Eight radio companies form NAVTEQ traffic consortium


Eight radio groups have formed a new joint venture, the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, LLC (BTC), to build a nationwide network to distribute traffic data via radio technology. BTC is working with NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps and traffic for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions. BTC will use HD Radio technology to broadcast real-time NAVTEQ Traffic and other location-based info to portable navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems. The high bandwidth capacity provided via HD Radio technology will enable consumers to obtain high-quality, up-to-date information including traffic flow and points of interest when and where they need it most.

Founding members are Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR and Radio One.

Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan tells RBR the service will be ad-supported by advertisers “popping up” on the on-screen maps as the drivers are within range.

“You’ll get the information on the 405 traffic and as you’re driving past a Starbucks, an ad may pop up, ‘Stop here and get specials on lattes’.”

He adds, “This is a little different than the normal radio traffic service. It’s a chance to look at our new HD spectrum and figure out different, innovative ways to do it.”

He also mentioned it takes up a very small part of that spectrum.

The growing membership base contributes to BTC’s national footprint and includes such additional organizations as Lincoln Financial Media. BTC broadcasts across a suite of NAVTEQ Traffic and location content and services used by application service providers, original equipment manufacturers and automakers.

BTC represents a data distribution service that allows broadcasters to expand beyond traditional audio programming as their sole use of the HD Radio spectrum and enable major service providers, like NAVTEQ, to leverage broadcasters’ free, over-the-air systems to meet consumer demand for interactive user-specific data applications.