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.

Turkish radio station added to DAB+ in Stedendriehoek
09.02.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
Kral FM can be heard over DAB+ in the Stedendriehoek in the coming weeks. This is a Turkish radio station that broadcasts regular updates on the disastrous consequences of the earthquake. "We know that there are many people living in the Stedendriehoek who have close ties to the affected area,'' says Christiaan Gijtenbeek. He is secretary of Coordination Digital Radio Stedendriehoek (CDR). "They obviously want to be as well informed as possible. Now you can stay informed at home, but also, for instance, from the car via DAB+ in the Turkish language. We would like to offer that."

(De Stentor) Read more


Feel Good 60's & 70's Hits further expands reach via DAB+
04.02.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
Radio station Feel Good 60's & 70's Hits has further extended its reach on DAB+. The radio station can now also be heard in and around The Hague via DAB+ on channel 5C and in the Delft/Westland/Vlaardingen region on channel 9B. Feel Good 60's & 70's Hits is a themed channel for seniors, established by Feel Good Radio, the local radio station for the municipalities of Pijnacker-Nootdorp and Rijswijk.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Radio Park can continue broadcasting on DAB+ for at least three years
25.01.2023 - Netherlands Netherlands
Vince 't Jolle of local Radio Park received the good news from Flemish media minister Benjamin Dalle (CD&V) that after a one-year test period, the radio is now allowed to continue broadcasting on DAB+ for at least another three years. The radio may now also install support transmitters to further improve reception. "Because FM will eventually be switched off, it is very important for a radio like ours to continue broadcasting on DAB+. We now also have the permission to place support transmitters in Brasschaat. So the audio quality will definitely improve. The antennas for the local DAB+ project are set up in Antwerp, Boom and Heist-op-den-Berg. That way, you can listen to us from Breda to Brussels."

(Gazet van Antwerpen) Read more


National commercial radio licence auction consultation launched
01.12.2022 - Netherlands Netherlands
Minister Micky Adriaansens (Economic Affairs and Climate) is launching the consultation for the auction of the nine licences for national commercial radio stations. The government will auction these licences, which link analogue radio (FM) to digital radio (DAB+), in 2023. Two of these nine nationwide licences are for a commercial news station and for a station playing mainly Dutch-language music. A legal entity can acquire up to three through the auction. The licences are for 12 years (2023-2035).

(Rijksoverheid) Read more


Dialogic: Switching off FM between 2027 and 2032 still realistic
28.11.2022 - Netherlands Netherlands
A deadline for FM switch-off in the Netherlands between 2027 and 2032 is still realistic. This is according to Dialogic in the report "Updated arguments on and impact of FM radio switch-off", commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). The research firm says that with all new cars being required to have DAB+ as standard since the end of 2020, the penetration of DAB+ in the car is actually accelerating considerably, which in turn argues for an earlier switch-off. And rising energy prices also argue for an earlier switch-off of FM. Based on a repeat analysis, Dialogic concludes that the period 2027-2032 is still a realistic period for FM switch-off.

(RadioWereld) Read more


Local public broadcasters move to digital radio
21.11.2022 - Netherlands Netherlands
By the end of 2024, all local public broadcasters in the Netherlands will be received via DAB+, the digital successor to FM. The government will make extra money available for this in the near future. This will allow local broadcasters to continue to reach and serve their audience well in the future. Marc Visch, director-director of NLPO, the sector organisation of Dutch local public broadcasters, said: "Anyone who buys a digital radio today, and thus switches from FM to DAB+, will no longer be able to receive local broadcasting. It is therefore very good news that the government recognises this problem and is willing to invest extra in maintaining the accessibility of local radio."

(NLPO) Read more


HITZZZ!!! expands coverage via DAB+
19.11.2022 - Netherlands Netherlands
Radio station HITZZZ!!! can now be received throughout Friesland via DAB+ on channel 5A, it has announced. HITZZZ!!! could already be heard via DAB+ in Groningen and Drenthe. In those provinces, the station can also be heard via FM in Groningen, Assen and Winschoten. According to the station, many responses to the broadcasts also came in from Friesland. For listeners in this province, the radio station can be heard on digital. The radio station broadcasts via the regional network in Friesland on channel 5A with a broadcast quality of 96 kbps.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Stations expand coverage on DAB+
11.11.2022 - Netherlands Netherlands
From Wednesday 16 November, VIBE Radio can be heard on FM in the Amsterdam region, and also nationwide via DAB+. The station will start using Ujala Radio's FM frequency, which will then only be heard via digital airwaves (DAB+). Coverage via DAB+ will also be expanded in the process. Besides the provinces of North Holland and Flevoland, the station for the Hindustani community can also be heard via DAB+ in South Holland and Zeeland from then.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Kink Distortion launched on DAB+
18.10.2022 - Netherlands Netherlands
Kink has put another theme channel on DAB+. From now on, Kink Distortion can also be heard on digital airwaves. The station replaces Kink Classics on MTVNL's network on channel 7D, ending the double coverage. Kink Distortion features the best metal, hard rock and metalcore 24 hours a day. The station honours icons like Slayer and Metallica, but is also full of the now with a focus on acts like Parkway Drive, Beartooth and Bring Me The Horizon.

(RadioWereld.nl) Read more


Vibe Radio starts broadcasting via DAB+
06.10.2022 - Netherlands Netherlands
New radio station Vibe Radio has started its broadcasts over the digital airwaves (DAB+). The radio station can be heard via DAB+ in Friesland and Overijssel. The format of the new radio station is 'Dutch Urban'. "Vibe Radio, with mainly 'Dutch Urban', targets the 10-35 age group and young parents. Our own research shows that there is a huge need for this genre. What emerges is that this young target group wants to hear well-known hits by their favourite artists of today, which even their parents don't turn off the radio for," the radio station said earlier in a press release.

(Mediamagazine) 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