The ever optimistic HD Radio fans, in the form of an HD Radio Alliance, claimed progress in a recent announcement that 1000 stations are now broadcasting a digital HD2 channel, and 100 different models of HD Radios are now for sale. According to the Washington Post report, it’s remarkable that broadcasters have invested what it takes to get to the 1000 mark, given that the vast majority of their listeners can’t hear them because they do not have an HD Radio.
The 100 model mark for HD devices is less impressive, given that it’s taken five years to get that far and the most inexpensive model is $79. Not to mention that the devices are not well merchandised at any store I’ve ever been in – do you ever see a sale on HD Radios, or one advertised in a Best Buy flyer? Or an even better question – do you know anyone who even knows that HD Radio exists, or is considering purchasing one – or better yet, do you know anyone that has one?
As I have said before, the best bet for broadcasters who are already in too deep with investments in this technology (or in Ibiquity itself), one benefit is that these alternative channels can also be streamed online, where they’ll likely find a larger audience, and make the investment in the programming of the channel more worthwhile.