One bright spot for HD: New Cars

M. Casey
Fri Mar 14 13:23:43 EDT 2014

There is one bright spot in HD radio's future:
New Cars.
Many, many new cars come standard with HD now. Given the fact
that a significant, in fact maybe, the majority of broadcast radio listening
is done in cars..... If ALL models from ALL auto and truck manufacturers
came standard with HD Radio, then that would be a big boost for HD. Sure, it
would take 5 or 10 years until most of the new cars became used cars
and most eveyrone had a car with HD, but still, it just may happen that 
--a good chance with FM HD, but doubtful AM HD. AM HD does sound as
good or nearly as good as Analog FM but they probably should just give up
on AM HD now unless the licencing and equipment costs dramatically decline,
enough so, that even the smallest AM's can afford to add HD. But that's not
likely to happen.

Mark Casey

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott Fybush" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014 7:09 PM
Subject: Re: Stronger HD Signals

On 3/13/2014 2:46 PM, Nickolas Noseworthy wrote:

> The more options and variety
> you put on your main channel and sub-channels, coupled with more
> power, it seems only logical that an increase in listernship would
> occur. Which would mean more revenue. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

That was certainly the theory when this all started a decade ago. But
the radio industry didn't understand that the radios weren't going to
sell themselves, and until recently there's been no coherent
industry-wide effort to do what the SiriusXMs and Sprints of the world
have done: provide incentives to the electronics industry to support
your efforts.

The kids in the blue shirts at Best Buy get kickbacks when they sell a
satellite radio or a Verizon cellphone. They don't get anything extra
when they sell an HD Radio. Which do you think they'll push harder when
Joe Consumer walks in the door?

And on a larger scale, the satellite and wireless companies are paying,
heavily, to be in the dashboard of your next car. HD, not so much.
That's why it's a near-certainty that whatever you buy next will come
with a SiriusXM trial and, soon, with a wireless data connection. The
radio industry let a decade of that go by before it tried to fight back,
and now it's probably too late.

Also, the big guys with the HD signals - Clear Channel, Entercom,
Greater, CBS - have spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars
ensuring that they have exclusive use of the scarce full-power FM
signals in markets like Boston. How much would they have to charge an
independent AM like WNTN or WUFC or (not that he'd ever pay it) WJIB to
make the extra potential competition worth it?

And what ethnic broadcaster will shell out thousands of dollars a month
to lease an HD channel that few listeners can hear, when they can spend
that same money, or less, putting a pirate signal on the air that
everyone can hear on analog FM?

It's a tough economic case to make right now for HD.

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