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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.