Big Day For HD: Ferrara Assumes New Role, Warren Named Pres., Member Broadcasters Recommit
September 3, 2008 at 11:46 AM (PT)
It's a changing of the guard at THE HD DIGITAL RADIO ALLIANCE effective JANUARY 1st, 2009, as current Pres./CEO PETER FERRARA will assume a new role as Strategic Advisor, and current EVP DIANE WARREN becomes President of the ALLIANCE. (See an exclusive ALL ACCESS interview below.)
"When we began putting the pieces in place for the ALLIANCE in the FALL of 2005, there was little attention being paid to HD RADIO and the industry lacked a plan to make it a reality. There were only a few HD stations on the air, no automakers offered an HD RADIO and no national retailers carried receivers," said FERRARA. "TODAY, it is gratifying to know how far we’ve come in three short years. While there is still much to do, this has been an unprecedented effort with unparalleled success within the radio industry. It’s a testament to what broadcasters can achieve when the industry comes together with a clear purpose and mission."
Itâ??s now time to place more control and priority in the hands of our industryâ??s outstanding local market managers, general managers and program directors. Weâ??ve planted the seeds and now itâ??s time for our industry to roll up its sleeves ...
There are now more than 1,750 HD Radio stations on the air, with more than 800 offering HD2 and/or HD3 multicasts. There are more than 60 SKUs for HD Radio receivers and they are available at more than 12,000 retail outlets. And price points now invite the mass market, with multiple receivers now available for less than $100, and one receiver even available at $49 with rebate.
Separately TODAY, the ALLIANCE announced that restrictions governing how member broadcasters can program and generate revenue from HD2 channels have been lifted, effective immediately. The broadcasters agreed to voluntary guidelines, instead, aimed at preserving the diversity and clutter-free nature of today’s HD2 channels.
Driving Consumer Demand
"The response to our consumer marketing has significantly exceeded our expectations," said WARREN. "The broadcasters remain committed to the strong radio advertising campaign, HDRADIO.COM is the destination for consumer information and even after three years, 80% of our visitors are new to HDRadio.com each month. We’ve seen success driving consumers to HDRadio.com with our auto show, online, outdoor, newspaper and mobile text marketing too."
"As we look forward, we’ll remember 2008 as a breakout year for HD Radio," predicts WARREN. "In the meantime, there remains much to do and the ALLIANCE looks forward to working closely with industry organizations, IBIQUITY DIGITAL CORPORATION, radio broadcasters, auto makers, dealers and retailers to bring this important new technology fully to market."
Member Broadcasters Pledge To Keep Growing HD
Also TODAY, The ALLIANCE announced that all member broadcasters have pledged to preserve the local diversity and consumer choice of their HD2 content, as well as the clutter-free nature of the programming.
"We set out three years ago, in part, to do something revolutionary with radio programming -- create and nurture the first new set of radio broadcasts since FM," said FERRARA. "And we’ve succeeded: we’ve fielded the technology; we’ve rolled out the broadcasts nationwide; we’ve created consumer choice and diversity; and we’ve restricted commercial content. It’s now time to place more control and priority in the hands of our industry’s outstanding local market managers, general managers and program directors. We’ve planted the seeds and now it’s time for our industry to roll up its sleeves and make this garden grow."
"There's no question that our business commitment to HD2 programming in DETROIT has reaped clear benefits for our FM stations in terms of driving audience," said GREATER MEDIA Pres./CEO PETER SMYTH. "Whether we've used the 'extension' programming strategy or the 'complementary' strategy, we've seen real and tangible business benefits to investing in quality HD2 programming."
"The real driver for HD RADIO's success is diverse and compelling content," said CLEAR CHANNEL CEO MARK MAYS. "Aggressive and direct marketing is now key to accelerating interest, listening and ultimately, demand."