Norway has made the first moves to shut down national analogue FM broadcasts. The switch-off marks a transition to an all digital format for all major national radio channels. The move is not a big surprise considering that digital radio has steadily been overtaking traditional FM stations in recent years. Twenty-two national channels are currently on digital radio in Norway, with only five remaining on FM. Statistics show that 55 % of all homes in the Scandinavian country own at least one DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) radio.
NRK, P4 Group and SBS Radio will coordinate efforts to switch off their FM broadcasts starting in early 2017. All is not lost for old-school Norwegian FM fans, however. The switch-off applies mostly to national broadcast channels. Local and independent stations will still survive on traditional FM, at least for the time being.
Norway is the world's first country to put a timetable in place for an FM shutdown, though other countries in Europe and Asia are also making moves to transition to digital for their national stations.
As far as the U.S., the popularity of digital radio is on a steady increase, but a 2012 poll showed that over 90% of Americans still tuned in to AM/FM radio broadcasts every week.
Does good old-fashioned traditional AM/FM radio still hold any place in your life? Let us know in the comments!