: up 21% in 2016 and up 37% in 2014 in comparison with the previous years. The number of devices available on the market has grown from 120 devices in 2011 to more than 400 by mid-2015 with manufacturers offering products at all price points and starting with less than 20 Euros. As of August 2017,  there are more than 45 manufacturers selling DAB+ radios in Germany.

Market Research

  • Radio ratings with DAB+ for the first time will be available in Autumn 2016.
  • 13% of all German households have DAB+ in 2016
  • In Bavaria, 16% of households own a DAB+ digital radio in 2016.
  • 3.1 million DAB+ digital radios have been sold in Gemany since the launch of DAB+ 5 years ago. Source
  • 900,000 DAB+ radios sold in 2015 (source: GfK)
  • 360,000 DAB+ radios sold in the period from January – May 2016 (source: GfK)
  • At least every 20th car radio operates on DAB+

A comprehensive list of DAB+ receivers available in Germany can be found at:

Initiative Digital Radio Deutschland Product Finder

Overview list of the digital radio receivers available on the German market

Digitalisierungsbericht which includes the Infratest figures (2.7 million receivers in German households) presented during IFA

Featured receiver - schoolkit to build your own radio

In the summer of 2016, Bavaria's public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk had the idea to start a competition with bavarian schools to create a self-made digital radio. In December, they were ready to write a creative competition for about 4,500 secondary schools. BR provided 600 kits for this purpose. By Easter, 400 classes from around 300 schools had applied and we had a request for almost 7,000 kits. 40 classes werre chosen at random and each class got 15 kits. These were delivered on 19 June 2017 and the pupils can submit their radios by the end of the school year, end of July. The ten winners will be announced at the end of September and will be invited to the award ceremony of the best three on November 9th.

The kit was developed jointly with the BDR and the Frankish companies Elektron and Infoteam Software.

Link to the competition:


Last update: 08-09-2014 - older versions

Key features of regulation for digital radio in Germany are:

  • DAB+ was selected to secure the future of digital radio in Germany in 2009
  • Licences on the national multiplex were awarded on a beauty contest basis
  • Digital radio services are broadcast on Band III (Channels 5 – 12)
  • Due to the federal structure of Germany, spectrum is assigned on both regional and national basis
  • There are two types of licences:
  1. Telecommunication licence, awarded from the National Federal Network Agency (BnetzA) to the network operator to run the network
  2. Media licence, awarded from the media authority of the Bundesländer to the broadcasters
  • Media licences are assigned on state (Länder) level by the 16 media authorities (Medienanstalten)
  • In terms of the national multiplex, one of these media authorities was in charge of the allocation of the licences
  • There is ongoing regulatory discussion to renew FM licences only when broadcasting also via DAB+

Last update: 09-08-2017 - older versions

ARD Group, the commercial broadcasters on the national multiplex, Deutschlandradio, and the network operator Media Broadcast – together participate in the marketing-“Initiative Digitalradio Deutschland” – and are keen to build on past cooperation and to increase synergies. Considering ARD’s reiterated strategic commitment on digital radio in particular, the parties involved are working on a mutual concept for a consolidated communication to the market. As a first step, they changed the campaign logo by replacing the slogan “Radio der Zukunft” with “DAB+”.


May 2017

ARD and Deutschlandradio started a cross-media nationwide marketing campaign for DAB+ radio from 2 May 2017. The campaign will include radio, television and internet, as well as images for print and online use. DAB+ has also received an eye-catching new logo, with which broadcasters, manufacturers and retailers can promote the new radio standard. The logo may be downloaded for free at Download the Press Release.

Under the motto "As clear as if I were there", the ARD started a nationwide marketing campaign for DAB+ together with Deutschlandradio and other partners on May 2nd. This includes TV commercials, which are shown in the first and third programmes as well as on numerous online channels. In the ARD, with Deutschlandradio and private broadcasters are broadcasting various radio adspots. In addition, there are print and online motifs on the new website, on which the new campaign can be seen and heard. The uniform overall appearance has been the most extensive since the introduction of DAB+ six years ago.

The aim of the three-week action period until 21 May is to make DAB+ more popular. The campaign focuses on the listening experience on the radio. It shows typical listening situations and the joy of listening to the radio. This year’s second campaign will kick off 9-29 August, with DAB+ radio spots on ARD and Deutschlandradio.  From Nov 27th there will be another 3-4 week campaign of DAB commercials, DAB+ giveaways etc
There will also be a consumer info day on digital radio on 29th August.  
Almost 57 million listeners are listening to radio every day, which is about 78% of the population. More than 38 million people listen to 105 minutes of ARD radio programs every day on average from Monday to Friday.
The campaign also introduces a new brand launch of DAB+. A logo in the form of a stylised radio shows together with the claim "Mehrradio", which is the technical standard DAB+. At the Mitteldeutschland media center in Leipzig, the new brand and the campaign was publicly presented for the first time, from May 2 to 4, alongside the on-air and online activities. The new logo for DAB+ is also supported by equipment manufacturers and dealers, who have the elements of the new branding for their own advertising measures available. There has been a very good take-up by receiver manufacturers of the new logo including brands such as LM Electronics, Technisat, Panasonic, Grundig, Sonoro, Philips, Clarion, Bose, Dual, Hama, Audio Bloc, Soundwave, Telstar and Pure.

As in the past year, the ARD will broadcast a nationwide day of the DAB+ radio conference on the radio programme in Berlin, where experts will be informed about programming and technology for the digital antenna. A further campaign phase for DAB+ is planned together with market partners involved in the pre-Christmas period.




TIF Directive in Bavaria

The BLM's Media Council has decided on a recasting of directives to promote the technical infrastructure of terrestrial radio offers. This TIF directive, which will enter into force on the 01 July 2017, has the promotion of digital radio broadcasting in Bavaria as its the focus. More information is available at



Last update: 05-08-2016 - older versions

ARD is investigating the possibility of supporting emergency warning announcements (EWS) via DAB+ to improve the provision of safety relevant information to the listener in situations of acute danger such as industrial plant incidents or severe weather warnings, both in the home and in vehicle.

In preparation for the introduction of an EMF (Emergency Warning Functionality) channel for the Free State of Bavaria, DAB+ multiplex operator Bayern Digital Radio GmbH is planning an information channel on DAB+.

The duration of the pilot project is initially limited to the period from September to December 2016. After successful implementation, it will be possible to establish the information channel as a permanent service on Bayern Digital Radio's DAB+ multiplex in Bavaria. Source

Telestar present new hybrid radios at IFA 2017
18.08.2017 - Germany - Germany
At this year's IFA, DAB+ will feature prominently through the exhibition. TELESTAR will be on the ARD stand (Hall 2.1,106) exhibiting the hybrid radios; DABMAN i450 and DABMAN i600 which feature DAB+, FM and the ability to access 10,000 internet radio stations.

Growth in sales of DAB+ receivers continues
18.08.2017 - Norway - Norway - Belgium - Belgium - Denmark - Denmark - France - France - Germany - Germany - Italy - Italy - Netherlands - Netherlands - Sweden - Sweden - Switzerland - Switzerland
“These figures demonstrate the strength of the market in Europe. Not only do we have the impact of digital switchovers in Norway this year and Switzerland (2020-24), but we are also seeing the rapid development of DAB+ in a growing number of territories," said Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB.
From Radioempfang:

T+A high-end Cala SR and Cala CDR receivers
18.08.2017 - United Kingdom - United Kingdom - Germany - Germany
High-end German audio manufacturer T+A has introduced a new designer receiver range. The Cala SR and Cala CDR offer streaming services, playback from UPnP network music servers and USB, FM, FM-HD and DAB radio.
From InsideCI:

Strong growth for digital radio sales in Europe
17.08.2017 - Norway - Norway - Belgium - Belgium - Denmark - Denmark - France - France - Germany - Germany - Italy - Italy - Netherlands - Netherlands - Sweden - Sweden - Switzerland - Switzerland
GfK research, covering nine European markets, shows a 30 per cent increase in sales volumes for the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
From Advanced Television:

Strong growth for digital radio sales in Europe
17.08.2017 - Norway - Norway - Switzerland - Switzerland - Netherlands - Netherlands - Belgium - Belgium - Denmark - Denmark - Italy - Italy - France - France - Sweden - Sweden - Germany - Germany
The first half of 2017 has seen rapid growth in sales of DAB+ receivers across Europe – driven by Norway’s switchover from FM to DAB+ and the development of digital radio markets across the continent.
From WorldDAB:

DAB+ digital radio day at Hitradio Ohr
17.08.2017 - Germany - Germany
On Thursday 17 August 2017, as part of the "Baden-Württemberg is digital" summer campaign, HITRADIO OHR will be devoted to the subject of DAB+ radio. All day the station will share information about DAB+, 'the radio of the future', that offers listeners so many benefits.
From Hitradio Ohr:

DAB+ on display at upcoming IFA
14.08.2017 - Germany - Germany
According to WorldDAB, A recent marketing campaign, with another starting just before IFA, along with the expansion of both DAB+ multiplex networks and services on-air should see DAB+ taking a much more prominent position this year.
From Radio magazine:

Small scale DAB radio in Germany
12.08.2017 - Germany - Germany
In Bretzenheim, in the Bad Kreuznach district in Rhineland-Palatinate, a test facility has now started for the first DAB broadcast using a small broadcasting system and open source technology. The small scale DAB concept is designed to make digital radio attractive for small stations, offering affordable entry into the digital radio market.
From heise online:

Pearl VR-Radio IRS-650 DAB+ radio
12.08.2017 - Germany - Germany
With the IRS-650, VR Audio offers a wide range of functions thanks to a 3.2 screen, with digital radio reception via DAB+.
From Hifi journal:

WDR specifies plans for DAB+ transmitter network expansion
11.08.2017 - Germany - Germany
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) has outlined plans for further expansion of the DAB+ broadcast network, which will begin in 2018.
From Radioempfang:

Select Country:

Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 81.6 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 96%
Services: 150 DAB+
Line-fit automotive sales (cumulative): 3,086,600 devices
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 21.4%
Total Sales (cumulative): 8,244,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 13%
Last update: 04.04.2017

Useful Links

Intelligent transport systems Action Plan and Directive
Preliminary Presentation on Digital Radio in 2014 at IFA Berlin Sept 2014
Digitisation Report (English) - Die Medienanstalten, 2015
Bill of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy - Fourth Law amending the Telecommunications Act 
The Action Plan for the Transformation of Radio Broadcasting in the Digital Age Roadmap - Progress Report for the Digital Radio Board