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More agencies chime in on HD Digital Radio Alliance

RBR/TVBR asked a few agency folks about the recently announced HD Digital Radio Alliance (12/7 RBR #238), a coordinated industry effort to compete with the format variety of satellite radio. The alliance is the industry's means to coordinate the HD roll-out in each market, develop programming for multicast (HD-2) channels, create HD and HD-2 awareness ads (200 million bucks worth next year alone), and work to get HD manufacturers moving on multicast receivers and the automakers as well for OEM deals. Participating groups so far include Bonneville, Citadel, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Emmis, Entercom, Greater Media and Infinity. (Continued from Friday's issue.)

Natalie Swed Stone, US Director, National Radio Investment, OMD:

"This is impressive and a clear message that the radio broadcasters understand exactly who their real competition is - - not each other anymore -but the newer platforms - - satellite, online, cellphones, iPods, etc. They are banding together as one entity to ensure that their collective product and output is attractive and viable - - since both XM and Sirius can program over 100 channels each at a clip and the listener in every market across the US can now have access to that - - that is the competition. The terrestrial broadcasters have to ensure that they have a collective offering in each market to match that with enough format variety to meet the new standard. They seem to have thought this thru in a comprehensive way. It is truly an exciting time in radio - - I look forward to hearing more about the new commercial model."

Kim Vasey, Senior Partner/Director of Radio, mediaedge:cia:

"I think it is fantastic that they have all come together to work as a team to provide a uniform platform that will be consistent in their approach to the market. It was a smart move and I applaud their solidarity. As Jack Trout says, in The New Positioning, "sometimes we need to change what we do today to be prepared for tomorrow" and that is exact what the broadcasters are doing. HD2 enhances the overall listener experiences, offers new capabilities through digital data text content, more choices and branded content opportunities. I'm looking forward to working with them as they expand into the commercial applications on HD2 for our clients in the coming year."

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