Unfortunately HD Radio was dead on arrival. This topic is like the emperor with no clothes. Many in the industry are afraid to speak up and state the facts. While a good idea when originally contemplated, technology passed it by before it was able to be launched. I cannot see how it can compete with IP delivery. The hundreds of millions of dollars invested in HD radio have been wasted. If radio groups could have invested this in their digital platforms the industry would be much further ahead.
Below we summarize the comparative disadvantages of HD radio compared with Internet radio:
• HD radio relies on the consumer having purchased a device where IP radio delivery is available to all those that have an internet connected device (Ibiquity states that 3 million HD radio receivers have been sold compared to the 240 million broadband subscribers in the U.S.)
• HD radio is one way delivery while IP radio is interactive
• IP radio audience measurement represents actual listening as compared with sample audience data
• Quality of Internet radio stream can be superior depending on bit rate of streaming chosen by station
• HD radio format positioned for competition against other terrestrial stations in limited geographic area
• The term “HD” is highly confusing to the listener as they equate it more with television/video
• Internet radio listening can be mobile as hundreds of apps have been created for smart phones while HD radio must rely on dedicated portable radios
Let’s put resources where there is the greatest return.