Germany

Last update: 31.01.2020 - older versions

Germany has a regular DAB+ status, and approximately 97% of the country's population is covered by DAB+.

The following websites provide information on all available services, the latest marketing and receivers for home and on the move. 

www.dabplus.de/ 

https://www.rundfunkforum.de/viewforum.php?f=11

In September 2019, the German federal parliament reiterated its commitment to DAB+ by passing a revision to its Telecoms Law.

The law was approved and made official in November 2019.

According to the revised law, all new car radios should be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio from 21th Dec 2020 – as required by the European Electronic Communications Code.

The law also requires all new consumer radios, capable of displaying a station’s name, to be able to receive digital signals (for example, DAB+ or IP) – from the same date. Read the press release on the new German national legislation here: 

https://www.dabplus.de/2019/11/08/meilenstein-fuer-dab-bund-und-laender-beschliessen-digitalradiopflicht-in-empfangsgeraeten/

In January 2020, the legal dispute between Digital Audio Broadcasting Platform GmbH and  SLM (media regulator for the state of Saxony) over the launch of a second national commercial multiplex in Germany was resolved. It was agreed that Antenne Deutschland GmbH and other partners will launch a second DAB+ multiplex with up to 16 new national radio programmes. In addition to distributing its own programs, Antenne Deutschland also plans to offer stations to third parties.

Last update: 14.02.2018 - older versions

Digital radio is available in all metropolitan areas. The total coverage (combined coverage of ARD multiplexes and the national multiplex) is 97% 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 www.digitalradio.de/empfang.

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: 05.12.2019 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

In total, there are more than 260 radio programmes which can be received digitally across the 16 German Bundeslaender: 13 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.

Second national multiplex

A court ruling has stopped the launch of the second national multiplex, and its launch has been postponed. The losing bidders are currently considering next steps.

1st national multiplex

The nationwide DAB+ network was extended by around 50 transmitters with a completion date of 2016. In June 2017, 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).

 

Regional Services on air in Germany

Baden-Württemberg

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.

Bayern

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.

Berlin

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.

Brandenburg

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.

Bremen

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.

Hamburg

Population: 1.8 million

Total coverage: 100%

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

Hessen

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.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

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.

Niedersachsen

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.

Nordrhein-Westfalen

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.

Rheinland-Pfalz

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.

Saarland

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.

Sachsen

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.

Sachsen-Anhalt

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.

Schleswig-Holstein

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.

Thüringen

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 195 65 260

Last update: 27.02.2020 - older versions

Amendment to the Telecommunications Act, Section 48, para. 4 and 5

According to Germany's new national legislation on digital radio, all radios in new cars should be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio from 21 Dec 2020 – as required by the European Electronic Communications Code. The law also requires all new consumer radios, capable of displaying a station’s name, to be able to receive digital signals (for example,DAB+ or IP) – from the same date.

 

Over 50% of new cars sold in 2019 equipped with DAB+

According to the annual report published by the German automobile trust, 54% of new cars sold in Germany in 2019 were equipped with digital radio - a 34% increase compared to 2018. 

Last update: 24.06.2019 - older versions

German Digital Radio Reciver Classes

A new version of the Digital Radio Receiver Classes (v2.0) is available and  summarises feature specifications from technical standards as a technical guidance document (recommendation) for 3 use cases - audio, multimedia and hybrid (addressing not only receiver manufacturers, but also service providers). Download

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.

Read the BMWi press release

Market Research

  • Radio ratings with DAB+ were available for the first time in Autumn 2016
  • 17% of all German households have DAB+ in 2018
  • In Bavaria, 23.8% of households own a DAB+ digital radio in 2018 Source (page 142) 
  • In Bavaria, DAB has overtaken internet radio for adults 14+, and is growing over 8 times faster; DAB+ skews slightly younger than FM; FM is in decline Source
  • At least every 20th car radio operates on DAB+

A comprehensive list of DAB+ receivers available in Germany can be found at: www.dabplus.de/geraete/

Initiative Digital Radio Deutschland Product Finder

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

Digitisation Report 2018 carried out by TNS Infratest (which includes the Infratest figures (12.72 million receivers in German households) presented during IFA 2018 (German)

 

Last update: 22.02.2018 - 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+

Digitisation Report 2017 carried out by TNS Infratest

Download the Digitisation Report 2017 carried out by TNS Infratest (German) (English).

KEF Funding for public broadcasters

In February 2018 the Commission for the Determination of the Financial Requirements of the Public Service Broadcasters (KEF) confirmed that the ARD and Deutschlandradio will receive €163 million of funding until 2020 to develop DAB+ services in Germany.

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. http://ow.ly/5ihn303Ilcm

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: http://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Artikel/DG/aktionsplan-digitalradio.html

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

Last update: 07.05.2019 - older versions

DAB+ promotion campaigns

Summer 2019

The German digital radio industry (public and commercial radio) organised a DAB+ promotion week from 13-24 May 2019. Cross-media activities included on-air radio spots, consumer and B2B print advertisements and advertorials, social media and on www.dabplus.de.  The week included also training and promotion within the retail sector. 

Summer 2018

A new German multimedia campaign promoting DAB+ will launch on 27 August, with the slogan "DAB+. Mehr Radio" (DAB+, More Radio) to be branded across TV, radio, print and online. On 30 August, an "Editorial Theme Day" will be held at IFA Berlin by German broadcaster ARD and other commercial radio stations to discuss the benefits of DAB+. The initiative is a collaboration between German broadcaster ARD and other commercial radio stations, as part of a nationwide rebrand of DAB+.

Christmas 2017


Christmas promotion "Give a DAB + Radio"   Starting November 27th, in the four weeks leading up to Christmas, radio and TV spots will once again be broadcasting spots and actions about the DAB + listening experience at ARD, Deutschlandradio, private radio stations and other partners.

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.

Examples of the implementation of new DAB+ logo can be viewed here:   http://www.digitalradio.de/index.php/de/haendlerbereich. Download the Press Release.

Under the motto "As clear as if I were there", the ARD has a nationwide marketing campaign for DAB+ together with Deutschlandradio and other partners. This includes TV commercials 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 www.dabplus.de.

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

WorldDAB member focus - IRT
16.04.2020 - Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) WorldDAB Member - Germany Germany
In this series of interviews with WorldDAB members, Alexander Erk from Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) explains what markets and solutions are supported by IRT, as well as highlighting some of the projects recently carried out by the company.

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Albrecht launches DR 53 DAB+ radio
08.04.2020 - Germany Germany
The DR 53 DAB+ digital radio adaptor enables crystal-clear digital radio reception as well as Bluetooth coupling so that music can be transferred from the smartphone, Spotify or Amazon Music to the existing stereo system in the living room. With a four inch colour display, DAB slideshows, station logos, album covers, pictures and news can be viewed.

Read more


First Kathrein DAB+ receivers to be available in May
06.04.2020 - Germany Germany
The German manufacturer will release its first three DAB+ radio models next month. The DAB+ 1 Mini will cost approximately 140 euros, while pricing for the DAB+ Tower, and DAB+ 100 Highline has yet to be determined.

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Sonoro's Maestro and Meisterstuck receivers awarded for outstanding design
03.04.2020 - Germany Germany
Sonoro's Maestro and Meisterstuck receivers have been recognised by the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 for their outstanding design. The Red Dot Award: Product Design offers designers and manufacturers from all over the world a platform for evaluating their products.

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Deutschlandfunk broadcasts Covid-19 news
03.04.2020 - Germany Germany
Deutschlandfunk has joined other broadcasters in producing special broadcast related to Covid-19 news, on its Dlf DokDeb (Deutschlandfunk documents and debates) station. The station is available nationwide on DAB+.

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WorldDAB member focus - Audio Video Technologies
02.04.2020 - AVT Audio Video Technologies GmbH WorldDAB Member - Germany Germany
In this series of interviews with WorldDAB members, Wolfgang Peters from AVT explains what markets and solutions are supported by AVT, as well as highlighting some of the projects recently carried out by the company.

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National DAB+ stations particularly popular in Germany
01.04.2020 - Germany Germany
According to the latest report published by Media Analyze Audio (ma 2020 Audio I), national stations that are available across the country are becoming increasingly popular amongst listeners on DAB+. The report also indicates that FM stations that launched regional services on DAB+ have been able to attract a higher number of listeners.

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DAB+ increasingly popular in Germany shows new report
01.04.2020 - Germany Germany
According to the MA Audio 2020 I report, which collected data on radio listening for the period leading up to December 2019, daily usage of DAB+ in Germany increased by 34.4%. This number also reflects the growing number of sales for DAB+ receivers, which the majority of car manufacturers are now installing as standard.

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DAB+ explained by ARD Digital
01.04.2020 - Germany Germany
In this DAB+ promotional video published by German broadcaster ARD Digital, media personality Anni Dunkelmann explains to consumers the various benefits of DAB+, such as improved sound quality, a wider choice of listening and the ability of certain receivers to show visual displays.

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Media Broadcast signs contract with NDR, Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting for DAB+ services
31.03.2020 - Media Broadcast GmbH WorldDAB Member - Germany Germany
Media Broadcast said that it has signed a four-year contract with Northern German Broadcasting (NDR) and Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting (Rbb) to provide broadcasting services for their DAB + output. Media Broadcast will provide maintenance services and prevent radio interference at the DAB + stations. The services will start on 01 April. The parties can extend the contract for up to two more years.

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 83.7 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 98%
Services: 260 DAB+
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 40%
Total Sales (cumulative): 14,635,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 23%
Last update: 18.02.2020

Useful Links

Intelligent transport systems Action Plan and Directive
Digitisation Report 2017 carried out by TNS Infratest
digitalradio.de
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
dabplus.de