Switzerland

Last update: 08.09.2022 - older versions

Three quarters of Swiss radio listening is via a digital platform
In spring 2022, radio listeners used digital platforms for an average of 75 out of 100 minutes of radio every day. This was announced by the Digital Migration working group (WG DigiMig) at SwissRadioDay on 25 August 2022. DAB+ at 41% has clearly become the most popular digital radio technology. Radio listening in cars accounts for 12% of overall use. The highest proportion of radio use in cars is also via DAB+ (51%). Around 250,000 DAB+ radios were sold in Switzerland in the first half of 2022. An additional 125,000 DAB+ devices were fitted in vehicles. This pushes the total number of DAB+ radios in Switzerland up to around 6.25 million. In addition, a DAB+ radio was fitted as standard in 99.9% of all new cars.   

Read the Ofcom Switzerland press release

 

Swiss DAB+ Broadcast Networks Factsheet

A new factsheet on DAB+ digital radio in Switzerland has been produced for automotive manufacturers as the country prepares for FM switch-off in 2024. 

The factsheet from WorldDAB - the global industry forum for digital radio - was produced as part of the work of its Automotive Working Group, in partnership with DIGIMIG, the Swiss body for DAB digital radio, and RadioDNS which promotes hybrid radio.   

Swiss DAB+ Broadcast Networks

 

FM switch off end 2024

Swiss radio broadcasters will shut down FM as originally planned on 31 December 2024, according to a press release published by Digimig, the Swiss broadcaster working group on digital migration, on 26 August 2021. On the same date, FM radio licences expire. From that date onwards, radio programmes will no longer be broadcast via FM. With the return to the original switch-off date, consumers have more time to switch technology.

In 2014, Swiss radio broadcasters agreed to stop broadcasting on FM by 2024 at the latest. At the end of 2020, almost three quarters of radio listening was digital, and the radio industry decided that an early and staggered shutdown of the FM stations in August 2022 (SRG) and in January 2023 (private radio) would be responsible. 42 out of 44 of Switzerland's radio broadcasters and the public broadcaster SRG agreed on this.

A public debate on FM switch off took place in 2021. In the German-speaking and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland, the vast majority of radio broadcasters remained in favour of the early shutdown of VHF, however not in French-speaking Switzerland. Since a nationwide solution is needed, radio broadcasters returned to their original plan of switching off the FM stations by 31 December 2024.

Read the Digimig press release

Read the Digital Radio Use in Switzerland - GfK Trend analysis August 2021

 

Last update: 15.04.2020 - older versions

Digital radio on DAB+ in Switzerland reaches over 99% of the population (outdoor 99%, indoor over 96%). 99% of the roads are covered, including high way tunnels.  

The latest commissioning is published as news on www.broadcast.ch.

Further resources on DAB+ coverage in Switzerland

Broadcast.ch Reception Card

Reception in Switzerland

SwissMediaCast Coverage Maps

 

 

Last update: 21.06.2022 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

Swiss DAB+ Broadcast Networks Factsheet

A new factsheet on DAB+ digital radio in Switzerland has been produced for automotive manufacturers as the country prepares for FM switch-off in 2024. 

The factsheet from WorldDAB - the global industry forum for digital radio - was produced as part of the work of its Automotive Working Group, in partnership with DIGIMIG, the Swiss body for DAB digital radio, and RadioDNS which promotes hybrid radio.   

Swiss DAB+ Broadcast Networks

 

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.

Because of the structure of four languages, in Switzerland, there are no national multiplexes. Four of the seven language regional multiplexes are run by the public broadcaster SRG SSR since 1999. The first commercial DAB+ multiplex was launched by SMC in October 2009 in the German part of the country, the second one (ROM) at the end of 2013 in the French speaking part. Since December 2020 SMC runs a second language regional multiplex in the italian speaking part of Switzerland (Ticino). SMC also runs four regional multiplexes since December 2012. The first local multiplex (Geneva region) started in May 2014 in particular for non-profit radios. Today 17 so-called “local DAB+ islands” are on air in bigger agglomerations of the whole country, all run by Digris.

For an up to date list of services on air please visit: 

SRG Broadcast

SwissMediaCast (SMC)

Romandie Médias

Digris

DABPlus 

For further information about DAB+ in Switzerland, please visit:

Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)

DABPlus, the Communication Campaign

All programs are distributed on internet as well, and in addition, there are 78 internet only services.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 54 70 124
Data services 0 1 1
Total5471125

Last update: 26.02.2021 - older versions

99% of new cars in Switzerland now with DAB+ as standard

99 percent of all new cars are now equipped with a DAB+ radio as standard. Despite the pandemic-related slump in car sales, in 2020 the number of passenger cars equipped with DAB+ increased by 275,000 to just under 2 million vehicles.

DAB+ usage in cars

DAB+ could be received in 42 per cent of all vehicles at the end of 2020; at 47 per cent, reception via DAB+ is higher than via FM (45%), and overall digital use (including the internet) stands at 55 per cent.

 

 

Last update: 01.11.2021 - older versions

5.7 million DAB+ radios sold

In 2020, just under 600,000 DAB+ radios (including car radios) were sold.

According to the six-monthly surveys of electronics stores conducted by the market research institute GfK, a total of 5.7 million DAB+ devices have been sold since 2000. This indicates coverage of about one and a half devices per household.

There is also a clear upward trend in DAB+ equipment in vehicles: 99 percent of all new cars are now equipped with a DAB+ radio as standard. 

Last update: 26.08.2021 - older versions

Digital switchover

Swiss radio broadcasters will shut down FM as originally planned on 31 December 2024, according to a press release published by Digimig, the Swiss broadcaster working group on digital migration, on 26 August 2021. On the same date, FM radio licences expire. From that date onwards, radio programmes will no longer be broadcast via FM. With the return to the original switch-off date, consumers have more time to switch technology.

In 2014, Swiss radio broadcasters agreed to stop broadcasting on FM by 2024 at the latest. At the end of 2020, almost three quarters of radio listening was digital, and the radio industry decided that an early and staggered shutdown of the FM stations in August 2022 (SRG) and in January 2023 (private radio) would be responsible. 42 out of 44 of Switzerland's radio broadcasters and the public broadcaster SRG agreed on this.

A public debate on FM switch off took place in 2021. In the German-speaking and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland, the vast majority of radio broadcasters remained in favour of the early shutdown of VHF, however not in French-speaking Switzerland. Since a nationwide solution is needed, radio broadcasters returned to their original plan of switching off the FM stations by 31 December 2024.

Key features of regulation for digital radio in Switzerland are:

  • Band III
  • National multiplexes
  • All stations are on DAB+
  • In 2013 stand-alone Band III ensembles were authorised by the regulator in the main conurbations, intended as a DAB+ platform for the smaller, non-commercial broadcasters
  • On December 1st 2014 radio market players presented to the regulator a detailed digital switch over plan
  • In 2016, it was decided that all services in the future should be DAB+
  • OFCOM holds the spectrum licence
  • In mid-February 2012, OFCOM awarded a broadcast licence to Romandie Médias SA to operate a further DAB+ network in French-speaking Switzerland. The new platform, which has a capacity of up to 18 DAB+ stations, went on air in April 2014.
  • The SRG licence includes the operation of a DAB multiplex and transmission network in Band III. The transmitter sites are operated by Swisscom Broadcast, but SRG is responsible for the planning of the network, signal generating and multiplexing.

 

 

Last update: 05.05.2020 - older versions

Over the past few years, a number of campaigns have launched in Switzerland on national TV and radio, to help promote DAB+ and inform listeners, drivers and consumers of the benefits of digital radio.

 Current campaign

In order to encourage listeners to switch to digital reception at home and in the car, a multi-year information campaign was launched on 4 May 2020. It is intended to support the audience with information and assistance during the upcoming FM phase-out. The campaign will include TV and radio spots, social media activities, out-of-home advertising, measures for equipment dealers and car dealerships, plus a helpdesk to advise the public. The campaign will run until the final FM switch-off.

Previous campaigns

 

 

 

Last update: 08.04.2019 - older versions

Switzerland is also a pioneer in DAB/DAB+ tunnel rebroadcast systems. There are currently eight tunnels equipped and the plan is to cover up to 200 tunnels using 100 head ends and 1,000 transmitting sites. Emergency voice break-in, signal levels, system design and interfaces are also going to be specified. 

The emergency alerting system in Switzerland for disasters today primarily relies on sirens (for “wake-up”) and Swiss Radio (for delivering the information). Swiss Radio currently broadcasts via VHF as well as via DAB+. Information can also be displayed on TV on banners and teletext, although this was only used once so far. In addition to this, cantons and municipalities are free to add their own channels for their official information (e.g., Twitter or Facebook).

In the next years, additional channels will be added. As of 2018, emergency alerts, warnings and information will also be published via the smartphone App “Alertswiss”, and the Website www.alertswiss.ch . As of 2019, further channels shall be added.

Regarding DAB+ in particular, the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP) has undertaken different technical assessments and studies. Swiss Post, in collaboration with FOCP, has developed and successfully tested a prototype of a smart letterbox display that can show governmental information in case of an emergency. This information can be transmitted via DAB+. See also: https://youtu.be/kfTu4C7G3-Y

DAB+ stations will again receive financial support
22.09.2022 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
On 7 September 2022 the Federal Council decided to provide financial support for all radio programme services broadcast via DAB+ until the FM switch-off at the end of 2024. Thus in 2023 and 2024, in addition to the licensed broadcasteOrs with a levy share, the licensed broadcasters without a levy share as well as the notified broadcasters will again receive subsidies for the broadcasting of their programme services via DAB+.

(OFCOM Switzerland) Read more


DAB+: deployment in Europe continues
06.09.2022 - France France - Switzerland Switzerland - Germany Germany - Sweden Sweden
While regional deployments are continuing in France and Switzerland is preparing to abandon FM for good in favour of digital radio, even though digital radio now accounts for more than half of all car radio listening there, several European countries are stepping up their initiatives... In Germany, a study shows that the DAB+ audience is younger on average than the radio audience. This is good news for the rejuvenation of the radio audience. In Sweden, the country has just transposed the European directive on DAB+ (obligation to integrate DAB+ into car receivers). Sweden was one of the last countries not to have transposed the directive in the EU.

(La Lettre Pro de la Radio) Read more


Swiss radio increasingly digital
30.08.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
At SwissRadioDay, Jessica Allemann Brancher, Digital Migration working group presented a very interesting study on the use of digital radio in Switzerland. First observation: Switzerland listens to digital radio with three minutes of radio out of four which are now consumed in digital mode. Among the other results of this study, we note that 41 minutes of radio out of 100 are now listened to in DAB+, a third in IP and a quarter in FM.

(La Lettre Pro de la Radio) Read more


SRG offers public workshops on DAB+
29.08.2022 - SRG SSR WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The switch to the digital radio standard DAB+ raises technical questions. SRG will be offering workshops on this in the coming year and will answer individual questions from participants. The workshops often deal with the following topics: How do I switch from FM to DAB+? How do I switch my FM stereo to DAB+? How can I convert my car radio to DAB+? Adriano Pitteri and Dominique Gall from SRG lead the workshops and answer questions.

(Infosat) Read more


Three quarters of Swiss radio listening is via a digital platform
26.08.2022 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
In spring 2022, radio listeners used digital platforms for an average of 75 out of 100 minutes of radio every day. This was announced by the Digital Migration working group (WG DigiMig) at SwissRadioDay on 25 August 2022. DAB+ at 41% has clearly become the most popular digital radio technology. Radio listening in cars accounts for 12% of overall use. The highest proportion of radio use in cars is also via DAB+ (51%). Around 250,000 DAB+ radios were sold in Switzerland in the first half of 2022. An additional 125,000 DAB+ devices were fitted in vehicles. This pushes the total number of DAB+ radios in Switzerland up to around 6.25 million. In addition, a DAB+ radio was fitted as standard in 99.9% of all new cars.

(WG DigiMig) Read more


DAB grows to more than half Swiss in-car listening; "the course is set for DAB+"
25.08.2022 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
For the first time, more than half of the radio listening in cars in Switzerland is digital. 12% of total radio use is in the car – and DAB+ now takes 51% of this, up from 48% last year. The new data was announced at SwissRadioDay, which took place in Zurich's Kaufleuten. Speaking at the event, the Director of OFCOM Switzerland, Bernard Maissen, said the FM shutdown at the end of 2024 was binding, and that an extension of the licences would be legally impossible. He argued that that audiences are digital, and quickly find alternatives to FM – seeking relevant, innovative, courageous and creative content. “Foreign FM competition is overestimated; the course is set for DAB+,” he said.

(WorldDAB) Read more


SwissRadioDay: VHF frequencies are turned down
25.08.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
Switching off VHF seems to have been occupying the radio industry for what feels like an eternity. After some back and forth, it will definitely be over at the end of 2024. From now on, radio stations can only be received digitally – via DAB+ or streaming. A further extension is out of the question, said Bernard Maissen, Director of the Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom), on Thursday morning in the Zurich Kaufleuten, which was filled to capacity, on the 23rd SwissRadioDay.

(persönlich) Read more


Virgin Radio is "Swiss rock station"
25.08.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
The Virgin Radio Switzerland image campaign started this week, with the aim of further consolidating the DAB+ station as "Switzerland's rock station". The CH Media radio station received prominent support from Imagine Dragons for the national campaign. The successful US rock band is used as a testimonial for the large-scale campaign. In addition, the Virgin Radio Switzerland cult game "Virgin Radio Stripped Back" is celebrating its comeback this week.

(HORIZONT) Read more


SwissRadioDay: Paul Chantler on how DAB+ fuels the growth of niche radio stations
17.08.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland - United Kingdom United Kingdom
The SwissRadioDay is the largest meeting of the Swiss radio industry, with the 2022 edition taking place next Thursday, 25 August, in in Zurich's Kaufleuten and accompanied by a live video stream. Ahead of his session at the event, Paul Chantler - director of Fix Radio, Podcast Radio and Arena Radio in the UK - told us how DAB+ fuels the growth of niche radio stations.

(WorldDAB) Read more


Radio Goldies launched in northern Switzerland via DAB+
20.07.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
With Radio Goldies, another radio station can now be heard via DAB+ in northern Switzerland. The oldies station from the Swiss Mittelland was activated on the corresponding mux of the operator SwissMediaCast on channel 7A. The offer on Nordschweiz-Mux now includes a total of 18 stations. Radio 32 Goldies has been around since 2001. Musically, the station focuses on the best hits from the 50s to 80s, supplemented by hourly news. The oldies station is an offshoot of the local station Radio 32 from Solothurn and is therefore part of the radio portfolio of CH Media (Radio 24, Radio Argovia, Radio Bern1, FM1, Radio Pilatus, Flashback FM, Radio Melody, Virgin Radio Switzerland).

(radioWOCHE) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 8.7 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 99.5%
Services: 124 DAB+, 1 Data
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 99%
Total Sales (cumulative): 5,694,000 devices
Last update: 01.11.2021

Useful Links

DABPlus
SwissMediaCast (SMC)
Romandie Médias
Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)
SRG Broadcast
Digris