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HD Radio Marketing: Change is Coming

I have heard from more than one broadcaster in-the-know that (for some groups at least) the hourly promotional announcements for HD Radio running gratis on many stations across the country will come to an end as January 2008 dawns.

Recall that this was part of the much publicized $200 million promotional effort on the part of the radio industry to support the introduction of HD Radio.

Now obviously these promos were never intended to last forever, so we can hardly be surprised that the end is near.

Nor should we conclude that running or not running these promos signifies or fails to signify support for the rollout of HD radio (although we can certainly conclude that these promos have not accomplished their presumed goal).

The fact is, as I have stated too often and from the very beginning, this type of promotion was never the right way to promote HD, so the vanishing of this tactic into the sunset will have negligible impact on the development of HD. Let’s face it, if tons of radio promotion can’t move radios, little radio promotion can’t do much worse. That’s because radio promotion has never been the solution to the problem in the first place.

The challenge will be this: What new strategies will be announced? And will they be designed with effectiveness in mind? Or will they be tailored to a PR campaign designed instead to convince you, dear broadcaster, to convert your analog signals to digital?

In other words, will the ultimate market for HD radio be the folks who listen to it – or the folks who pay iBiquity to license it?

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