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What to do with those extra HD Radio signals?

From Radio Ink:

As reported yesterday here at, Beasley’s Star 102.7 Las Vegas used last week’s NAB convention as an opportunity to demonstrate multicasting on two additional channels — Star 2 and Star 3. But what about the content? Should stations offer a commercial-free, subscription-only version of their flagship? How about an all-Beatles companion channel to an Oldies station? Or what about a signal devoted to nonstop traffic and weather?

There’s so much I want to say, I don’t know where to begin. But I’ll be writing more about this soon.

Let me just say this for now: You don’t develop and market the technology unless you know what you’re putting on it. That’s like marketing and shipping empty glass containers to supermarkets labeled “food” and worrying later about what kind of “food” you’re going to fill them with. We are trying to sell empty glass containers.

The public and media perceptions of HD Radio are going to take shape NOW, not later. Are you ready?

Do you think JetBlue launched its airline without knowing what its mission was and why it was beneficial? Do you think Apple didn’t have a clear idea of why anyone would want to download and customize their own music mixes? Do you think Sirius hired Howard Stern because they simply wanted talent or because they understood that this provided a vastly more magnetic prospect to potential subscribers than all their other selling points combined?

What are the benefits to the audience of HD Radio, based on what will actually be on it? What’s the HD Radio story that is likely to ignite listener curiosity? These are fundamental marketing questions and the makers and champions of HD Radio are ignoring them.

MUCH more to come on this.

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