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HD Radio Ads Combat Perceptions

Orlando, Fla. — The HD Digital Radio Alliance’s latest 13-week radio-ad campaign will combat the mistaken perception by many consumers that they already own an HD Radio, and it will promote a digital radio’s sound quality and ability to tune into 1,000 new digital FM stations.

The ads will also drive consumers to to learn about new station formats they can hear in their area through the 100 HD Radio receivers currently available at prices down to $79.

The 13-week radio flight, the 14th since the alliance’s founding almost 3.5 years ago, starts this week in 100 markets through more than 700 stations.

“Research tells us that consumers think they are listening to HD Radio because the promos on the station say `broadcasting in HD Radio,’” a spokesperson said. The new ads “will continue educating consumers that they need a new receiver to enjoy the HD experience.” All ads therefore will incorporate the tag, “If you don’t have an HD, you’re not hearing HD. It’s time to upgrade.”

The ads will direct consumers to the web to view station guides, the spokesperson said, because“we know if listeners find a station they want to hear that is not on the AM or FM dial, they will buy a new radio.” She pointed to genres such as Irish music appearing on FM stations’ HD2 or HD3 channels. Country and religious music are also appearing on the new channels. (See chart.)

The on-line buyers’ guide undergone “significant improvements” to make it easier for consumers to peruse and choose a radio, she added. A ‘buy’ button next to each product drives visitors to to find the best prices offered by a variety of participating retailers. The home page of has a scrolling ‘My Deals” section that lets consumers view bargains on receivers at various retailers.

“We have spent our resources on to make sure the information is deep and complete for the HD Radio shopper,” the spokesperson added.

A total of 84 percent of visitors to the site are still first-time visitors even though the site is almost four years old, she noted.

The 1,000 multicast and 100 SKU milestones are significant because “broadcasters are continuing to see the value in offering additional content, stakeholders are seeing that radio and electronic manufacturers have fully embraced the radio digital revolution, and consumers now have more format choices on the dial and receiver models than ever before,” said Peter Ferrara, alliance founder and strategic advisor.

Said alliance president Diane Warren, “In this economic environment, being able to receive all these extra stations around the country for free is immensely appealing.” The alliance is “confident that with the broad station selection being offered, people will find something truly unique and consumer interest will only go up,” she added.

In 2005, when the alliance formed, only one HD Radio receiver was available and only 21 simulcast channels were broadcasting, the alliance said. The 1,000 simulcast channels now broadcasting include HD2 and HD3 channels, but most are HD2 channels.

To date, close to 2,000 stations are broadcasting their primary signal in digital quality, reaching 84 percent of the population, the alliance added.