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HD Radio Alliance Readies Holiday Promotions

11/06/2006 12:13:00 PM Eastern

Orlando, Fla. – The HD Digital Radio Alliance will kick off the latest installment in its $200 million marketing campaign on Nov. 13, when new radio ads will promote the availability of HD Radio receivers in Circuit City, the expansion of RadioShack’s national rollout to new markets; and $25 and $50 rebates previously announced by HD Radio inventor iBiquity.

Following the alliance’s fall campaign, the holiday campaign will place 150 commercial per week on alliance radio stations, which broadcast in the top 68 markets out of the 151 markets in which stations are broadcasting in digital, the alliance said. Participating retailers and manufacturers will collaborate with the alliance on additional marketing efforts such as print ads, catalog inclusion, and online and in-store campaigns.

The campaign will promote Circuit City as the first “big box” retailer of HD Radio products, which will be available in Circuit City stores in the top 10 markets and on Circuit’s web site. Alliance ads will also promote RadioShack’s expansion of HD Radio availability to about 2,500 stores nationwide in 56 of the 68 markets where HD digital radio broadcasting is underway. Suppliers and other retailers included in the Alliance promotion are Amazon, Cambridge SoundWorks, Crutchfield, Tweeter and JVC, which recently reduced the price of a car CD-receiver with embedded HD Radio tuner to $199. Coupled with a $50 rebate, the price of the JVC head unit goes to $149, making it the lowest priced CD-receiver with HD Radio inside.

The JVC rebate is part of a mail-in rebate program developed by iBiquity and 20 home and car audio suppliers for the holiday season. Rebates are $25 and $50 depending on model. The rebate program, running from Oct. 12 to Jan. 14, applies to tabletop radios, dedicated HD Radio home tuners, car tuners, and car connector adapters, bringing the price of more products under the $200 level.

As previously reported, the 1,000th HD Radio station recently went on the air, and at least 21 HD Radio SKUs for the home will be available from 14 brands during the holiday season. In the autosound aftermarket, JVC and Panasonic offer head units with embedded HD Radio, and multiple suppliers such as Alpine and Kenwood offer head units that control optional outboard tuners. At last week’s SEMA show, Directed and Visteon showed plug-and-play tuners that dock with car and home docking kits to turn any car radio into an HD Radio.

HD Radio receivers are currently available from such retailers as ABC Warehouse, Amazon.com, CircuitCity, Crutchfield, Great Indoors, J & R Music, RadioShack, and Tweeter. Best Buy offers car head units that accept outboard HD Radio tuners but doesn’t sell the tuners, a spokesperson confirmed.

The HD Digital Radio Alliance is an initiative of leading radio broadcasters who want to accelerate the rollout of HD digital radio.