A case history

Date of publication: July 1, 1995


In 1981-82 NRK launched a new station, Radio 2 with a programme concept not very different from that of the existing Radio 1. The two stations were run by two separate organizations located 500 kilometres apart, competing for the same listeners. Over the years it became clear that this kind of competition weakened NRK's market position. During the first half of the eighties, local radio stations were permitted to broadcast on a non-commercial basis. After a few years about 350 local radio stations were licensed - and advertising accepted as a source of revenue. A new radio revolution in Norway took place in the early nineties, when the government approved the first national commercial radio station (Radio 4), which started broadcasting in August 1993. At the same time, the government approved the plans of NRK to launch a third station. Radio 3 under the concept of "One radio by three networks", substituting the old concept "Two radios by two networks". NRK met the challenge by using socio-cultural research (Norwegian Monitor) to segment the population into three radio audiences in order to develop the concepts of three new stations substituting the two old ones. After the launch of the three-radio system, extensive audience research has been conducted to follow the market's adjustment to the new stations, and after one and a half year in operation, we can conclude that the new NRK radio network has been a success. Even if the Radio 4 Station also has been a great success with a daily reach of 20-25 percent, NRK's Radio 1 has kept its position as the leading station with daily reach of about 40 percent. Radio 2 reaches 06-Aug percent and Radio 3 Oct-13 percent of the population daily. Total daily reach for NRK is close to 50 percent, and the audience is stable. Socio-cultural analyses of the audiences also show that the segmentation of the market has been successful, in the sense that the "right" people listen to the "right" stations.

  • PDF
  • This could also be of interest