Said & Done V

Bits and pieces from recent web posts:

  • IBiquity made big noise recently about Ford mounting an HD radio in some models. Nothing was said, however, about the one feature noted here that many frustrated drivers would love to have in theirs: an on-off switch. Many discussion boards are filled with instructions on how to weave through settings screens to do this, avoiding the aggravating dropped signals or out-of-sync switching to analog that plague mobile listening.
  • Speaking of HD radio, Fox News recently listed it as one of the biggest CES (Consumer Electronics Show) flops of all time, saying “Dubbed the “next great thing” in free broadcast radio, HD radio offered digital CD-quality sound but was ultimately held back by poor marketing and expensive manufacturing costs.”
  • This post on recently detailed a challenge to the Arbitron radio ratings service in Gainesville/Ocala, FL, saying: “Many independent broadcasters have now proven that Arbitron is no longer a necessity. Although no one size fits all, there are three real options: go naked, stay with Arbitron or switch to Eastlan. Going without ratings sometimes offers a short-term benefit, but is not a viable solution beyond a few months. Being shareholder focused, Arbitron is extraordinarily expensive in many markets and becoming more so. Consequently, EASTLAN is increasingly embraced as the make-sense compromise.”
  • Another post on about the same subject added this: “‘The lack of stability book to book and the high cost for our independently owned stations made the decision simple for us. We opted for double the sample size for a lot less money and investing the difference in our locally focused radio stations,’ said Dix VP/GM Jim Robertson.” The area ranks as the #83 Arbitron market, and Dix, the company changing to Eastlan, owns Arbitron’s #1 rated station and the #3 station in Persons 12+.
  • A recent newsletter from’s Tom Taylor carried this ominous note :

Radio’s “Daily Time Spent” slipped 1.9% last year, says eMarketer.
That’s not a good direction, and it’s on top of a reported 3.1% drop in 2009. But radio’s always got the fallback response that “at least we’re not newspapers,” and that’s amply demonstrated in the year-end numbers. Time spent with newspapers fell 10.5%, following a 13% drop in 2009. TV usage was down about 1% in 2010. As for absolute numbers – radio’s down from 101.6 minutes in 2008 to 97.5 minutes in 2009 to 95.7 minutes in 2010. TV’s off from 266.5 minutes to 264 minutes. Newspapers are down to 29.7 minutes per day. On the new-media side, usage of Internet and mobile media is up as expected, with the Internet growing about 6% to 155.1 minutes. Mobile media, starting from a much smaller base, is up 27% to nearly 50 minutes in 2010. It’s not clear whether eMarketer includes Internet radio listening in the “radio” category or “Internet.”


2 Responses

  1. “IBOC Digital AM and FM Technology Launch Transcript of NAB 2002 Press Conference”

    “In terms of coverage, the answer is it replicates the existing analog coverage, and that is all it can do. Not technically, but because of a regulatory reason. We could easily boost the IBOC power, but guess what, then that steps on the station next door.”

    iBiquity must not have known about disabling website archiving. LOL!

  2. Call me out if I am wrong, but it appears that to get HD Radio in Fords one has to opt for SYNC, then opt for the Clarion navigation system, then opt for an HD Radio tuner. Of course, dealerships do not advertise optional HD Radio for good reasons, as automaker CEOs are throwing their dealerships under-the-bus. As far as including HD Radio directly, the Press Releases seem to obfuscate whether HD Radio is standard, or optional. The longer the Keefe Bartels and Galax Wolf HD car radio investigations take, the more “progress” Struble will make.

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