HD Radio’s “lacklustre” year

“HD radio, which has struggled to establish itself among emerging audio technologies, had another lackluster year.”

The first sentence of HD Radio chapter in “The State of the News Media“, an annual review prepared on the media in the USA by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism says it all.

According to the report:

  • Only 2,012 of the nation’s 14,417 AM and FM stations broadcast HD signals
  • Only about one half of these use HD to broadcast more than one simultaneous program (multicast)
  • Only 184 stations added HD capability to their broadcasts in 2009 – a rate that will see all stations broadcasting in HD within 78 years
  • Despite iBiquity’s massive promotional campaigns, HD has failed to capture consumer interest with only 32% of people saying that they are even somewhat interested in HD Radio

The report also looks at podcasts, noting that some 27 million people reported listening to at least once a month. “Growth in listeners, however, doesn’t come close to matching the growth in the number of available.”

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