There are now almost 25 million HD radio receivers in use, according to the latest figures from iBiquity, bringing in content from more than 2,000 stations including outlets in 98 of the top 100 markets.
Six and a half billion hours of listening was said to have taken place in 2014 alone.
“HD Radio Technology is now shipping in close to half of all cars sold and provides a massive platform for AM/FM broadcasters to offer a rich suite of services in the new Connected Car,” said Robert Struble, president and CEO of iBiquity. “With another year of over 30% HD Radio unit sales growth, and corresponding increases in consumer listening, awareness and satisfaction, broadcasters are providing more free, digital quality programming and new HD Radio services than ever before, including a wide range of traditional and genre-specific content.”
According to iBiquity, stations offering two or even three program streams are often using them to go hyper-local. Formats are being provided for the LGBT community, for ethnic groups, and for those with off-beat tastes in music that would not be available in a radio market limited to one program stream per station.
“Growth in HD Radio receiver penetration and listening in 2014 motivated AM/FM broadcasters to expand their HD2, HD3 and HD4 programming, building a network of free, diverse content that rivals anything being done over satellite or online,” said Joe D’Angelo, SVP of iBiquity. “We’ve been excited to see stations extend their brands and services by offering multiple HD Radio programming choices.”