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HD-Radio Group Moves To Consumer Conversion

3/31/2008 04:10:00 PM Eastern

Orlando, Fla. — The HD Digital Radio Alliance, a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters, today began the “next stage” of its marketing efforts to accelerate consumer adoption of the format.

New messaging, logos and radio ads begin today. Also on tap: a dramatically expanded marketing resource suite for broadcasters on www.HDRadioAlliance.com. In addition, an industrywide collaboration took place at the HD Radio Idea Summit that was held earlier this month, here, 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 percent, 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 percent said they want HD Radio in their next vehicle.

As part of the new marketing effort 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 VP of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. “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, 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.

The group reports that there are more than 1,600 HD-Radio stations in the United States, broadcasting with more than 600 also broadcasting HD2 and HD3 multicasts. Coverage reaches 188 markets, including the top 100 media markets — reaching 83 percent of the U.S. population.

For more information on HD Digital Radio, visit http://www.hdradio.com.