HD Radio Roundup: A Sneak Peek and Sweet Tweets

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HDradioCan you say today’s headline three times fast? You must be working voice talent! Time for us to take another glance at the good news from the HD radio sector.

First comes the portability issue. Darren Murph at Engadget seems to have been the first to see a prototype for the new portable, under $50, HD radio. Coming to an undisclosed “Big Box” store this summer. (I think Chris Davies at SlashGear is probably correct in his bet that it will be Best Buy, but that is a purely personal view.) A pocket sized option is something that HD really needs in order to continue expanding. That and the lower price point make for a very  attractive combination. I’m thinking this could be a milestone.

Then comes a great case study of HD being used aggressively and well by Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB). In fact HD has allowed the network’s eight Class C radio stations to please both of their main groups of listeners. James Careless over at Radio World got it straight from top over at MPB:

“Prior to getting HD Radio, we were doing block programming that alternated between news/talk and classical music,” explains Bob Buie, MPB’s deputy executive director for technical services.

Adds Jason Klein, director of radio, “The problem is that the audiences for each format really didn’t mix well. In fact, you might say that whenever we made one audience happy, the other one became unhappy — and vice versa.”

HD Radio changed this. By upgrading all eight stations to broadcast in HD Radio, MPB now has the extra channels it needed to split the warring formats. Today MPB’s analog FM/HD1 radio service carries news/talk, with the exception of a classical music show at noon. As for the classical music format? It’s been moved to the network’s HD2 channels.

Then they had a stoke of genius: During their pledge drives MPB is giving away HD Radios as a premium. Not only are they able to offer something nice to their supporters but they also expand the listener base for the new HD channels amongst people who already enjoy their content. I wonder what we can take away from this lesson in the world of commercial radio?

Then we get to social media. Since today is a look at HD Radio, you should be aware that HD_Radio is on Twitter! Real time updates on tech, availability, and general HD Radio news. Check it out!

As always we would love to hear your thoughts either here as a comment, via Facebook, in our LinkedIn Community, or through Twitter. Come join the conversation!

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

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