Netherlands

Last update: 21.03.2024 - older versions

The Dutch launch of DAB+ has been called the most successful yet in Europe, thanks to high sales figures for digital receivers. The commercial radio stations (VCR) and the public radio stations (NPO) both have 95% coverage. NPO extended coverage of its existing DAB multiplex from 70% to 95% in early 2014, and migrated services to DAB+ in 2013. Commercial stations were launched from 1 September 2013 and the total number of stations increased from 9 to 21.

Digital Radio Netherlands is leading the promotion of DAB+, using the international DAB+ logo. 

Increase in national services with DAB+ vs FM

By using DAB+ the national public broadcaster NPO went from 4 channels on FM to 15 currently on DAB+.

For the national commercial broadcasters: at present, they have gone from 9 on FM to 18 currently on DAB+.

For regional stations, by using DAB+ their coverage area becomes much greater.

Regional stations

In the first quarter of 2020, ten local DAB+ ensembles with over 40 stations went into operation in the Netherlands. DAB+ licences were issued for a total of 22 regions, with broadcasts on air in large cities such as Amsterdam and The Hague as well as rural parts of the country.

National DAB+

In December 2020, details on the the launch of a third national multiplex - the second national commercial multiplex in the country - were published by the Official Journal. With this auction, all radio stations in The Netherlands (national, regional and local) would be broadcast on DAB+.

The licences in question will be granted for a period of 12 years (2021-2033), with a starting price of 50.000 euros per licence. The auction will be held in the first quarter of 2021, with the application period starting on 19 January 2021.

Local DAB+

In March 2024, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate started consultations on local DAB+ capacity for commercial radio. In parts of the Netherlands, local radio on DAB+ is already available through temporary licences, but from September, local DAB+ will become available for the whole country. The 57 allotments will be used for both local and commercial radio. Local public broadcasters therefore had until February to apply for a licence. Over 200 broadcasters did so. They have now already received their licences. The remaining capacity on the 57 allotments will now be distributed to commercial radio. A total of 815 licences are involved. The number of available licences varies per allotment and depends on the number of local public broadcasters that have already received a licence. On most allotments, however, more than 10 licences are available for commercial radio.

Last update: 26.09.2014 - older versions

The public broadcaster’s population coverage is currently 95%. The commercial broadcasters’ reached 95% outdoor coverage on 1st September 2013. NPO extended the network with a further 14 transmitter sites in early 2014. By 2015, the network will be further extended with an additional 24 transmitter sites, enabling good indoor reception across virtually all of the Netherlands.

NPO Coverage 2014 - 95% outdoor                               NPO coverage September 2017

                                              

VCR coverage 2014 - 95% outdoor

Last update: 03.03.2021 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

Please note:

(a)    These web pages are updated regularly to reflect current services on air, however they may not be exactly up to date.

(b)    The logos shown on these pages are for illustrative purposes only – manufacturers and broadcasters are directed here for information on implementing station logos.

The Netherlands has two national multiplexes (NPO and VCR) and one (national) layer consisting of five regional multiplexes (frequency block 9D is used twice).

Furthermore the layer of MTV-NL is also national consisting of 9 regional muxes.

In total, there are 94 DAB+ simulcast, 18 DAB+ exclusive, 1 DMB simulcast, 1 Data exclusive (TPEG) programmes. 

Dynamic slideshow is used on NPO Radio 1 (public broadcaster), which airs weather, traffic, headlines and news.

National

There are two regular national DAB+ multiplexes, 5 regular regional multiplexes and one trial national DMB multiplex on air. The NPO national DAB+ multiplex carries eleven programmes from public service broadcaster NPO; four are simulcasts of regular FM/AM radio broadcasts and seven are exclusive to DAB+ and are broadcast also online. In May 2014 Dutch public broadcaster NPO started transmitting slideshow images (SLS) via DAB+ on the majority of its programming channels. Broadcast Partners operates the national commercial multiplex and carries 18 DAB+ services (9 exclusive to DAB+ and 9 simulcasts of FM stations) as well as TPEG traffic information data service.

-       NPO (public broadcaster) mux : 4 simulcast and 7 DAB+ only (NPO will add 4 extra DAB+ 

-       VCR (commercial broadcasters) mux : 9 simulcast and 9 DAB+ only (and 1 TPEG)

-       MTV-NL: 3 simulcast and 2 DAB+ only, and 1 DMB simulcast channel

In July 2020, The Netherlands launched new consultation regarding the launch of a second national commercial multiplex. With this auction, all radio stations in The Netherlands (national, regional and local) would be broadcast on DAB+.

The licences in question will be granted for a period of 12 years (2021-2033), with a starting price of 50.000 euros per licence. The auction will be held in the first quarter of 2021.

Regional

There are 13 simulcast (no dab+ only) regional public services on air.

There are 31 simulcast (no dab+ only) regional commercial services on air.

-       9D-north: 15 simulcast

-       6B: 16 simulcast

-       8A: 17 simulcast

-       9D-south: 13 simulcast

-       7A: 17 simulcast

More information on the regional multiplexes is available at http://radio-tv-nederland.nl/dab/dab-overzicht-roos-nlco.html.

Feature of exclusive services on DAB+ digital radio in the Netherlands

Sky Radio Christmas is on air every year from 1st of October till end of December (3 months in a row). The rest of the year it is Sky radio Hits (non-stop station).

   

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 94 18 112
DMB programmes 1 0 1
Data services 0 1 1
Total9519114

Last update: 16.02.2022 - older versions

In the Netherlands, 95% of new cars sold are equipped with DAB+ as standard (Source: JATO Dynamics H2 2021).

60% of weekly radio listening in the Netherlands is done in cars or on the move and 20% of all listening time is in cars.

Co-operation with the car industry is crucial to the success of DAB+ and the automotive industry is supported through information sessions where car audio retailers and installers are kept up to date with developments in digital radio and supporting marketing campaigns promoting DAB+ digital radio listening. 

The website http://digitalradio.nl/apparatuur provides solutions for after-market in collaboration with several companies and is constantly updated.

Last update: 16.02.2022 - older versions

Over 3,212,000 receivers have been sold in The Netherlands from 2013 onwards (including consumer and automotive receivers).

 

 

 

Last update: 20.05.2014 - older versions

MTVNL is currently testing DMB transmissions in The Hague area.

Last update: 07.01.2021 - older versions

National DAB+

There are currently two national multiplexes in The Netherlands, one commercial and one public one.

In December 2020, details on the the launch of a third national multiplex - the second national commercial multiplex in the country - were published by the Official Journal. With this auction, all radio stations in The Netherlands (national, regional and local) would be broadcast on DAB+.

The licences in question will be granted for a period of 12 years (2021-2033), with a starting price of 50.000 euros per licence. The auction will be held in the first quarter of 2021, with the application period starting on 19 January 2021.

 

Key features of regulation for digital radio in the Netherlands are:

  • Two national MUX, one public and one commercial, using DAB+
  • All of the current national FM commercial broadcasters are now transmitting in DAB+
  • All new FM and MW licenses (granted in 2011) contain a condition to broadcast digitally (simulcasting)
  • The Dutch government issues DAB licences and determines the terms and conditions that apply to the use of DAB in the Netherlands. It was announced that Band III and L-Band should be used for DAB based services. Broadcasters may choose to use DAB, DAB+ or DMB. The majority of interested parties have chosen DAB+.
  • National commercial stations have obtained a multiplex licence for a minimum of 16 DAB stations. Regional stations (both public and commercial) had until 10 June 2011 to inform the minister if they would use a commercial regional mux, or piggy back on an already issued mux (operated by MTVNL). Local radio is interested in Band III as well.
  • Mobile TV Netherlands (MTVNL) owns a licence for nationwide mobile TV, radio and data broadcast in Band III and currently has an extensive test network operating in the Haaglanden, Hilversum and the Eindhoven regions.
  • By September 1st 2015, 21 services (from 13 regional public stations) were on air and the regional commercial services will start in all allotments.
  • 34 regional radio stations will be able to receive DAB+ licenses. Only commercial radio stations that already have a legal permit for DAB+ may enrol for consideration. Licences were awarded Aug. 10 2015
  • 2016: review on the development of digital radio.
  • Depending on success of digital radio, DSO is possible – with potential date of 2023.
  • Important indicators: >50% of households own a digital radio and developments in other European countries.
  • Public broadcaster NPO switched off AM on the 1st September 2015 and from then on will use DAB+ instead of AM for broadcasting NPO Radio 5. 

Last update: 06.05.2021 - older versions

2021 advertising spend

In Q1 2021, the total net radio advertising spend increased by 2.3% to €36 million, while the digital radio advertising spend for that same period reached €1.5 million.

2019 Campaign

This DAB+ advertisement published by The Netherlands digital radio marketing body digitalradio.nl uses radio's well known personalities and DJs to tell listeners that they are now broadcasting their shows on DAB+, where they can listen to DAB+ (in their home, on the bicycle and in the car) and about the new programme content they'll find on DAB+. The advert reinforces the improved quality of sound with DAB+ using the slogan "DAB+ the new sound of radio!"

2017 Campaign

The Netherlands is on track when it comes to the roll out of DAB+ according to research by Digital Radio NL. Data shows that since the start of the campaign "Let's get digital 'in May 2014, the awareness of digital radio increased to 72%. The number of DAB+ radios sold in 2016 increased by 33% compared to 2015.

The joint marketing campaign “let’s get digital” was launched Q2 2014 and supported by public and commercial broadcasters and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

The website http://www.digitalradio.nl/ was set up to raise awareness of DAB+ in The Netherlands.

 

2016 Campaign

Digital Radio NL campaign

Flight 1 -> February 15 until March 6

Flight 2 -> April 11 until May 1

Flight 3 -> May 30 until June 12

Flight 4 -> August 15 until September 4

Flight 5 -> September 26 until October 7

Flight 6 -> November 28 until December 18

2015 Campaigns
Summer 2015  

A TV campaign ran on NPO, NPO2 and NPO3 using radio personalities to promote digital radio.  

DAB+ Let’s get digital 1 from DAB+ Digitale Radio on Vimeo.

DAB+ Let’s get digital 2 from DAB+ Digitale Radio on Vimeo.

 

Spring 2015 

A spring campaign for Digital Radio+ (DAB+) was launched on the national radio stations. Here listeners are reminded of the benefits of digital radio. Former radio deejay Leo van der Goot is featured in the ad spot.The Spring spot on the radio is one of the campaigns to be launched this year for DAB+. This year again various activities are organised to increase awareness of DAB+. At the AutoRAI event a presentation will be given to inform the automotive industry about digital radio. Minister Kamp will hold talks with the automotive industry to deliver more new cars as standard with a DAB+ digital radio.

The Tilburg fair can also be followed daily this year via Kermis FM on DAB+
19.07.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
The biggest fair in the Benelux region can again be followed extensively via radio, online and TV on Kermis FM. From 19 to 28 July, the broadcasts can be followed nationwide on DAB+ digital radio, online and in Tilburg via 105.9 FM. The Tilburg Fair is more than just a fair. It is a big festival with a Silent Disco Festival, hip-hop festival Het Moment, Holy Pink, the first Tilburg edition of Glitterbox in the Spoorzone and, of course, Pink Monday. ‘The fair is a big festival site and that only makes it nicer to report live,’ says Arno Leblanc, editor-in-chief of Kermis FM. ‘And, of course, we ourselves will be there as an attraction in front of the church on the Hill. Anyone can come and do a shout-out to family or friends or request a record.’ The jam-packed programming features many well-known names who could be heard at Kermis FM at the beginning of their media careers.

(Tilberg.com) Read more


100%NL via FM, DAB+ and online now truly mature
08.07.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
From test broadcasts on a satellite position 'remote' for the Netherlands at 1 degree west to nationwide coverage on airwaves via FM and DAB+. In 18 years, initiator Herbert Visser's radio station has made a lot of radio history. 100%NL has had innovation as an important point in its strategic plan in recent years. For example, the radio station was the first national commercial radio station to increase the bandwidth of the main station and thus improve the sound quality for listeners. The future looks good for 100%NL. Since September, the radio station has been in possession of a new broadcasting license, which allows it to continue broadcasting on FM and DAB+ until mid-2035.

(Totaal TV) Read more


MCB Radio expands to DAB+
08.07.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
MCB Radio can now be listened to via DAB+ digital radio in parts of North Holland. The radio station could already be listened to via medium wave and Internet for some time. MCB (Music Central Better) Radio has been broadcasting via medium wave in large parts of South Holland and North Holland since May 2019. Recently, the radio station from Alphen aan den Rijn can also be listened to via DAB+. In the head of North Holland, the radio station can be heard via channel 8A. In the Zandvoort/Haarlem region, you can also listen to a new radio station via DAB+. Recently, radio station NORA (Nonstop Radio) FM can be heard on channel 6A.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Netherlands: 815 licences available for commercial local digital radio
20.06.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
From 20 June to 1 August 2024, local commercial broadcasters can apply for a licence for local digital radio. There are still 815 licences available for these broadcasters, spread across 57 areas (allotments) throughout the Netherlands. Digital radio is growing rapidly in popularity and offers many opportunities. With a licence for local digital radio, broadcasters can use DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting) and expand their reach. That there is a lot of enthusiasm for local digital radio was shown earlier this year during the application period for local public radio. Indeed, in February, more than 200 local public broadcasters received a licence for DAB+. Local commercial broadcasters can apply for local digital radio (DAB+) licences from 20 June 2024 until 1 August 2024.

(Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur (RDI)) Read more


Grand Prix Radio improves DAB+ reception in parts of the Netherlands
19.05.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
Grand Prix Radio is now more easily audible over DAB+ in the provinces of Gelderland, Utrecht, North Brabant and Limburg. Last Friday, station took up capacity on the supra-regional networks for this purpose. For several years, Grand Prix Radio has been listened to via MTVNL's network on channel 7D. But this network still does not have good coverage in parts of Gelderland, North Brabant and Limburg. And that is why Olav Mol and Alexander Stevens' station has leased extra capacity on the networks for Gelderland and Utrecht (channel 12B) and North Brabant and Limburg (channel 7C).

(RadioWereld.NL) Read more


Regional commercial FM lots up for grabs in Netherlands, no more room for local commercial
17.05.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
The layout of non-national commercial FM lots, known as B-plots, is to be overhauled by 2025, according to the consultation launched by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). The number of lots will go down from 54 to 27, with most new lots becoming larger than the existing ones. There will be no more frequencies for commercial local stations. The link between the lots with DAB+ remains and therefore the lots have been aligned as much as possible with the current layout of the seven supra-regional DAB+ allotments. The 27 new non-national commercial FM lots will be auctioned together with DAB+ capacity on one of the seven allotments. After the auction of the non-national commercial radio lots, capacity on DAB+ will remain. This capacity, 44 licences, will also be auctioned.

(RadioWereld.NL) Read more


Consultation on local DAB+ capacity for commercial radio launched in Netherlands
20.03.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has started consultations on local DAB+ capacity for commercial radio. In parts of the Netherlands, local radio on DAB+ is already available through temporary licences, but from September, local DAB+ will become available for the whole country. The 57 allotments will be used for both local and commercial radio. Local public broadcasters therefore had until February to apply for a licence. Over 200 broadcasters did so. They have now already received their licences. The remaining capacity on the 57 allotments will now be distributed to commercial radio. A total of 815 licences are involved. The number of available licences varies per allotment and depends on the number of local public broadcasters that have already received a licence. On most allotments, however, more than 10 licences are available for commercial radio.

(RadioWereld.NL) Read more


4EVER49 RADIO improves reception via DAB+
07.03.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
Radio station 4EVER49 RADIO can now be better received via DAB+ in the provinces of Noord-Holland, Flevoland and Friesland. From 6 March, 4EVER49 RADIO can also be heard on channel 8B in North Holland and Flevoland. In Friesland, the radio station can now also be heard on channel 5A. 4EVER49 RADIO already broadcasts nationwide on DAB+ via MTVNL's network in the Netherlands on channel 7D. Hans Dols, Operations Manager 4EVER49 RADIO: "After several discussions with the parties JND and RNN, we agreed to take over capacity on three networks. We are pleased with this cooperation which means that 4EVER49 RADIO can now be received almost nationwide."

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Over 90% of local public broadcasters in Netherlands want to broadcast on DAB+
14.02.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
There seems to be a lot of interest among local public broadcasters to start broadcasting via DAB+. More than 200 local broadcasters, or over 90% of all broadcasters, applied to broadcast via digital airwaves. On 13 February, the National Digital Infrastructure Inspectorate granted these stations a licence to broadcast via DAB+ as of September. A nationwide network consisting of 57 local allotments is available for this purpose. The broadcasters have until September 1, 2025 to start their broadcasts. All licenses are valid until September 1, 2030. Later this year the application and allocation procedure for the more than 800 remaining licenses will start for the commercial local broadcasters. Currently there are already about 20 local DAB+ networks on the air through temporary licenses. These expire at the end of August.

(RadioWereld.NL) Read more


Strong appetite for local digital radio
14.02.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
Soon, for the first time, local digital radio will be possible throughout the Netherlands. More than 200 local public broadcasters will receive their licence for DAB+ on 13 February. More than 90% of all local public radio stations will be able to broadcast via digital radio from September 2024. This gives listeners more choice in their listening offerings. Broadcasters have until September 1, 2025 to start their broadcasts. All licences are valid until Sept. 1, 2030. For local digital radio, the Netherlands is divided into 57 geographical areas to which frequency space is linked. Later this year the application and allocation procedure for the more than 800 remaining licenses will start for the commercial local broadcasters.

(Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 17.1 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 95%
Services: 112 DAB+, 1 DMB, 1 Data
Line-fit automotive sales (cumulative): 1,807,000 devices
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 99%
Total Sales (cumulative): 3,937,000 devices
Last update: 26.02.2024

Useful Links

www.digitalradio.nl
DAB+ retail - Radiowinkel