You know, the one about Steve Jobs’ Apple manufacturing an HD Radio/iPod hybrid boom box? It was hot news for a nanosecond on the pro-HD Radio trades and web sites. I could’ve mentioned in last Thursday’s blog, but chose to ignore it.
I felt HD Radio Alliance head Peter “Sgt. Bilk-o” Ferrara’s plea to the FCC that if the XM-Sirius merger goes through that all satellite receivers should include an HD Radio was enough humor for the weekend.
Pro-HD Radio evangelists proclaimed this well-placed scam to be a sign that Steve Jobs was endorsing HD Radio.
In reality, it was fabricated nonsense that reeked from the foul rat odor of the falsehoods and deceit we’ve come to recognize from Bilk-o and his fraudulent HD Radio Alliance.
Sad, isn’t it? That was the best rumor he could peddle in front of the Consumer Electronics Show this year? A 13-year old girl could’ve done better job at selling this gossip.
Did Bilk-o really believe that anyone would fall for a tale this incongruous?
The HD Radio/iPod boom box amalgamation was leaked to iLounge.com, an independent site of dedicated to presenting the latest news and gossip of all things iPod.
When iLounge added the anecdote on-line – as it does with all tittle-tattle, the HD Radio Alliance leaked the fictitious story again – for a second time – to the trades, which printed the mendacity as….well, judge yourself with this piece from Radio Ink: http://www.radioink.com/HeadlineEntry.asp?hid=140565&pt=todaysnews .
I can’t fault any pro-radio trade or site to pounce on any story that speaks optimistically of the radio industry these days. Here’s where it goes sour. The accomplices that peddled this story around to the trades embellished it with re-telling the tale of “tagging” – a way to one- stop shop at the iTunes store - and name dropped Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Cumulus, Cox, Entercom, and Greater Media as chains that are in the process of encoding their HD Radio stations to perform such miracles.
Bilk-o, read the Book of Jobs. Steve’s selling iPods and iPhones – not HD Radio. He, like consumers everywhere, couldn’t care less about your product.
Question: Who’s listening to HD Radio?
Answer- Absolutely no one!
Follow this illusory line and tell me what it means: If Apple does indeed introduce a tagging-capable product at Macworld, it won't be its first venture into the boombox arena: It introduced the Hi-Fi iPod boombox early last year. But, like the iPod itself, that boombox did not include a radio. JBL, Alpine, and Polk Audio are all set to introduce tagging-capable HD receivers soon. One has something to do with the other?
The HD Radio Alliance must assume that by the time MacWorld ‘08 – Apple’s annual debutante ball for new products – begins (January 14 – 18) the rumor will be deemed fact and when it doesn’t happen, it will provide the HD Radio Alliance the chance to steal the line used when a sports team chokes in the finals, “maybe next year.”
Here’s another dilemma. HD Radio is killing its host – terrestrial radio.
Media Monitors, which logs radio spots, revealed its number one radio advertiser of 2007 – The HD Radio Alliance.
Let’s tackle the two problems here.
First - They were non-revenue ads. They made no money. All they did was eat inventory.
Second – Put yourself in this place. Say, you’re selling against radio. There’s a buy on the table and it’s up for grabs. One medium gets it all. What would you do?
How about saying that radio’s number one client in ‘07 was HD Radio; receiving a total 1,451,036 announcements on participating stations radio nationwide, which included all the major radio chains?
Add that the intent of this campaign was to convince consumers to buy HD Radio units.
So how many HD Radio units were sold to consumers in 2006? Real figures, please.
Do we see six figures?
Do we see five figures?
How about four?
Next question – How effectual is radio if it can’t move product for its number one client?
You’ve been put in a position to sell a product that no one wants or cares about because it doesn’t work. If you thought FM HD was an embarrassment, please let me introduce you the fiasco known as AM HD Radio.
The gaming/geek cable channel G4 is covering the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this week. Let’s see how well HD Radio is received this year. Will they even spend one second on HD Radio coverage this year? If they do, it’ll be one second more than they did last year.
For the real world, the CES is where manufacturers drop their new wares. Those that engender consumer interest will have a chance to go to market. New products met with tepid response are scrap heaped.
I take that back. You’ll never see them again unless it’s HD Radio, which has come back from the dead more times than Dracula.
So why perpetrate the myth?
HD Radio, which doesn’t work, is further hampered by a costly chip, which keeps its retail price high. The chip won’t get cheaper unless HD Radio goes into mass production. But it won’t because there is no demand for HD Radio. Come to think of it – isn’t that the definition of terminal?
You can’t predict the future – you can only create it and Bilk-o, this is the hackarama you’ve done for iBiquity and the radio industry.
In addition to those million-plus free spots radio ran, stations are also required to pay royalties to iBiquity and costs paid by manufacturers of HD Radio units are passed along to stations that buy them.
When I explain this deal to those not in the radio business I’m always asked the same question.
Isn’t that like digging the grave you’re going to be buried in?
Rare WMMS Bruce Springsteen/Southside Johnny jam footage at: http://www.buzzardbook.wordpress.com