During the NAB, iBiquity head Bob Struble reportedly indicated that there are “less than 100,000 HD radio chipsets sold” to date and, as has been much better publicized, 1,000 or so HD stations across the country.
Now let’s make some assumptions.
First let’s assume there’s one chipset per radio.
Since 100,000 is a suspiciously round number, let’s assume it’s a round-up from 90,000 (likely a bit high).
Now let’s assume 10,000 of these chipsets are in radios in the hands of broadcast industry professionals (perhaps a bit high).
Now let’s assume 10,000 of these chipsets are in the manufacturing and distribution pipeline – not yet in radio form (perhaps a bit low).
Now let’s assume 10,000 of these chipsets are in radios but locked in inventories.
That leaves a very, very rough estimate of 60,000 HD radios in the hands of consumers.
Or – 60 radios for every HD station on the air.
There is easily – easily – ten times that much audience listening to these “stations” on the web.
What does that tell you?
I sincerely wish somebody would seriously ask the question: What needs to happen to make HD radio succeed?
We know the answers. But does anyone care to hear them?