HD Radio Reaches Major Milestones: 1,000 Multicast Stations Now On-Air & 100 Unique Receivers
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Broadcasters, iBiquity, Automakers, Manufacturers, and CE Retailers Reach Accelerated Milestones in Just Three Years
New On-Air Ad Campaign Spans 100 Markets, 700+ Stations, and Extends Broadcaster Commitment to 42 Months
ORLANDO – March 25, 2009 – The HD Digital Radio Alliance, a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the rollout of HD Digital Radio, today announced major milestones with 1,000 multicast stations now being broadcast on-air and 100 SKUs now available at retail. Since the Alliance was formed just over three years ago, member and non-member broadcasters have accelerated their commitment to the technology and HD2 / HD3 stations while device manufacturers have incorporated HD Radio in products at a rapid pace. Also today, the Alliance announced its new on-air ad flight on over 700 stations in the top 100 media markets, extending the broadcasters’ commitment to promoting the technology to 42 months.
"The 1,000 multicast and 100 SKU milestones are significant on many levels – broadcasters are continuing to see the value in offering additional content, stakeholders are seeing that radio and electronic manufacturers have fully embraced the radio digital revolution, and consumers now have more format choices on the dial and receiver models than ever before," said Peter Ferrara, Founder and Strategic Advisor to the HD Digital Radio Alliance. "The phenomenal advances we have seen in the past few years prove that the industry’s commitment has worked, yet we remained focused as there is still much work to be done."
"In this economic environment, being able to receive all these extra stations around the country for free is immensely appealing," said Diane Warren, President of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. "With receivers available for every personal taste and with innovative multicast stations on-air, HD Radio’s future is bright. We’re confident that with the broad station selection being offered, people will find something truly unique and consumer interest will only go up. We intend to continue to educate and inform radio consumers and listeners about HD Radio, the new free stations, and the devices with the new and 14th radio advertising campaign in 100 markets on over 700 stations."
The HD Landscape is Quite Improved
In 2005, the year the Alliance was formed, there were only twenty-one multicast stations and only one HD Radio receiver available, costing in the neighborhood of $500. The number of multicast stations increased by 300% in only five months to 62. By 2007, the number of stations jumped exponentially to over 530, with another 300 stations added by the beginning of 2008. And this month, CBS Radio’s WODS-FM HD2 / Boston became the 1,000th HD Radio multicast with the launch of "Soft Hits – Love Songs."
The HD2 / HD3 formats span every musical taste and genre. Some of the most prevalent formats include BBC World Service, Classic Country, Classical, Comedy, Dance, Deep Tracks, Pride Radio, and Smooth Jazz. A full list of digital stations and HD2 / HD3 multicasts that are on-air around the country can be found at www.hdradio.com.
As the number of digital stations has increased, so has the number of receivers. The only number that has gotten lower is the price, with units now available for as little as $79.
And the progress has crossed over on every other front. To date, there are close to 2,000 stations broadcasting their primary signal in digital quality, reaching 84% of the U.S. population. The auto industry continues to back HD Radio technology, with a total of 12 automakers now on board, including Audi, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Lincoln, Mercedes, Mercury, MINI, Scion, and Volvo. Every major receiver manufacturer is offering the upgraded digital system (Alpine, Dual, Insignia, Kenwood, Sony, Yamaha, etc.) and are being sold by all the big-box retail stores like Best Buy, Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, among many others.
"It’s exciting to see how all these broadcasters are using these multicast stations and what they’re putting on them," added Warren. "Whether they’re experimenting with a format and using the extra station as an incubator to build a listenership base before bringing the format onto their primary FM signal, offering artists airtime that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to be heard on-air, or targeting specific demographics with niche content, it all creates a dynamic and relevant radio experience to find stations in addition to what’s available on the FM dial. Consumers can hear it all when they buy an HD Radio! As our new commercials say; ‘If you don’t have an HD Radio, you’re not hearing HD Radio.’"
New Ad Flight Launches
Beginning this week, the Alliance will launch their new on-air ad campaign, which will continue educating consumers that they need a new receiver to enjoy the HD experience. All of the ads will incorporate the tag, "If you don’t have an HD, you’re not hearing HD. It’s time to upgrade." This messaging reinforces the need for a radio upgrade in order to hear the digital quality sound and new stations.
Additionally, the campaign will direct consumers to www.hdradio.com to view the station and buyer’s guide. The buyer’s guide has gone through significant improvements, making it easier for consumers to peruse and choose the perfect HD Radio for them. There is now a ‘Buy’ button next to each product that drives visitors to Amazon.com where they can find the specific product they are interested in and see the best prices offered by the variety of participating retailers. And the home page of HDRadio.com will have scrolling ‘MY DEALS’ so consumers can view bargains on receivers at various retailers.
About the HD Digital Radio Alliance
The HD Digital Radio Alliance is a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the successful rollout of HD Digital Radio. Current members include major radio groups and independent station owners: Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, Buckley Radio, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting / ABC Radio, Clear Channel Radio, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media and WBEB Philadelphia. For more information on HD Digital Radio, visit www.hdradio.com.