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.

Candlelight Radio now also on DAB+
08.01.2024 - Netherlands Netherlands
The radio station Candlelight Radio has recently started to be heard in part of the Netherlands via DAB+. DJ Jan van Veen has had his own online radio station Candlelight Radio for several years. The online radio station is derived from the radio programme Candlelight, in which poems are read from listeners by Van Veen. The programme has a long history on Dutch radio. In the Almere region, Candlelight Radio can now also be heard via DAB+ on channel 10C.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Sky Radio Lovesongs replaces Nice & Easy on DAB+
27.12.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
Sky Radio Lovesongs is back on DAB+ after almost 10 years. The theme channel replaces Sky Radio Nice & Easy on channel 9C. Sky Radio Lovesongs brings the most beautiful love songs ever made 24 hours a day. Nice & Easy already made way (temporarily) from Sky Radio Christmas in early October, but has not returned. Sky Radio Lovesongs could be heard on DAB+ for some time in 2013, then on channel 11C. However, the station was replaced by Sky Radio Hits in early 2014.

(RadioWereld.NL) Read more


Nationwide rollout of local digital radio in Netherlands
13.12.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
With the rapidly growing popularity and capabilities of digital radio, from September 2024 local public broadcasters have the chance to expand their reach by using DAB+. The RDI has created a digital layer suitable for local public and commercial broadcasters. For local digital radio, the Netherlands is divided into 57 geographical areas to which frequency space is attached. For each allotment, 18 licences are available. So there are 1026 licences in total. From 12 December 2023 to 6 February 2024, local public broadcasters can apply for local DAB+ licences, valid until 1 September 2030. After 6 February 2024, the ministry will determine how many licences are still available and start the application and allocation procedure for commercial broadcasters.

(Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur (RDI)) Read more


Applications to open for local DAB+ licences in Netherlands
08.12.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
Local public broadcasters in the Netherlands can apply for a licence for local digital radio (DAB+) from 12 December 2023 to 6 February 2024, the National Digital Infrastructure Inspectorate has announced. It says: "The Netherlands is divided into 57 geographical areas to which frequency space is linked. We call these allotments. For each allotment, 18 licences are available. You can use the frequency space from 1 September 2024. A licence is valid until 31 August 2030. After 6 February 2024, the ministry will determine how many permits are still available. After that, the application and allocation procedure for commercial broadcasters will start."

(Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur) Read more


Kink 90's replaces K-Rock on DAB+
01.12.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
Since Friday, classic rock station K-Rock has been replaced by Kink 90's, a station exclusively featuring alternative pop and rock from the 1990s. Kink 90s features artists such as Nirvana, Len, Sophie B Hawkins, Oasis, Alice in Chains, Radiohead, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers. With the launch of Kink 90s, another Kink themed channel on DAB+ is linked to a decade. Earlier this year, Kink Classics was already replaced by Kink 80s.

(RadioWereld.NL) Read more


Public broadcaster launches pilot channel NPO BLEND on DAB+
10.11.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
The public broadcaster today launched the experimental station NPO BLEND. NPO BLEND is a public broadcaster pilot and can be listened to via DAB+ and NPO Luister for at least a year. Chanelva Rier, station manager NPO FunX and Menno de Boer, station manager NPO 3FM, are jointly responsible for NPO BLEND: "With the pilot station NPO BLEND, we offer listeners between the ages of 35 and 54 a varied mix of R&B, afro, new soul, hip-hop and many classics from the nineties and zeroes."

(NPO) Read more


CBS: Almost 30 per cent households have DAB+ radio
12.10.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
28 per cent of Dutch households now own a radio equipped with DAB+. This is according to figures from CBS, Central Bureau of Statistics. While last year 24 per cent of Dutch households still owned a radio equipped with digital airwave reception, by 2023 this percentage will have grown to 28 per cent. This includes a radio equipped with DAB+ in the home and/or car. Incidentally, all new cars have been delivered with digital radio reception as standard since 2021.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Sky Christmas can be heard again via DAB+
02.10.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
As of today, Sky Christmas can again be heard on DAB+ digital radio. The station temporarily takes the place of Sky Radio Nice & Easy (channel 9C). With the special theme station 'Sky Christmas', the feel-good station brings the best Christmas hits, especially for Christmas fans who already want to get in the mood.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


More on offer on DAB+: Qmusic 90s & 00s
04.09.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
From 1 September, a new radio station can be heard on the digital airwaves (DAB+): Qmusic 90s & 00s. DPG Media's radio station with non-stop music from the 90s and 00s can be heard via DAB+ on channel 9C and via the Internet. Previously, JOE 70s & 80s could be heard on this channel. This radio station can now be heard nationwide via FM under the name JOE and thus moves to channel 11C in the digital ether.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


New FM and DAB national commercial radio stations launched in the Netherlands
01.09.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
The nine national commercial radio stations that obtained FM and DAB licences through an auction last summer can start broadcasting on their new frequency(ies) from today. DPG Media, Business Nieuws Radio, Financial News Radio, Mediahuis and Talpa Radio have until 1 December 2023 to actually use these frequencies for their broadcasts. The licences have a total term of 12 years (2023-2035).

(Rijksoverheid.nl) 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