Technology is rapidly evolving, and this movement has received both criticism and praise. As for the nation of Norway, a huge step will be taken as the country plans to become a completely digital music listening culture. The idea was initially proposed in 2011 by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and took four years to gain approval and move into action.

 

Starting Jan. 11, 2017 and ending Dec. 13, 2017, one region at a time will be rid of all FM radio stations.

 

An old-fashioned radio sits on a table.

Out with the old, and in with the new! Norway is leaving FM radio behind in 2017.

Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) uses “wide-bandwidth technology” and is actively popular in Asia Pacific and Europe. Norway will be the first country to use DAB as its only form of broadcasting. Currently, only five FM stations are available, as opposed to the 22 stations available on DAB. Shutting down the five existing stations will allow Norway to save millions of dollars (about $25 million, actually) and invest it into opening at least 20 more channels.

 

This will reallocate resources for this industry and serve a bigger purpose, like creating a plethora of job opportunities. According to Forbes, DAB is more reliable in case of an emergency broadcast, since 56 percent of music listeners are already using this service. Other perks include better sound quality and an increased diversity of stations.

 

Just like FM radio in the United States, DAB is free, but one must have a specific transmitting device first. This technology has been developing since 1995 and becoming more accessible and affordable. Even some cars produced in Norway are equipped for digital music listening.

 

Even though these plans won’t be in effect for another couple of years, it is exciting to see what the next steps are in music listening and how this art can be shared globally.

 

What do you think of this transition? Tell us in a comment below or through Twitter @antoinette_8a.