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July 12, 2011



If you're in the corner and have no money to move out from that, you would require to take the personal loans. Because that would help you unquestionably. I take term loan every single year and feel myself great just because of this.

Shop Hermes Bags

I'm interested in such offer,The sound quality in these podcasts is really poor. I feel bad about complaining about something that is free, but I think it is important.

Bob Stubble

I have failed, and lied, and scammed everysone, and all I have to show for it is an investigation into iBiquity consumer and auto fraud.

a Michigan broadcaster

"No one technology is an outright winner . . ." Really??? I beg to differ. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Outright Worldwide Winner (by a mile): ANALOG FM!!!

J.P. Ferraro

Re-launch "HD" radio? How about burying it? Technically, it's a kludge: poorly designed, brittle, expensive, barely functional, inefficient and it trashes the spectrum. Shall I go on? You get degraded audio on FM, and synthesised faux audio on AM. This is an improvement? Really?
I suppose I should not be surprised: after all, you guys "decided" on Motorola AM stereo; another example of junk technology that didn't work. Unless you liked spinning your listeners around. Easy fix? Shut it off at night, wow, brilliant. Even worse is the fact that we could have had the Kahn system, 19+ kc of pure audio in the standard channel, an apparent 3x power boost, improved performance next to power lines, and a rock-solid stereo image no matter what.
Do you really think that all you need to do label yourself "digital"? Or try to become more like the internet? Sorry, guys: radio needs to focus on what radio does best (which is not what the internet does best). Think about content, not junk technology and bells and whistles.

Greg Smith (Maryland)

@Nick Piggott: Yea, consumer interest in DAB has really grown:


Just like HD Radio:


Of course, Struble has buddied with Cridland, and the BBC is now using the term "HD radio", in order to boost such graphs for Struble. LOL!

Nick Piggott

The "failed miserably" Grant talks of is over 12m radios sold in a population of 51m adults, a weekly reach of over 26% of adults, a range of over 300 receivers in all form factors, and an entry price for radios of about USD30. The audience has grown year on year on year, even during a painful recession.

On the subject of giving the full picture, as well as working on the DAB Digital Radio project, I also chair the RadioDNS project which champions the convergence of all broadcast platforms (FM, HD, DAB) with IP, was a lead in the UK Radio Player (that deployed an industry-wide radio player and radio search platform used nearly 23m times a month), catalysed an industry wide project to slash costs for IP streaming, have launched award-winning and hugely downloaded mobile and tablet apps for radio, and have worked collaboratively across the industry defining and implementing a profitable digital future for radio.

I am very proud to be helping create a vision of radio in a digital world, that spans all forms of devices and distribution methods.

Grant Goddard

In his comment on this article, Nick Piggott said: "Grant [Goddard] (who is referred to above) has a reputation for only reporting bad news about digital radio, and noticeably does not always allow open commenting on his blog posts."

According to Nick's own blog, "My job is Head of Creative Technology at Global Radio (the UK's largest Commercial Radio Broadcaster). I've led the development of DAB Digital Radio within Global Radio (previously GCap Media and GWR Group plc) since 1998..."

On the other hand, I am an independent radio analyst who has no vested interest in whether DAB radio succeeds or fails. No, I do not publish comments on my blog that contain propaganda, slander, libel, are off-topic, or that simply shout 'rubbish'. There is plenty of that nonsense elsewhere.

Sadly, the DAB radio protagonists in the UK have to stoop this low and 'shoot the messenger' because there are no logical reasons for FM radio to be replaced. Nick's missiles aimed at me personally, rather than the factual evidence that I write about, are a product of sheer desperation because DAB radio has failed miserably with UK consumers (see 200+ articles on my blog).


Darryl Pomicter

"The entire community of radio stations in Australia recently launched digital radio in that country.

James used video and photos to show how every radio station promoted digital live on the air for months to build anticipation. On the day of the great reveal, all the radio stations in every market in Australia held fairs at which they demonstrated digital radio. All the stations broadcast live from tents at the local fairs, and they all flipped the digital "switch" at the same moment, across the nation."

DAB+ digital radio services commenced in the major metropolitan markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in August 2009 and have now been on air for 18 months. The coverage of the 5 major cities equates to coverage of almost 60% of the population of Australia. Low power regional DAB+ trials began in July 2010 in Canberra and in August 2010 in Darwin.
Although current DAB+ markets cover nearly 60 percent of Australia’s population, the five metropolitan capitals represent just five of the 105 commercial radio licence areas.

Last update: 05-01-2011 - CRA reports 65 stations broadcasting on DAB+ in Australia, with up to 20 DAB+ only.

Reported DAB+ listening is for the commenced 5 markets, without comparison with the total national market. And, reported DAB+ listening is for DAB+ platform devices—including FM (and Internet) listening on DAB+ devices:
"Listeners were asked to record platform of listening. That is, listening via an analogue device, a DAB+ digital radio device, or via the internet."

[In the UK, the RAJAR 15% DAB includes FM (and Internet) listening on DAB radios (DAB "platform"). Considering broadcast quality, sound quality, and receiver quality problems, actual DAB listening is substantially less--perhaps 8-10-12%. The RAJAR 3% for Internet listening is only live listening, and favors the ~300 subscribers. RAJAR MIDAS studies report on-demand, podcasts, and personal tracklist services total more than live listening. The additional more than 700 smaller (local) commercial, community, student, hospital, (pirate,) and Internet-only stations (and the rest of the world) further increase Internet listening—quite possibly to 9-10-12%. Total DAB and Internet listening are likely to both be about 10% now--not the 5-6X multiple touted--with mobile listening driving Internet growth beyond DAB.]

DAB will never be practical for most of the stations in most of the country. FM will continue for most stations in most of the country. Internet radio complements all broadcast radio--FM, AM, Satellite, HD, DAB, DAB+, DMB—adding (receiving and transmitting) location flexibility and time transfer.

Why buy a new DAB/HD radio to receive only area stations and only live? And, can we expect appropriate HD/DAB/DAB+/DMB chip and antenna in all mobile phones--in addition to FM, and in addition to mobile and Wi-Fi Internet? It’s not Betamax versus VHS; it’s Polavision after the introduction of Betamax and VHS.

Scotty Matthews

There is no truth to the line from Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."

The consumers didn't ask for this. In fact, most of them are listening to highly-compressed MP3's and have never even heard real high-fidelity sound except in movie theaters.

Very few of them can tell the difference between analog FM and HD just by listening. And besides, many of the stations are broadcasting satellite feeds that are already digitally compressed, and when the codecs stack up, the audio doesn't sound as good as analog. Other stations have their music libraries in MP3 format to begin with--same problem.

The only reason DTV was accepted was because stations were required to shut down their analog broadcasts. Radio stations can't afford to run an extra transmitter per station, and most broadcasters know that the public is not going to ruch out to buy new equipment (which they would have to have installed in their cars, at significant expense) even if we warned them that analog AM and FM was going away.

Now is not the time to abandon any of our listeners for the sake of switching to a digital format that they could frankly care less about.

Nick Piggott

The subject of Digital Radio raises passions wherever it is discussed in the world, and it's clear that it's a difficult subject for the industry to find a united voice on. In my experience, that opportunity to unite comes more easily when we first talk about content and experiences that will defend radio against new competitors, and refresh the medium when listeners' expectations are being raised all around them.

Where we begin to struggle is on how to *distribute* that experience to our listeners on a truly ubiquitous and mass market scale. No one technology is an outright winner when you take into account costs, complexity, regulation and IPR issues. Different countries have different approaches, and maybe as an industry globally we have been naive to think there was one silver bullet technology that would fix all cases. (Disclosure - I chair RadioDNS, the project which champions the concept of converging broadcast radio + IP). Should HD radio be part of the US's distribution strategy for radio? I'm not sure you can confidently answer that question until you know what distribution ecosystem it fits into, and what experience you're trying to deliver to your listeners (and on what devices).

In Europe, one of the challenges for digital radio has been how to unite two otherwise fierce competitors in public service radio and commercial radio, which typically have a 50:50 market share. In markets which are struggling with digital radio, it's often because the commercial broadcasters haven't been sufficiently involved or engaged. Once they are involved (noticeably recently in Germany), the mood can change dramatically for the better.

I would caution against trying to interpret too much of the subtitles of individual market implementations of digital radio from blogs. Grant (who is referred to above) has a reputation for only reporting bad news about digital radio, and noticeably does not always allow open commenting on his blog posts. In truth, some European countries have financial problems that go way beyond public service radio, and digital radio transmission costs are a soft cut to make whilst the medium is in its infancy. In contrast, in the UK switching off FM radio is a serious consideration now, which would save the costs of parallel distribution across a decreasing analogue platform and a growing digital platform.

Robert Bopft

It was Ibiquity that stopped it dead for us too. When the FCC
chose a private proprietary format
we said, nope, they're going to sock it to us, and sure enough. The system is flukey, expensive, and really not a money maker at all from those I've spoken with. A separate band with an open format and no royalties would have been easier to market, and cause a whole lot less trouble with adjacents.

Greg Smith (Maryland)

Sorry, Eric, but Bob Savage couldn't have said it better:


"Eric Rhoads, who graced us with direct sales of an Insignia portable knockoff sprayed red and dubbed "Mighty Red," wants everyone to line up for a repeat fleecing by HD Radio. In an e-mail blast titled "Let's Re-Launch HD Radio," Rhoads opines that all we have to do is call HD something else/different and append the superlative "NEW!!!" to it - then - just like THAT! Radio will presumably have a cool new success to crow about!

ABSOLUTELY!! GREAT freakin' idea, Eric!!!

We can cross-market HD in all kinds of categories!! Think of HD, factory-standard in your new Segway scooter - sold nationwide at every neighborhood Bricklin-Yugo dealership!! HD can be part of an interior-appointment package including little cupholder trays for Olestra potato chips and New Coke! HD branding can be applied to a whole new line of fanny-packs and cellphone holsters, etc. It'll be like the return of.....DISCO!!!


"With all due respect....." Meaning, not much - this is the kind of "thinking" that put the radio industry into a seven-year jackpot, doing such productive things as HD Radio and blowing millions on a paranoid lawsuit over satellite radio. "Re-launch HD Radio?" I see. Let's try once again to foist an unparalleled market failure on the public and try to sell the idea that THIS time, it's somehow different. "We just didn't discover the right lies last time...."


Time to drop this debacle, before it destroys radio, altogether. Oh, but that is what iBiquity is trying to do - destroy the smaller broadcasters with adjacent-channel interference. I can't wait until all of you hucksters are dragged into Federal Court.

Roger Bouldin

Assume we get past the technical hurdles that HD radio presents and assume for the argument's sake that broadcasters have the capital to make the conversion, then answer these question.

How do we monetize it? If we add more channels (stations) does that create more advertisers or make existing advertisers spend more? Do we really need more stations? Do we not already have more stations than can be profitable in most markets? Are there really wonderful new formats just waiting for a place to be aired? If so, why aren’t these formats being adopted by the thousands of stations all across the country that are failing in the ratings? What about format cannibalism? If you are a smaller station with a niche format that garners some audience, how long before some high-power station grabs your format for their HD2 or HD3 channel? Will the formats of top-rated stations not be targeted by competitor’s HD2 and HD3 channels?

HD radio costs too much to implement. It adds new stations (channels) that most markets do not need and cannot financially support. HD radio will add ongoing costs in electricity bills, programming costs, royalties, and maintenance charges. HD Radio will virtually eliminate smaller stand-alone stations as the higher power stations gobble up all the viable formats.

HD radio will not create more listeners. Over 92 percent of all Americans listen to radio each week. HD radio will not create any new revenues but will only split the existing dollars over more stations (channels). HD radio will add large on-going costs to our existing operations. No additional listeners. No additional revenues. Much higher costs. Tougher competition. Possibly degraded signals. Wow, that’s a business model we should all be eager to embrace.

HD radio does not need to be re-launched. It needs to go away!

a Michigan broadcaster

It IS NOT about content, marketing, cost, or fees. It IS about junk science - a technical system that DOESN'T WORK. If HD Radio weren't the abysmal technical failure that it is, content, marketing, cost, and fees might matter. Americans aren't stupid; our free market system has voted. The results of the election: HD Radio - loser / Analog Radio(particularly FM) - winner.

Even with functioning, non-IBOC technology, countries such as Canada and Portugal have turned off digital radio. In Great Britain and Australia - often touted as digital radio "success" stories, the jury is still out, even with strong government arm-twisting. Digital radio in all its current forms is a solution in search of a non-existent problem. If something comes along that is TRULY better, nothing will be able to stop its acceptance by the marketplace.

Feldon Parke

Everyone----including the author----seems to be missing the key point: content. Broadcasting companies are unwilling to invest in developing unique or compelling programming on the HD channels, so there is no reason for consumers to buy the receivers. All the marketing in the world will not sell a boring product.

Tony St. James

We're still learning about HD. We have the format ideas, believe we could offer compelling content but don't see the opportunities to make enough money to make the investment in the first place. We see HD not as a new revenue model (at least not yet), rather as a way to build interest with a demographic that is not using radio.

It's already been said here that the costs for small-market operators is what keeps us from making the switch. I'm not asking for something free, but in order to make this nationwide rollout work, everybody has to be on board (or at least those of us who want to be in the business 10 or 20 years down the road).

Here's a thought: barter. I'm not talking about barter for the right to use the system (thank you iBiquity for the R&D to bring the technology) rather barter for the equipment. Take one of my aux. channels and provide us the programming (and commercials) for the next 3 years if we will install HD on our FM before June 1, 2012. If we need engineering help, then extend that barter agreement for another year or two (total of 5 years max.). Now you're giving every one of us (small markets especially) a reason to do this.

Right now I wish I had $500-million in the bank so that we could buy enough equipment (at a great price from manufacturers who realize that their business dies if radio dies), line up regional engineers (to insure it's done consistent), hire a staff of great radio minds (that are looking for jobs) and build some nice studios to get this project going. At some point in time, we as an industry need to remember that it's not just about the money. I'd be willing to give up all opportunity to make money on this aux. channel just to know that I could keep potential listeners using the product (terrestrial radio).

I'm not sure, but don't you think Roy Williams (Wizard of Ads) would want to be a part of this? Where's Lee Abrahms? Eric, you could get involved too. Heck, let's get iBiquity to build an iTunes type store where we tag the music. Then listeners can seemlessly integrate their purchases with their iTunes account (or whatever they might be using at the time). Instead of letting Apple make more off of us, iBiquity could start recouping some of their investment based solely on the success of the system.

The answer to our problem is simple... I just don't know where the intial investment comes from . I hope that if it happens that those running the show remember that we're all family. We cannot afford the investment, but absolutely cannot afford to be screwed over.

Sorry for the long post... but thank you for the opportunity to get the idea out there. Hope someone has a way to make it work. Call me when you're ready, because we're willing to get it rolling right now.

Will Robedee

Three problems.

HD2 (&HD3) are not as robust (reliable) as analog.

The technology is proprietary and thus artificially inflates the cost of implementation and receivers.

Many stations in large markets adopted the technology, but don't promote it.


I reside between two radio markets, one about 40 miles and one about 50 miles away. There are no HD radio signals closer to my location, and we have this phenomenon called terrain.

HD radio reminds me of a gag from the TV show "Married With Children", when the family wanted to watch FOX, Al would say "Everybody assume FOX viewing positions", and they would all hold antennas in odd positions. I have a small portable FM HD radio, and that is literally how it works here. I have to either hold the headphone cord over my head, or run it over and behind the recliner, or any number of positions depending on the signal I want to listen to.

I don't have HD radio in my car, but the HD signals screw up the seek function. Seek almost never finds an analog signal of stations that transmit HD, even closer to the towers. One hundred kw station is often skipped within 10 miles of their transmitter.

Analog FM stations occupied 200 khz. HD stations "occupy" 600 khz, and in my experience cause interference to 1000 khz. We have AM-ized the FM band by allowing signals to overlap spectrum. We are driving listeners away from radio by screwing with the quality of analog signals. In my area, I can't listen to HD radio while working in the yard or walking the dog. Radio listeners are going to turn to other audio services that offer higher quality and reliability.

Jerry Smith

Broadcasters are the most difficult bunch to get together for much of anything except during a disaster crisis intervention situation, such as a major tornado, hurricane or ice storm.

We have tested, experimented and spent hundreds of free hours taking field measurements, comparing noise floor levels on AM and FM digital spectrum and for a while got a salary to test HDTV signal quality at the turn of the last century. The facts on the damage digital does to both spectrum regions were ignored or covered up beautifully.

Appreciate the well-said suggestion of re-branding digital, We need smart promtional tools that can cross over into our new delivery system competition. Were it not that the digital system we have been forced to accept as the gospel is already outdated and non-competitive when compared to real quality analog modulation schemes as far as consistent transient audio performance and full spectrum response to 15 kilohertz without the masking effect and far superior maximum market coverage compared to digital, the marketing idea might be worth the effort.

Seems the RDS signals can do as much as the Ibiquity (TM) system in sending text data without the massive damage to the broadcast spectrum, which has so conveniently been ignored by all but the radical opposition to this digital technology. As broadcast engineers are retiring or losing their jobs with the key players pushing digital transmission,more and more are now voicing their disgust and shame at being forced to keep silent and go with the flow. I submit that the concept of pushing digital as they did in tiny Australia appears to have one weak link:The truth and history are standing in the doorway of this concept becoming prosperous in the USA.

And let's not forget formerly conservative Australia spent over 1 Billion taking away the handguns and now faces far more serious gang and street crime and other forms of death around their nation. Poltical ideas, just like marketing concepts, have a price tag and a reality check that could bounce later. These folks also gave away their AM spectrum years ago, picking the Motorola AM Stereo system as their defacto standard and saying no to the other better quality AM systems as part of a cellular deal much like the Japanese with their Motorola machinery incentives.

The Aussies have the spectrum space for FMs-for-everyone if they had the free marketplace at work once more and there happened to be a demand for more broadcasting channels, which does not seem to be the problem there or here.

Dennis Jones; Bootstrap Broadcasting; RadioJonesLLC

A number of years ago (at one of the first RAIN Conference Sessions in Vegas I think) "HD Radio" was first being demonstrated and discussed and took the microphone to suggest that the "HD Radio" name itself was already wrong and that we should consider retreating from it quickly, choosing instead to simply use the name "digital radio". That idea was broadly and quickly dismissed by the entire panel of mostly engineers and, by the sounds of the silence, my fellow audience members (I recall sitting by the people from RadioTime now TuneIn - a good service by the way). I maintain that stance and agree with Eric. I will only add here that your average, typical consumers just don't associate "high definition" with radio ... they barely associate "HD" with television and I don't believe they much care about HD on either one. Being Digital (apologies to the old Nicolas Negreponte book title) on the other hand is still relevant, "today" and even "tomorrow" (though that window is closing fast).

As a very small market owner, I have an HD license and I'm still making the investment (to feed a translator primarily at this stage). Now trust me, I can ill afford yet another capital expense, but, I do still believe in "digital" radio, side channels one and two. It's certainly not for the better sound quality however. The value of digital is in the many other attributes it can provide (FF, pause, artist and title, album covers, liner notes, emergency services, news, weather, sports, hyper-local information of all types ... local business advertising and branding ... location based services maybe? couponing maybe? on and on, etc.).

Having said all that, I certainly agree with Rick that Ibiquity must lower it's license pricing
for the smaller broadcaster. A tiered system for unrated, small, medium, large and major markets is appropriate. Our recession drones on and on and won't be over anytime soon. The new normal dictates MUCH lower pricing from many radio vendors.

It is also important that the power/interference issues be worked out with the Commission. Additionally, the entire audio chain must be made more efficient for much lower broadcaster operating cost and, most importantly, for the sake of a seamless end-user experience.

I love the idea of the NAB, RAB and the BIG groups plus many, many of the small, independent operators mounting a concerted, coordinated, nationwide re-launch effort using a new name and a good PR Firm (or firms, like the 18 or so Karmizan Proproganda used to relaunch Sirius and XM after their bankruptcies). A good pro-radio ad agency would be a good idea also to propel reach with the general market consumer audience. Maybe one fell introductory swoop (Superbowl? Apple's 1984?) followed by some patented creative radio promotions?

HOWEVER ... the PRODUCT must lead and that means both a super cool device (or devices that work with ease and without fail) AND some compelling, innovative programming and features.

In a new book about the early days of Google (a review in the WSJ today) when the author, a marketing guy, suggested better branding was the answer, Larry Page sternly interjected that the technology and product would lead and that if they were superior the audience would follow. At this stage "HD/Digital" Radio needs both an "oh wow" product and a well thought-out launch/promotion/branding strategy.

How can we proceed?

Bob Pittman, are you out there?

Greg Smith (Maryland)

"We have invested too much to give up on it."

That's exactly what Struble is banking on. Yes, HD Radio has been a failure, and now, iBiquity and the automakers are under investigation by two law firms for possible class-actions. Even after reducing the fees for a while, stations still did not sign on. The real killers are that the system simply will never work nearly as well as analog, equipment costs are horrendous, electical bills are doubled, the hardware is unreliable, and who has the resources to run more "radio stations". That barter scheme by Greater Media was a flop, too.

Portugal just switched off digital radio:


It appears that Eric's post was all to suggest a mandate for HD Radio - will never happen, as too many anti-trust issues.

Eric, keep these posts coming about HD Radio, since other media organizations aren't publishing much. Plus, I get to route these articles to my buddies. :)

Eric Rhoads

Im not sure Rick that is the only issue, though its a big one because not only is that a huge hit for small markets but you also need to purchase a lot of other equipment. We would all be better off if we could find a way to gain universal coverage in all markets (on AM and FM) before a big national push. I dont think we can do a national push and exclude some markets. Not right. I think the big difference in Aus. was a govt mandate.

Rick pestrichelli

Maybe Ibiquity should consider waiving that $11,000 fee - that is if they want small market radio to embrace the technology.

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