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HD Radio Outlines New Initiatives

9/28/2010 04:13:59 PM Eastern
Columbia, Md. - The HD Radio Alliance is teaming up with major retailers and CE brands to launch a 100-market radio campaign to drive consumers into stores to buy HD Radio during the fourth quarter.

 In other HD Radio announcements:

  • HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital and radio-content distributor Citadel Media worked out an airtime-barter arrangement to help radio stations add or upgrade HD Radio equipment without incurring out-of-pocket expenses.

  • iBiquity announced that Subaru will offer its digital radio technology for the first time when the Japanese automaker launches HD Radio as part of a premium radio package in the 2011 Forrester, due in dealerships in November with HD Radio iTunes Tagging.

  • iBiquity said the first consumer product to support a new HD Radio feature called Artist Experience will appear in October. The device will display album cover artwork, other song-related images, and station promotional information. The company didn't say when the first stations will broadcast Artist Experience content.

In outlining the ad campaign, the HD Radio Alliance said ads will appear "with a high frequency level" on more than 600 stations in 100 markets beginning Sept. 28. The campaign will include separate ads tailored to drive consumers into Sears, Best Buy or Magnolia Home Theater stores for special holiday offers and for new products bearing the JVC Mobile, Denon home audio and Best Buy Insignia house brand.

The first wave of ads will feature North Pole residents doing their October planning for the Christmas season. The second wave focuses on Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves and consumers as they make gift-giving decisions during November and December.

"The scope of the Alliance campaign in support of JVC," said JVC Mobile sales VP Bill Turner, "allowed us to approach Sears with a truly comprehensive program." JVC worked closely with the alliance to add Sears to "our special holiday package, which we feel will significantly increase our already dominant share of the mobile HD Radio business."

Under the barter arrangement, stations would provide airtime to Citadel, which would then pay for the station's HD Radio licensing fees and for broadcast equipment. Citadel distributes such content as ABC News Radio and ESPN Radio as well as shows by the likes of Don Imus.

The Subaru announcement brings to 16 the number of automaker brands offering standard or optional HD Radio in about 80 models in calendar 2010.
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