Happy Trails to Zune

Tom Taylor’s newsletter on Radio-Info.com proclaimed the death knell for HD radio on Zune, once touted as a marriage made in heaven (“Can Zune HD Radio Save the Zune?” here), :

Microsoft to keep the “Zune” name, but pull the Zune player off store shelves.
That’s not a positive development for iBiquity’s HD Radio, which had found a home on the Zune mobile device and gotten publicity out of that. Now Wired says “weak demand” is causing Microsoft to discontinue production of the Zune, which never gained much traction against Apple’s iPod and its iTunes system. “Zune” will remain as the name of the media player on the Windows Phone 7 software, and the Zune PC software. As Wired says, the first Zune players in 2006 didn’t sell well against the onslaught of the iPod, though it says the 2009 HD model was “a well-received, well-designed and supremely elegant device — but a case of too little, too late.” The HD Radio Board of Radio-Info.com is talking about technology adoption (or lack thereof).

Jack Hannold noted: “Taylor has been a cheerleader for “iNiquity” Digital Corp. for years. If he feels comfortable printing this, it looks liike reality is beginning to set in.” He points out more doom-and-gloom for HD in two previous Taylor posts:

Marc Chase’s comments about HD Radio at last Friday’s Country Radio Seminar have the HD Radio Board going. Yesterday’s TRI Newsletter told you that former Jacor/Clear Channel/Tribune exec Chase quickly showed his feelings about HD Radio (negative, skeptical) in a question from the audience. FYI, no one from the panel or the audience piped up to defend HD Radio. See what the conversation’s like on the HD Radio Board, online at Radio-Info.com.

More truth-telling from the CRS “Town Hall” about HD Radio…being the “middleman”…and creativity.
A lot of that came in earthy language from Marc Chase, the former Jacor/Clear Channel programming executive and recently-departed Tribune exec. He’s got the Randy Michaels don’t-hold-back gene, which makes him valuable on panels like this one. Chase, now at NuVooDoo with several other Jacor/CC veterans, practically snorts when there’s a question from the audience about HD Radio. He says “if you add up all the money spent on HD, it would be billions” — and he doesn’t sound as if he thinks it was a great investment. And from a practical standpoint, he says, disparagingly, “I need to find 96.3-A-something, so this is going to be on the classic country channel of a Hispanic station . . .” Chase also says “technology is a huge disrupter and it will kick the middleman right in the nuts. Radio and records have been very profitable middlemen” between producers and the consumer.


One Response

  1. “IBiquity Credits Zune for Blazing Trail for HD Portables”

    “It has had a longer run than most consumer electronics products, and blazed the trail for HD Radio portable products. When Microsoft built HD Radio Technology into the Zune HD in 2009, it drove a tremendous amount of development activity focused on new lower-power, lower-cost solutions, he said. The broader HD Radio portable market will benefit from these new innovations for years to come.”


    Really? So, this was good for HD Radio, Bob?

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