Why HD Radio Is Having Trouble Gaining Traction: Tom Taylor of Radio-Info.com quoted my comments at the Aribtron Consultant Fly-In last week. Here's his summary:
“We haven’t given them a reason to spend that hundred bucks” on HD Radio yet.
Consultant Joel Raab pipes up from the audience during Lenski’s session to observe that based on the focus groups and research he’s seen, listeners do understand the promos about HD-2 providing “the stations between the stations.” But they’re far less clued-in about what those stations can offer them. Raab says it’s easy to scan the format lineup for either satellite service. But for local HD2 – there’s a void. Then he makes that quote up in the headline: “We haven’t given them a reason to spend that hundred bucks” on a new HD receiver. Edison’s Joe Lenski had just said that “HD Radio is a concept not completely known to the public”, and that’s about as politely as you could possibly put it. The latest Edison study shows heightened awareness of HD. But the “increased awareness has not yet translated into higher interest in the product itself.” Raab’s point is that radio hasn’t marketed the advantages of the programming – not the hardware, but the content. And that’s even after all the promos for HD (I heard some for RadioShack, driving home from the Arbitron Fly-In). Only 6% of the study participants are “very interested” in HD. Another 23% are “somewhat interested.” But that’s still less than one-third of the sample: not good enough yet.