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Traffic Service Nets 500,000 Subs

San Antonio — More than 500,000 consumers currently subscribe to real-time traffic information through portable navigation devices (PNDs) and in-car navigation systems from Clear Channel Radio’s RDS-TMC (Radio Data System-Traffic Message Channel) service, launched in 2005, the company announced.

The service delivers traffic data via an analog FM station’s RDS signal to PNDs and in-car navigation systems available from such companies as BMW, MINI USA, Volvo, Garmin, TomTom, Navigon, Mio, Delphi, Kenwood, Clarion, Harmon Kardon, Panasonic, Siemens, Cobra Electronics and others.

The 500,000 subscriptions do not include consumers who are using 90-day free trials, nor does it include consumers whose subscriptions have lapsed, a spokesman said.

Clear Channel supplies its RDS-TMC service to four of the top five PND makers, accounting for 80 percent of all PND sales in the United States, the company said. It’s also the only service to use FM station RDS technology to deliver traffic data to OEM car navigation systems available in U.S.-sold vehicles. Clear Channel’s service competes with satellite-radio provider XM, which provides traffic data to OEM navigation systems, and Microsoft, whose service delivers data via non-RDS FM subcarrier to select PNDs.

With their paid RDS-TMC subscriptions, consumers get real-time data compiled by the Clear Channel Total Traffic Network (CCTTN) network of reporters, traffic cameras, embedded speed sensors, police scanners and mobile reporters. The company owns and operates its own traffic data centers, towers and stations.

The company’s data is also delivered to broadcast media and Internet-based services.

The service covers more than 125 metropolitan markets in four countries with information broadcast on almost 300 on-air stations.