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HD Radio sales reports are moving targets

Finally some hard numbers on HD radio sales: 330,000 sold in 2007, up from 40,000 receivers in 2006.

Spin this any way you like, the reality is that these are low numbers, particularly after hundreds of millions of dollars of radio promotion provided gratis.

Indeed, by this time next year, there will be more HD radios in the U.S. than Ham Radios.

As I have long argued I wouldn’t expect these numbers to be high, of course, because of the way radio is used and purchased – or not purchased – by consumers.

But what can we conclude about the prospects for HD when even the sales tally is a moving target? Here, for example, is what iBiquity was saying last October:

HD Radio technology company iBiquity Digital estimates about 200,000 HD radios were sold last year [2006], and predicts between 1 million and 1.5 million will be sold this year [2007].

Somehow a great many reported sales disappeared into a black hole.

In any event, HD radio will be over 500,000 units sold in 2008, while listenership to Internet radio will be roughly 200 times larger.

One day the radio industry will awaken to realize that inventing a new channel of distribution in a sea of already popular distribution channels is no pathway to the future.

Particularly not if the consumer has already spoken.

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