City Hilversum
Broadcast area Netherlands (nationwide)
Slogan "Listen, Watch, Share...." (2014-present)
"Serious Radio" (2003-present)
"Als je van muziek houdt, dan luister je naar 3FM"
(If you love music, you listen to 3FM) (2002-present)
Frequency FM: 88.6–103.9 MHz
DAB+: 12C
CanalDigitaal: 703 (Astra 23.5°E)
Digitenne: 103
KPN: 803
Ziggo: 803
Various frequencies on analogue cable
First air date October 11, 1965 (1965-10-11) (As Hilversum 3)
Format Adult contemporary music (pop, rock, alternative)
Transmitter coordinates Coordinates: 52°14′20″N 5°10′08″E / 52.238882°N 5.168761°E / 52.238882; 5.168761
Owner NPO
Sister stations 3FM Alternative (VPRO)
3FM On Stage (BNN)
3FM Serious Talent

KX Radio (AVRO)
Xnoizz (EO)
Webcast Radioplayer
3FM Webstream
DJ Cam
3FM Square

NPO 3FM is a Dutch pop/rock radio station controlled by public broadcaster NPO. Its format is a combination of contemporary hit radio, alternative and rock. It can be compared with BBC Radio 1.


3FM logo used from 2003 until 2014. NPO logo was added from August 2014 to present.

Launching on 11 October 1965, NPO 3FM was created as Hilversum 3 (later Radio 3) by the Minister for Culture and Social Recreation, Maarten Vrolijk, to counterbalance the popular new offshore stations such as Radio Veronica.

Due to the nature of the Dutch public broadcasting system, with several broadcasters being awarded airtime based on the numbers of paying members they have, 3FM hosts radio shows by different broadcasters. In the early days of the station, this led to a mixed bag of programs barely linked to each other. As an example, Christian broadcaster EO used to broadcast Christian-themed programs (including a request show with religious music), followed by the now legal Radio Veronica with a format based on Top 40-pop.

Up until the early 1990s, NPO 3FM (then known as Radio 3) did not have a horizontal radio format, with each public broadcaster filling one day a week. This prevented the station to gain a recognisable stature, although it was easily the most-listened to radio station in The Netherlands, aided by the fact that commercial terrestrial radio was illegal until the early 1990s.

The dawn of commercial competition and changing ideas about modern radio forced Radio 3 to overhaul its format drastically in 1992. First, three broadcasters (NCRV, KRO and AVRO) decided to join forces and introduced Het Station, with a horizontal format for three days (Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays), with programs hosted by DJs from these three broadcasters.

About a year later, Radio 3 went horizontal completely, with each public broadcaster losing its own designated day but getting a fixed and daily time slot instead.

This system is still in place as of 2015, with the following broadcasters filling a time slot on weekdays:

A number of broadcasters have less airtime, due to the fact that they are smaller in membership size, or that they simply do not have much interest in broadcasting on 3FM. These are PowNed (Friday afternoons and evenings), EO (Sunday evenings). TROS divides its programming between Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

In August 2014, the name of the stations was changed to "NPO 3FM", incorporating the public broadcaster; "NPO" name and logo.

Pop chart

Starting in 1971, Hilversum 3 hosted its own hit parade: the Hilversum 3 Top 30, following the example set in 1965 by Radio Veronica and its own Top 40. The name and compiling methods of the Hilversum 3 chart changed several times. In the early 1970s it was known as either Hilversum 3 Top 30 and (from 1972) the Daverende Dertig ("Thundering Thirty"). In 1974 the name was changed into Nationale Hitparade, first a Top 30, later a Top 50 (1978-1986) and a Top 100 (1986-1992). In January 1993, the Nationale Hitparade was scrapped and replaced by an all new chart, the Mega Top 50. It is still broadcast every Saturday.

Unusually, Hilversum 3 used to have more than one pop chart between 1974 and 1992. While its official Nationale Hitparade chart - supported by most public broadcasters - was hosted by the NOS (now: NTR), Radio Veronica, once it received its legal status in 1976, broadcast its own Top 40. Also, TROS introduced its own rival chart, TROS Top 50, in 1978 (it had previously broadcast the Europarade, a top 30 of the biggest hits in a number of European countries). For many years, you could listen to three separate charts on Hilversum 3: the TROS Top 50 on Thursdays, Top 40 on Fridays and Nationale Hitparade on Sundays.

All this changed in early 1993, when the Nationale Hitparade was discontinued (the TROS Top 50 had already been scrapped a few years earlier), the Top 40 moved to Radio 538 and NPO 3FM started its new chart, the Mega Top 50.

3FM Serious Request

Main article: Serious Request

In 2004, the station begun a charity project by the name of Serious Request in which three DJs play requested songs for money for six days and nights in a glass house. They collect this money for projects of the Red Cross. The DJs don't eat during these days. Serious Request starts every year the week before Christmas.

3FM Awards

Each year in March/April, 3FM hosts the 3FM awards, which are given to Dutch musicians. A public poll is held among listeners to determine the winners.

In 2010 3FM hosts the sixth edition of the 3FM Awards.

Nominees Winner
Best Band
Blof, Kane, Krezip, Racoon and Di-Rect Blof
Best Male Singer
Alain Clark, Bertolf, Boris, VanVelzen and Marco Borsato Pascal Jakobsen
Best Female Singer
Anouk, Ilse DeLange, Jacqueline Govaert (Krezip), Nikki and Sanne Hans (Miss Montreal) Ilse DeLange
Best Artist Pop
Alain Clark, Krezip, Ilse DeLange, Racoon and VanVelzen Blof
Best Artist Rock
Anouk, Gem, Kane, Voicst and Within Temptation Within Temptation
Best Artist Dance
Anouk, Gem, Kane, Voicst and Within Temptation Tiësto
Best Artist Alternative
De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, Gem, Novastar, Pete Philly & Perquisite and Voicst Novastar
Best Single
In And Out Of Love (Armin Van Buuren & Sharon), Modern World (Anouk), So Incredible (Ilse DeLange), Tijdmachine (Dio feat. Sef) and Squeeze Me (Kraak & Smaak) So Incredible (Ilse DeLange)
Best Album
Oktober (Blof), De Machine (De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig), Incredible (Ilse DeLange), Almost Bangor (Novastar) and Before You Leave (Racoon) Incredible (Ilse DeLange)
Best Live Act
Marco Borsato, Krezip, Kane, Anouk and Within Temptation Within Temptation
Best Newcomer
Bertolf, Dio, Miss Montreal, Nikki Kerkhof and Sabrina Starke Nikki Kerkhof

The artist with the most awards in 2009 is Ilse DeLange, she won three awards. She also won the Schaal van Rigter the award for the most played single on radio station 3FM, she won this award with the song "So Incredible".

Live performances

Most of the DJs invite artists to perform live on air.

The band Yellow Pearl holds the all-time record of most live performances on 3FM. They did this 25 times, within four years in nine different shows. The first performance was in 2004 when they performed their single "For you and me" in the morning show of Rob Stenders.


In 2011, raised broadcast programmes of the following groups: AVRO, KRO, NCRV, EO, TROS, BNN, VARA, LLiNK, VPRO and NTR.

Notable DJs

Notable Former DJs

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 3FM.
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