HD Radio is top emerging tech for new car buyers


HD RadioJ.D. Power and Associates’ new Emerging Technologies Study says HD Radio Technology is ranked the #1 most likely emerging technology consumers will buy when purchasing a new vehicle.

The study asks consumers their level of interest to purchase a diverse array of features when buying vehicles.  Features such as internet connectivity, LED lights, crash mitigation systems, HD Radio receivers, music cloud storage, and other new products/services are measured.

HD Radio received the highest response rate measuring intent to purchase when market price was known.  52% of consumers responding that they “definitely would” or “probably would” purchase their next vehicle with HD Radio Technology, assuming a market price of $100. Intent to purchase HD Radio Technology was also high with a 59% majority indicating they wanted it in their next car before price was considered.

The 2012 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study is based on responses from more than 17,400 vehicle owners.  The study was fielded in March and includes 23 primary technologies, each with related secondary technologies.

RBR-TVBR observation: This is probably the first indication that the spots from the HD Digital Radio Alliance may be working—HD Radio awareness has been attained. Add to that the fact that new cars are adding HD Radio at a fairly good pace and you’ve got demand. If we don’t disappoint with the programming; and the sound and reception quality is better than listening to internet radio in the car, the needle may just get moved to monetization.


  1. All JD Power had to do is run Google Trends that shows a declining interest in all aspects of HD Radio:


    Google Trends is used by marketing firms, too. This reminds me of that comScore “study” that claimed 3/4 consumers want HD Radio in their cell phones, but the “study” never showed up in comScore’s database:


  2. I was at a Toyota dealer this past weekend, looking at a Camry, and asked about HD Radio. The Entune package, which includes HD Radio is nearly $1000 and is only available on higher end models.

    This is the sort of thing that hurts HD Radio. Everyone that experiences HD Radio is thrilled with the audio quality and the extra content choices, but it can’t cost $1000 for something that costs the automaker $10 to add. HD needs to be integrated into the base audio system of even the lowest end models, or as an option it can’t cost more than $100. The problem is that with increasing public interest in HD Radio the automakers will keep it as part of a high cost option for as long as possible. This is what they did when FM came out too. The difference is that back then it was pretty easy to install an after-market radio to replace the factory radio, now it’s much more difficult, if possible at all.

  3. I’ve been seeing TV ads for Pandora from Toyota, Chevy and the rest. Can’t remember seeing one for HD radio. Asking people what they’ll purchase or do in the future is very different from what they’ll actually do. Forget surveys and watch behavior.

    And if the listeners do finally arrive what will they likely find? In my opinion nothing!

  4. This just smells so much of propaganda. Most “regular people” I know have no idea what HD Radio is, especially when they are conditioned to know what HD Television is.

    Go into retailers like Best Buy or Radio Shack and the sales drones there have no clue what HD Radio is. You can’t get an real answers as the lack of public interest hasn’t driven these establishments to invest in training their personnel. Even with lower cost hardware most people feel that their current radios are perfectly fine or they are entrenched in other entertainment mediums such as online streaming or portable music players.

    This isn’t addressing all the broadcasters who are still paying ridiculous licensing fees for technology that few are actually listening to. When I see stations turn off their HD carriers and not one compliant comes in that pretty much speaks for itself!

  5. I was not familiar with HD Radio until I bought a new BMW which came with it.

    I didn’t even realize it was there until one day I heard an FM station switch to digital. The increase in audio quality is very noticeable on HD. Not sure if I would pay $1000 for it on a Toyota though!

    I think that all the auto-makers should do what BMW did and make it standard equipment. I would probably not buy a new vehicle that did not have HD Radio in the future, all things being equal.

    While it’s true that consumer awareness of HD Radio is increasing, I think most people still don’t have the slightest idea of what it is. The radio ads for HD are very ineffective.

    The content is the key. What’s good about HD Radio is that a lot of programming that disappeared from radio because it’s not top 40 or country is coming back on HD Radio. That fact should be emphasized in the advertising.

  6. You said ” This is probably the first indication that the spots from the HD Digital Radio Alliance may be working…”

    Oh please. It was years of lame and meaningless spots from the HD alliance that kept people from adopting it earlier, and I haven’t heard an ad for HD radio in a long time. If HD radios are proliferating, a good part of it is manufacturers placing them in the cars they make, and from word of mouth.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the product and have 3 of them, it’s just that the marketing totally sucked from the beginning.

  7. With Volvo and BMW having oustanding Technical Service Bulletins against HD Radio’s many problems, and that the automakers are sharing this HD Radio Trouble-Shooting Guidelines, what’s the incentive for the automakers? There is an incentive for Ford, as they are an iBiquity investor, but what’s in it for the other automakers, except trouble?

  8. iBiquity is too stupid to figure out that their ads are not effective. Call it digital radio and people will wake up and realize that it is something that they do not have. People think that they have “HD Radio” when they do not. Each station should advertise what they have on their digital channel two or their digital channel three so the FM listener will realize that there is a signal that the listener is not able to receive unless they buy the digital radio. CBS in the DFW area of Texas does it backwards… They advertise other digital only channels on digital but not on FM, that must change.

Comments are closed.