Persona Non Grata

Pandora is now said to host 65,000,000 listeners — including one teenage son, who has a classical, a rock, and a hip-hop station among his myriad choices. In that light, the latest swag on the iBiquity yo-yo machine — Persona — looks pretty lame. Particularly given that in the past seven or eight years, they’ve managed to sell three million radios — maybe.

As “Nick” says on the discussion board:

There’s several Internet stations to fit just about any music taste. Why would I listen to a soulless Pandora when I can choose from over 20 stations all with a variation of my favorite format? Pandora isn’t even good for my type of music, as the Internet stations jump on new music fast and play mostly new music. The program directors of the Internet stations also know exactly how often to play each song, playing the power hits more often than the recurrents. As for skipping a song, I just switch to another station if I don’t like the song or if they’re playing commercials. I’m also not limited to 40 hours of listening a month for free. I like how each station has its unique sound that reflects where it’s from.

Persona is just a knock-off of Pandora that will be even more limited than Pandora. Good luck getting a critical mass of stations to support this experiment when they have seen zero ROI on their HD investment. It won’t work for people more than 5 miles away from a supported station if it requires radios to get a signal overnight. Stations wouldn’t want to further fragment their audience and listeners won’t want to spend money to hear ads. There’s a reason why HD2s don’t air commercials despite being allowed to do so now by the HD Alliance, they can’t sell commercials!

And Jack Hannold sends along this story — a plaintive plea, really — from the TRIextra newsletter on’s main board:

HD Radio Alliance stations commit to $110M in media value, invite new members

The Alliance is dropping financial obligations, format restrictions and commercial limitations for potential new members. President Peter Ferrara says “with only a modest commitment of inventory, other radio groups can make a significant difference in our efforts. We invite all to participate.” The Alliance is consulted by Jacobs Media, plus Kevyn Howard and the production team at CBS Radio. It says that for 2011, more than 650 HD Radio stations will contribute in excess of $110 million in media time, to promote the digital radio system developed by iBiquity Digital. Ferrara predicts some “very exciting and perhaps surprising announcements that will be watershed events toward mass adoption” in 2011.

But wait. There’s more: If you act now . . .


2 Responses

  1. Here’s a post from John Anderson on “Persona”:

    “Persona Radio: FASTROAD to Nowhere”

    Oh boy, coupons – LOL!

  2. “And were there recently a few layoffs at iBiquity in Columbia, MD?”

    iBiquity had a layoff around this time last year, too, but kept it out of the Press. They had one that did hit the Press back in January of 2009.

    As for those 3 million HD radios sold, an HD Radio retailer stated that returns on HD radios were higher than other products because of poor reception and lack of HD Radio signals. Also, one can just run Google Trends to get a good idea:

    Nice that we haven’t heard any more propaganda from Struble since the Keefe/Wolf investigation started.

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