HD Is Booming With One Thousand Multicasts

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HD Radio continues to gain ground, bringing multicast content to nearly 2,000 stations across the country. This was made especially evident last Wednesday, March 18, when the three-year-old HD Radio Alliance (one of the sponsors of this blog) announced some terrific news.

According to the announcement, not only are there now 1,000 multicast stations being broadcast over the airwaves but there are also 100 SKU’s available at the retail level. The combination of additional content, often including niche content that appeals to a particular target audience, and additional receivers is a boon to the medium.

Via Radio Online:

“The 1,000 multicast and 100 SKU milestones are significant on many levels — broadcasters are continuing to see the value in offering additional content, stakeholders are seeing that radio and electronic manufacturers have fully embraced the radio digital revolution, and consumers now have more format choices on the dial and receiver models than ever before,” said Founder and Strategic Advisor Peter Ferrara.

“In this economic environment, being able to receive all these extra stations around the country for free is immensely appealing,” said Alliance President Diane Warren. “With receivers available for every personal taste and with innovative multicast stations on-air, HD Radio’s future is bright.”

It has been interesting watching HD evolve to this point. It seems like the 2008 NAB Show was only yesterday, but this year’s is only a few weeks away. It was at the last year’s show that announcements were made that dropped the price of adoption significantly. Since then, it seems that a steady growth has occurred leading to the announcement of these new hallmarks.

Since last year alone, the industry came a long way, in many ways. Automakers across the board have adopted HD into their product lines, including Audi, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Lincoln, Mercedes, Mercury, MINI, Scion, and Volvo. Receivers are being produced by every major manufacturer including Alpine, Dual, Insignia, and Kenwood, among others. Just go anyplace that sells electronics, particularly the big-box stores, and you will find the gear.

While still young in comparison to traditional radio, HD seems to be gaining ground. Here’s hoping that we will see more milestones announced as 2009 progresses.

Photo courtesy of James Cridland, used under its Creative Commons license.

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