Columbia, Md. - HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital wants to accelerate digital radio adoption by reducing its one-time licensing fee for radio stations and offering them an installment option for the first time.
"Radio is now the last entertainment medium to convert from analog to digital, and we want to do all we can to help broadcasters upgrade and deliver the highest quality listening experience to their listeners and generate incremental revenue from new digital offerings," said iBiquity president/CEO Robert Struble.
The fee drops to $10,000 from $25,000 for payment in full with a signed contract. The cost goes to $12,500 if payments are made over a 12-month period. The "flexible, cost-effective licensing options [will] make upgrading easier," Struble said.
"More than 2,000 stations broadcast HD Radio signals, and it's a good time for more stations to join in," he continued, because in calendar 2010, 80 vehicle models will incorporate HD Radio receivers, with 36 of them offering HD Radio as standard equipment.
In addition, more than 100 different HD Radio receivers are available through more than 14,000 brick-and-mortar and online retailers, and earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission allowed HD Radio FM stations to immediately raise their digital power from 1 percent of analog power to 4 percent to increase digital-signal range and in-building penetration, Struble said. Stations also got the right to apply for a maximum boost to 10 percent of analog power if they can show it won't interfere with other stations' signals.