HD Digital Radio Alliance Shifts Emphasis to Consumer Conversion
Monday, March 31st, 2008
With 77% Consumer Awareness Among Radio Listeners, Broadcaster Group Focuses Resources, Marketing on Prompting Consumers to Upgrade Receivers
Listeners Can Locate All Local HD Radio Station Options in Seconds With New Dynamic Station Guide on www.HDRadio.com
Broadcasters Get Dramatically Expanded Toolkit on www.HDRadioAlliance.com
ORLANDO, Fla. – March 31, 2008 – The HD Digital Radio Alliance, a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate consumer adoption of HD Digital Radio, today announced the next stage of its comprehensive marketing and broadcaster-support efforts. New messaging, logos and radio ads begin today. Also on tap: a dramatically expanded marketing resource suite for broadcasters on HDRadioAlliance.com. In addition, an industry wide collaboration took place at the HD Radio Idea Summit that was held earlier this month in Orlando for broadcasters and industry executives now preparing the second generation of HD2 programming.
“We closed 2007 with consumer awareness at unprecedented levels,” said Peter Ferrara, president and CEO of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. “This year will see unparalleled numbers of receivers in cars and at retail, totally new data applications, and new investments in HD2 and HD3 programming from broadcasters. Now is the time to convert consumer awareness into purchasing action.”
Consumer awareness of HD Radio currently stands at 77%, according to a survey of radio listeners from Critical Mass Media. In a separate study of current or likely auto buyers by J.D. Powers, a full 31% said they want HD Radio in their next vehicle.
HD Radio summit fuels shift
The timing of the shift to the new theme was, in part, the result of an Alliance-led summit held here earlier this month that brought together technology, broadcaster and marketing executives intimately involved in accelerating the adoption of HD Radio technology. One of the priorities of the summit was the topic of HD2 programming and laying the groundwork that will be executed by the broadcasters to deliver exciting new formats.“We explored fresh thinking and innovative strategies for growing and converting consumer awareness into sales,” added Ferrara. “To have so many companies and smart, diverse people working side-by-side for the good of this industry really says something about the commitment to HD Radio. Our unified voices will be a clear signal to auto makers, retailers and consumers that it’s time to upgrade to HD Radio.”
Already, a number of automakers – including Mercedes, Ford, Volvo, BMW, MINI USA, Jaguar, and Hyundai – have disclosed plans to include HD Radio receivers in current or future models. Aftermarket products are available from top manufacturers including Dual, Jensen, JVC, Kenwood, Peripheral and Sony. There are more than 243 million registered passenger vehicles in the U.S. today, and more than six million aftermarket receivers are sold annually. Upgrades to HD Radio receivers are currently available from dealers and specialty installers – U.S. consumers spend some $900 million annually on aftermarket systems.
At retail, receivers are available at Best Buy, Circuit City, RadioShack, The Sharper Image, Crutchfield.com, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, and thousands of regional and local retail locations.
In all, U.S. consumers buy more than 70 million radios each year, and there are currently one billion radios in the country. More than 230 million U.S. adults listen to the radio each week.
Today, there are more than 1,600 HD Radio stations in the U.S., broadcasting with more than 600 also broadcasting HD2 and HD3 multicasts. Coverage reaches 188 markets, including the top 100 media markets – reaching 83% of the U.S. population.
New theme, logo and ad campaign debut today
Starting today, the Alliance will promote a new tagline: “HD Radio – It’s Time to Upgrade!” within a new logo, the Alliance’s Web sites, comprehensive broadcaster resources, and national radio advertising campaign. The campaign will air in 100 markets on more than 700 stations.
“Phase one of our marketing over the past two years focused on targeting consumers to ‘discover’ HD Radio,” said Diane Warren, executive vice president of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. “Clearly, our tagline and theme of ‘HD Radio - Discover It!’ worked extremely well. The next step in our marketing will speak to the reasons to ‘upgrade’ to an HD Radio; and with 70 million radios sold a year, there is an enormous opportunity here. Together with iBiquity, we look forward to being in lock step with our retail, manufacturer, automotive and other HD Radio stakeholders.”
The campaign will be supported by significant improvements to the www.HDRadio.com Web site, including a new, dynamic station guide that lets consumers search by market or keyword, producing a customized list of both primary, HD2 and HD3 broadcasts matching their criteria. Consumers will also be able to sort by price and manufacturer, as well as identify local retailers carrying HD Radio receivers.
Substantially expanded suite of broadcaster, auto dealer and retailer resources
Meanwhile, broadcasters, auto dealers and retailers will enjoy a spate of new and expanded resources at www.HDRadioAlliance.com, including:
- A comprehensive marketing toolkit for local stations currently or about to launch HD stations.
- Planning and marketing materials for automotive dealerships.
- iBiquity’s HDRadioUniversity.com HD Radio product training for retail associates.
- Spanish-language materials that support Spanish-language programming.
- Complete access to produced commercials promoting HD Radio products, programming and availability.