Verizon to Sponsor Clear Channel’s New Multicast Efforts

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Verizon, the “Can you hear me now?” people, are about to be the first national level advertiser to enter the arena of HD. Verizon New Music is the name of the branded show which is available on 21 different multicast stations owned by Clear Channel as well as multiple Internet streams.

This is an important moment in the evolution of the still young HD medium. Verizon’s early adoption of HD denotes a new perceived level of stability for the medium and, with luck, one which will presage the next wave of expansion for HD.

Via Katy Bachman of MediaWeek:

“This is about a first mover advantage,” said Bob McCurdy, regional president for Clear Channel Radio Sales, a division of Katz Media, which worked with Zenith and Verizon Wireless to develop the long-running campaign. “The bet is that HD Radio is going to grow and ownership in the early stages is especially important. We recognize it doesn’t have the reach of the terrestrial brands.”

With the power of Clear Channel brands such as WHTZ-FM in New York, KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, WKSC-FM in Chicago, and WIHT-FM in Washington, D.C., to promote the show, we can hope to see listenership build steadily over time. Combine that with Clear Channel’s sizable reach and the proliferation of HD2 side channels out there and the potential is huge.

Since the announcement earlier this year at the NAB Show that HD hardware breakthroughs were causing prices to plummet on the receivers, I have been keeping a close eye to see what happens. As content options continue to grow and the entry level cost of adoption falls, the HD medium continues to become more and more mainstreamed.

I wonder if their ad creatives will be using the “Can you hear me now?” meme in the ads for their radio show.

Photo courtesy of crschmidt, used under its Creative Commons license

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