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Radio Groups To Play iTunes Tag

10/02/2007 12:20:00 PM Eastern

Columbia, Md. — Six major radio station groups are installing iTunes Tagging technology, which is designed to make it easier for consumers to buy songs heard on an HD Radio from Apple’s iTunes download store.

The six groups are CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Cox, Entercom and Greater Media. They didn’t say when the installation would be completed, but HD-Radio developer iBiquity did say that radio stations broadcasting iTunes Tagging data will share in the revenue of tagged songs that are subsequently downloaded from Apple’s iTunes site.

The iTunes Tagging feature, which lets consumers “tag” songs broadcast by a digital FM station, works like this: At the touch of a button, an iPod-docking HD Radio will store song metadata broadcast by the digital FM station. The metadata transfers automatically to an iPod when an iPod is docked to the HD Radio. When the iPod is later synced with a PC, the PC’s iTunes software automatically displays the tagged song’s metadata in a “tagged” playlist for previewing, buying and downloading.

JBL (www.jbl.com) and Polk Audio (www.polkaudio.com) will offer the first iPod-docking tabletop HD Radios equipped with iTunes Tagging. The new $499-suggested Polk I-Sonic Entertainment System 2, due in October, and the JBL iHD tabletop radio, due for the holidays, will include the Tag button. Additional home and car audio products with HD-Radio and iPod dock will follow in early 2008 with the Tag button.

To promote iTunes Tagging, the HD Digital Radio Alliance (www.hdradioalliance.com) has said it will launch a multimillion promotional campaign with a focus on the Polk and JBL products and their retailers.

Bob Struble, president/CEO of HD Radio developer iBiquity, said iTunes Tagging gives consumers a way to buy new songs they hear for the first time on the radio. iTunes Tagging, said CBS Radio president/CEO Dan Mason, “will afford our listeners with greater access to the music they discover on our stations.”