Sunday, November 29, 2009

Radio: Smart phones and dumb radios

There are smart gifts and there are just plain dumb ones.


Let’s handicap the Christmas shopping season with two products that relate to radio.


Say you have a product that few know or care about, which features a medium in desperate need of reinvention and revitalization? Do you really believe that it’s on anyone’s Christmas wish list?


A recently released survey of 4,225 U.S. consumers by Changewave, a research network that spots budding trends and technologies, show that twelve percent plan to buy a smartphone in the next ninety days.


Last Christmas, iPhone owned the smartphone market. This year, iPhone’s 3G S is up against real competition from the Droid, the new Blackberry Storm2, a new Palm Pixi/Pre, Motorola’s CLIQ, and the HTC Hero.


I’m saying Steve Jobs has little to be concerned with on that front. His iPhone remains the superior product. It enjoys a two and a half year head start -and is numero uno in Brand Keysannual survey - with a 74 percent of satisfaction rating versus only 43 percent for Blackberry owners.


It’s true that most of the time the pioneers get the arrows. But Jobs has the unique ability of taking roads less traveled, which turn out to be the shortest distance between two points.


Sure, Google is great, Google is good. Let us thank them for our search - and our e-mail, maps, social networking, video sharing, and advertising - but can they make a go of it in the smartphone biz with the Droid?


The iPhone’s not invulnerable. It has its Achilles’ heel. AT&T.


Of all the iPhone users you know - is there one that has not complained about AT&T?


It remains to be seen what becomes of the iPhone-Droid rivalry. My guess is that Jobs will deal with iPhone’s AT&T exclusivity. He doesn’t really have much of a choice when his two chief rivals, Motorola’s Droid and Blackberry’s Storm2, are tied to Verizon.


Advantages? iPhone has over 100,000 apps - ten times the amount of Android, its nearest competitor. Then, again, what product apps will translate into dollars? For example, name one radio station app that will increase its listenership and sales.


This is strictly empirical. Roughly half the smartphone users I know connect to Internet radio - and none via an app. Of those that do, most listen to out-of-town terrestrial, NPR national, or Internet-only stations.


We’ll revisit this topic in next quarter.


Both Apple’s iPhone 3G S and Motorola’s Droid retail for $200 and offer an average $1,500/yr. plan.


Like Mac users, iPhone users are loyalists. If anything, I’d bet on the Droid cutting wide and deep into Blackberry’s Storm2 sales. It limped out of the box with a soft launch compared to Droid’s $100 million-plus campaign. Compared to both iPhone and Droid, Blackberry’s dated design negates any positives on the product’s attributes. Storm2 comes in $20 cheaper than the iPhone and Droid - and that sends a cheaper isn’t better message to consumers.


To some Sprint is a pariah best to be avoided. That translates to a limited market for Palm Pixi/Pre. It’s cheaper - $99 for the Pixi; $150 for the Pre - with an average $1,200/yr. plan. It’ll attract newbies and those in fear of being outsmarted by their phone. Beyond that? Not much.


The same holds true for the HTC Hero. Sprint is the carrier. Hero was the top-selling Sprint product prior to the Palm Pixi/Pre hitting retail. HTC claims it’ll have the heaviest promotional campaign of all smartphones, with its “You” campaign, pushing the Hero's personalization and customization abilities.


It’ll be a Christmas in the red for Motorola’s CLIQ. It’ll do well with the T-Mobile loyalists and young demos - don’t expect much beyond that. It has a boxed-in following, which will attract, at best, a few new consumers into their fold.


There’s also the Samsung Moment - but it’s hitting the market too late to make much of an impact during the Christmas season.


Now, we dumb down to a product that most in the radio industry have chosen to link with - HD Radio.


The only smartness connected with HD Radio comes from the crooked and crookeder Bob “Booble” Struble, whose iBiquity stuck radio with an investment they can’t get out of.


It’s a low-tech 21st century version of Rebel Without A Cause. We have the major radio chains - and other investors - nervously eyeing one another, and continuing to play chicken with their properties while wondering whom their Buzz Gunderson will be.


By committing to HD Radio, the radio industry bought an apple for an orchard.


It’s perplexing. The economics of the radio industry are remorseless, but it’s still alarming to witness this continued cannibalism.


We don’t need more radio stations and formats - we need better radio stations and formats.


Ask anyone with Sirius XM or an Internet radio fan. They listen to the same two, three, four, five - and no more than six stations - that’s it. Most have a favorite and a second favorite. Offering more choice - especially when they're even worse than the conventional terrestrial fare - will not draw consumers to HD Radio.


Struble doesn’t always tell a Struble, which is synonym for not telling the truth. Sometimes he just talks out of both sides of his mouth.


Just a couple of weeks ago Struble released another torrent of press releases announcing new HD radio models, apps, and adapters and predictions on how well HD Radio will do at retail this Christmas. More lies - more Strubles.


The latest misadventure occurred when Struble tried to perfume his HD Radio hog with a new app and attachment.


We live in a compact, wireless world, Bob. Why would you sign off on an HD Radio iPhone app that requires one to go to a participating Radio Shack, and pay $79.95 plus tax for this bulky add-on HD Radio tuner, which you have to attach by wire to your iPhone? And, Bob, it can’t work with a car’s docking system because the iPhone’s 30-pint port connects to only one device at a time. Brilliant.


Please explain this to me. There isn’t a shred of evidence that this is HD Radio’s year at retail. If anything, you’ll sell fewer HD Radios this season than you did last - and that's even less than you did the year before and the year before that. Prove me wrong.


The time has come to recognize and own up to HD Radio as a major blunder. It’s not happening. It hasn’t in the past, it isn’t now, and it never will. DAB radio is a failure in Europe, too.


What’s taking place is simply not working.


I think you look at it a different way. Why work when you’ve forced radio to do all the heavy lifting for you?


After all, robbing isn’t the toughest part of heisting. The getaway is. That's what separates the pros from the cons.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob Struble is both a pro and a con man.

How radio continues to chase this dead technology is beyond me?

Where are their shareholders? Where are their lenders? How many are involved in this worthless scam?

Struble deserves credit for taking the entire radio industry for a ride. He will walk with millions while radio will be stuck with dead worthless transmitters broadcasting product no one will ever hear.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the rare few who actually own an HD radio. Gorman is right. It is a joke. The stations don't always come in even though I have the radio in the same fixed position. The quality of programming is terrible and limited. It is NOT satellite radio or internet radio in any way shape or form. The radio companies that bought into this deserve to suffer their fate. They should have known better. Maybe radio people should be running radio stations again.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Apple has to rethink its deal with AT&T. I think it should be left up to the consumers as to what carrier they wish to choose. Rates would come down and quality would increase. Right now everyone knows who they are with and how to deal with it. It is too easy for carriers to play games with the consumer. Regarding your comments on listening to radio on line and on mobile. I do listen to internet radio in my car. It is so pleasurable to have choices beyond my limited terrestrial radio fare and I enjoy hearing the news and sports info from my former hometown.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, why would anyone want to pay to buy the HD Radio contraption in order to hear crappy programming in high def?!?! Overplayed, tired, boring corporate programming sounds like sh*t no matter how good the sound quality is.

HD Radio® Farce said...

"HD Radio Initiatives: Today's New Opportunities"

"Struble began the session by citing the latest HD radio sales and broadcaster data. He noted that while sales of HD Radios are sharply increasing, especially with the new portable Best Buy Insignia and Zune HD models, the economy and declining station revenues have slowed adoption a bit on the broadcaster side. We’re selling millions, but we need to be selling in the tens of millions.”

http://tinyurl.com/yjpsuvz

"Struble: Radio Is the Last Analog Medium Standing"

"Insignia HD — I think this will be a nice little interim step for jogging or working out. It proves the viability [of the technology] and hopefully we'll get sales; but no, this is not going to sell in the hundreds of thousands... Radio alone — the sad reality of where it is — as a standalone device, it just doesn't exist anymore as a category. Nobody goes into Best Buy and says 'Where's the radio department?'"

http://www.rwonline.com/article/87370

I am proud to announce (again) that I finally caught that con-artist in his own lies. The first article points to what Struble told the 2009 NAB Philly Show, and the second points to what he told Radio World, both the same week. Of course, The Zune HDs are no longer near Amazon's top-100 in electronic sales - flops.

What in Hell is Struble telling his investors, automakers, etc? From my blog's Google Analytics, I see a lot of the search terms for HD Radio, and many are very negative, such as, "HD Radio scam", even a lot from Brazil. I can assure everyone that word of his scam is spreading within the General Public, yet Struble keeps getting funding from radio groups and private investors, some of which visit my blog, like Groetch Capital Partners in Maryland. The iBiquity office in New Jersey visiited today searching on, "hd radio international". Word of any potential iBiquity IPO is also getting around, as search terms indicate - right, Price Waterhouse Coopers?

Anonymous said...

The iPhone is the best and ATT is the worst. It's always the case. What are the chances that providers could be put on an open market allowing customers to pick and choose. To me that makes far more sense as well as being far more democratic than the current set up. As for HD radio. I have listened to some of those HD stations on line (most are streamed) and they do suck.

Anonymous said...

When HD radio fails to catch on this Christmas will radio and Ibiquity finally give up on this project? How many times can you go back to an empty well. Radio would be best to cut its losses and move on. The future is on line and mobile not another limited-use, limited availability platform. Wake up, radio. You are committing suicide by hanging on to this dead weight technology.

Anonymous said...

John,
I admire your persistence regarding HD. We all know it's dead, but there will come a time when the getaway will start in earnest. The people responsible for this debacle will begin heading for higher ground and try to leave someone holding the bag. I believe accountability in picking over the ashes of HD will be helpful. The same people who bought into this boondoggle are the same people who are failing radio in general, and it will be useful to the industry if they are drummed out of the business rather than being allowed to slide quietly back into some comfy little spider hole. So keep the heat on, and keep naming names. At least that way no one will be able to say they didn't know what these clowns were all about.

Anonymous said...

John, this was in the on-line Ad Age e-mail this morning from Brian Steinberg. At least television is preparing for the future, unlike radio with its infatuation for HD.

In its heyday, "This is Your Life" was seen by a broad swath of viewers tuned into their Philcos all at once, never dreaming that someday it could be rebroadcast, paused live, accessed on another gadget, or that its entire run could be contained on a thin metal disc.

Almost 50 years later, we're almost similarly in the dark. Those Samsung flatscreens in our living room might still be the go-to device, but they are fast being joined by computer monitors, laptops, gaming consoles, iPods and mobile phones distributing content once solely accessed by TV, or in some cases, content that competes with TV. It's conceivable—and probably inevitable—that TV/web convergence will lead to us ordering up movies, pizza and even advertising while watching custom-tailored content and interacting with social-network buddies at the same time.

The question is how these services will work together and who will manage and monetize them in a world where the TV networks operate with a mass-media mentality and are anxious to keep $60.5 billion in ad revenue from going the way of Philco.

continued....

Anonymous said...

continued...

A host of companies are already salivating for some of the billions pumped by marketers into advertising on broadcast and cable outlets, syndicated TV programs and local-TV stations. But there simply can't be enough money around to profitably support video on YouTube, Hulu, Xbox, Apple's iPhone and other platforms as well as on Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and the rest. TV dominance "is certainly up for grabs," said Bobby Tulsiani, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, "and there are a lot of hands in the cookie jar."

Fact: Traditional TV viewership is waning, while other kinds of video entertainment consumption rise. The top 20 shows on broadcast TV during the 1979-1980 TV season—including "Three's Company," "That's Incredible" and "M*A*S*H'—individually had a household rating of at least 21.7. These days, the titans of broadcast TV—CBS's "NCIS" and NBC's "Sunday Night Football"—notched an average household rating of 13.0 and 11.4 between the start of the 2009-2010 TV season and Nov 1. Total viewership for the top four broadcast networks in the current season through mid-November has slumped 42% since the same period in 1994, according to statistics provided by Brad Adgate, senior VP-research at Horizon Media. Including the CW, total viewership for the period is off about 38.5%, he said.

In the meantime, other technologies that provide access to video keep growing. More than one in four U.S. households contained digital video recorders (31 million TV households, or 27% of the total) at the end of the first quarter of 2009, according to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mediabrands; the figure is expected to rise to almost half (51.1 million, or 42%), by 2014. Video on demand was used in 43.1 million TV households, or 42% of 2009 TV households, and is likely to reach 66.6 million, or 64%—nearly two-thirds of households—by 2014. And these are just the TV-viewing experiences that involve the traditional living-room apparatus.

When the big screen in our living room finally converges into one that can deliver both TV and internet content, the game will certainly change. It doesn't take too much imagining to foresee that in five to 10 years, many consumers will be able to access their online life with a TV remote, and the big screen will behave more like a touchscreen: It will know what shows we like, what music to offer us, and which social network sites and e-mail to feed us.

continued...

Anonymous said...

continued...

A host of companies are already salivating for some of the billions pumped by marketers into advertising on broadcast and cable outlets, syndicated TV programs and local-TV stations. But there simply can't be enough money around to profitably support video on YouTube, Hulu, Xbox, Apple's iPhone and other platforms as well as on Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and the rest. TV dominance "is certainly up for grabs," said Bobby Tulsiani, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, "and there are a lot of hands in the cookie jar."

Fact: Traditional TV viewership is waning, while other kinds of video entertainment consumption rise. The top 20 shows on broadcast TV during the 1979-1980 TV season—including "Three's Company," "That's Incredible" and "M*A*S*H'—individually had a household rating of at least 21.7. These days, the titans of broadcast TV—CBS's "NCIS" and NBC's "Sunday Night Football"—notched an average household rating of 13.0 and 11.4 between the start of the 2009-2010 TV season and Nov 1. Total viewership for the top four broadcast networks in the current season through mid-November has slumped 42% since the same period in 1994, according to statistics provided by Brad Adgate, senior VP-research at Horizon Media. Including the CW, total viewership for the period is off about 38.5%, he said.

In the meantime, other technologies that provide access to video keep growing. More than one in four U.S. households contained digital video recorders (31 million TV households, or 27% of the total) at the end of the first quarter of 2009, according to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mediabrands; the figure is expected to rise to almost half (51.1 million, or 42%), by 2014. Video on demand was used in 43.1 million TV households, or 42% of 2009 TV households, and is likely to reach 66.6 million, or 64%—nearly two-thirds of households—by 2014. And these are just the TV-viewing experiences that involve the traditional living-room apparatus.

When the big screen in our living room finally converges into one that can deliver both TV and internet content, the game will certainly change. It doesn't take too much imagining to foresee that in five to 10 years, many consumers will be able to access their online life with a TV remote, and the big screen will behave more like a touchscreen: It will know what shows we like, what music to offer us, and which social network sites and e-mail to feed us.

continued...

Anonymous said...

continued...

A realization has already begun to emerge that the TV screen is really just a monitor, said Phil Leigh of Inside Digital Media, a Tampa, Fla. market research consultant. "Whether it be a monitor for video games, DVD players or even a laptop computer. ...The TV is functioning essentially as a giant window into the internet cloud," he said.

And when content can be filtered through one big screen, those who know how to command an audience can choose to feed those consumers directly. Witness Oprah Winfrey's decision earlier this month to end her top syndicated talk show on broadcast TV, and instead develop her own 24-hour cable network. Sports leagues and, for that matter, movie studios, could arrange to have their own channels and sell directly to the audiences they amass directly, or sell those audiences to marketers. The National Football League currently has several deals in place with broadcast and cable partners, but it also has already put its own cable network in place.

And there's little impediment for marketers to set up their own video streams constantly at the ready to pitch consumers with their latest goods, or set up interactive options that allow you to order a movie, pizza, or anything that Amazon sells with the push of a button. Social-media sites will allow consumers to chat with friends about the shows they are watching, or direct one another to videos, movies or content to view.

Forrester's Mr. Tulsiani sees a day when TV viewers will be able to watch a show on TV for a while, then "pick it up at the same point on their PC or mobile phone." TV users will be able to use their phone to program their DVR and do so much more, analysts predict. "The variety of content itself will just be exponentially greater, from the networks to cable to digital cable and even more ... more content choices and the quality content will be coming from not only studios but many independent creators," Mr. Tulsiani said.
Who's Watching Where chartEnlarge
Who's Watching Where

This holiday season's hot new gadgets and entertainment services offer a clue to what's coming next, and who's looking to get a piece of that ad money (see above). Netflix selections are available for streaming on everything from Microsoft's Xbox 360 to TiVos, as well as TVs made by LG Electronics and Sony and the Roku video-streaming device. Best Buy recently took a stake in a company that produces CinemaNow, a video-downloading technology that the electronics retailer plans to make available in the goods it sells that can connect to the web. Of course, there's also Apple's TV, which could over time allow viewers to order up programming on demand.

Already, rivals are dipping their beaks into the water. At Microsoft, executives hope to see the popular Xbox evolve into "a very all-purpose media consumption device in the living room for 100 million, 200 million people," said Mark Kroese, general manager-entertainment and devices for Microsoft's advertising business group. The gaming device also functions as a venue for watching content on-demand from Netflix, but one idea is to boost its potential to reach live audiences as well, he said. Rather than suffering through ads that interrupt the entertainment, users can opt to explore marketers' entreaties that are part of Xbox's "home" platform, and in exchange see entertaining videos or movie trailers. "Xbox can definitely support a live TV environment," Mr. Kroese said. "Whether the business model evolves for us to do so remains to be seen." Others are working to weave advertising into emerging viewer behavior. TV users will do more fast-forwarding, pausing and searching for content with their remotes, and advertising can surface during those interactions, said Tara Maitra, VP-general manager, content services and ad sales, TiVo.

continued...

Anonymous said...

continued...

Imagine seeing a full-motion ad pop up when you pause a show, that "may be contextual to the content: "'Your pause was brought to you by Audi,'" suggested Steve Tranter, VP-interactive and broadband, at TV-technology concern NDS. Another idea: sponsorship of fast-forwards and rewinds.

And there's lots of talk about addressable advertising, a technology that could prove destabilizing or lucrative, depending on who's doing the talking. Soon, ads for hot dogs could be dispatched to one home and ads for Pampers to another, depending on available consumer data (see story, P. 19). Networks might charge a premium for such ad inventory because it's targeted more finely. And because multiple advertisers could appear in the same 30-second space, networks would also be able to do business with a broader range of clients.

Some of the money, however, could be up for grabs, with cable systems or even media buyers inserting themselves into the process. Media agencies have considered buying up inventory and reselling it to their marketer clients. Experimentation has been underway for the last few years. In Huntsville, Ala., Comcast worked with Publicis's Starcom MediaVest Group, sending ads from marketers such as General Motors, Discover Card, Hallmark, Kraft Foods, Mars, Miller Brewing Company and Procter & Gamble to viewers who matched up with pre-defined demographic segments. The companies found that homes receiving addressable advertising tuned away from the commercials 38% less than homes that received non-addressable advertising. Even so, the industry has been slow to put technology in place, and web-connected TVs could render this idea obsolete.

TV networks, meanwhile, will work to retain control over the advertising that has for years bolstered their fortunes. But many TV executives acknowledge a day is coming when some of that revenue will be shared.

CBS Corp. already envisions selling ads in a somewhat new fashion: An ad might run in "CSI," the TV episode, but also in all streams of the show online for one week, suggested David Poltrack, CBS's chief research officer. In the future, "we'll sell you 'CSI' across platforms. You will get your advertising in the episode that goes on TV that week, and you'll get your ad running in all streams of any episode of 'CSI' online for that one week," he said. "Now you're building up more of a significant amount of internet coverage and then the same thing could apply to mobile."
continued....

Anonymous said...

continued...

At the same time, a realization has begun to set in that in an on-demand world, others will insert advertising into the process. Widgets and interactive-TV services will be able to advertise around programs in some ways, said Mr. Poltrack, but CBS will try to make the best of the situation by leveraging its ownership of the content. "If they are adding value, they've got to get compensated for that, so it's probably a revenue-sharing project as opposed to something we would not totally control," he said. As for new-media players who "bring an enhancement and are looking for revenue-sharing models, certainly, we're open to the conversation."

New technology and the upheaval it will cause are fascinating to discuss. What's not so much fun to talk about is severity. TV has always been an advertiser's tool of preference to reach giant audiences, goose fast-food sales, launch movie openings and push foot traffic into retail outlets. Imagine the difficulty in doing just that when ads will have to be tailored not only for specific viewers—a cooking show is quite different from an adventure drama—but also for how each of those genres is being viewed on a big screen, a mobile device, or on a DVR. Ads, too, will have to evolve, designed more at eliciting an active response—or even indication of purchase—from an active viewer, rather than merely dazzling a couch potato. Yes, it's true: In the future, TV will survive. But mass marketing may not.
How we watch

These days, the majority of viewers of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" watch the program when it airs on the network, Sundays at 9 p.m. But an increasing number of people have begun to watch and keep track of it in new and diverse ways. So, yes, for instance, approximately 4.2 million households watched the ads slotted into this season's debut of "Desperate Housewives," according to Nielsen, but approximately another 700,000 watched those ads within three days of the program's original air-date, thanks to playback on a digital video recorder. Meanwhile, the program had 217,255 Facebook fans as of Nov. 23. As technology gives rise to other means of accessing entertainment, those smaller numbers will grow more important to TV networks--and the advertisers who support them.

--BRIAN STEINBERG

Anonymous said...

Buzz Gunderson...you had to make me look that up. A little far fetched but a good analogy anyway.

I think it will take an investigation to learn what the relationship was with iBiquity, Struble & the radio executives involved that committed their companies to funding and supporting HD radio.

Clearly, none of those decision makers knew the first thing about the business they are in or its competition.

Keep fighting the good fight. Like the other poster said. Name names. When radio's "judgement day" of sorts arrived we will remember who took this industry on the road to ruin. I also agree with you that it can recover.

Anonymous said...

John, Between you and that poster reproducing the Ad Age story there is a lot of information to digest. It really shows how radio is in such denial by hanging on to HD radio and refusing to face the fact that they have driven away a large segment of listeners to other media. The drop in AM drive can be directly attributed to the dumbing down of morning shows and television picking up the slack by doing a better radio morning drive show with news, information and weather than radio.

You are also right about radio on smart phones. Unless there is something worth listening to no one will listen to same old dribble just because it is presented in a different platform.

Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate the Android. It will give Jobs a run for the money with iPhone. The ATT problem is serious for some and I've been told by iPhone owners if they had to do it again they would not have done it because of problems with ATT - plus many hidden costs that show up on initial bills.

I had a friend who had an HD radio in his car. It never worked well. Some stations had a noticable hum while others were on the air but not broadcasting. A terrible technology if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

There are radios in every home. There are radios in every car. Did any radio chain even once stop to think why people are not listening to radio like they used to when it is so readily available? Your programming is terrible. Radio today is not the radio we grew up with, that provided us entertainment and information we wanted and needed. To think that putting an app of a radio station on an iPhone is going to get people to listen to radio again shows how out of touch the radio industry is with the consumer. Improve your product. We already know where you are. If you do maybe we will listen. Otherwise forget about getting us back. Why would anyone want an HD radio? They are expensive. They don't provide stations with better programming. It is the same drek you deliver on analog only in digital. So what?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Struble really cares if consumers use their HD radios, or HD Radio apps - Struble is in the business of selling HD Radio chips, not audiences. Struble has never mentioned the high return rate for HD radios, because the radios, in many cases, simply don't work. There has to be a huge backlog of unsold HD radio inventory, but again, he probably doesn't care. Notice that Stuble always just quotes the number of HD Radio chipset shipped, which are probably sitting in some warehouse. It's no wonder that most manufacturers and retailers have distanced themselves from HD Radio. Struble's gig is to give free publicity, from the HD Radio Alliance, for any association with HD Radio.

Anonymous said...

John, Thankful to read a blog from you that didn't mention Lew Dickey, Farid Suleman, John Hogan or Dan Mason.

I think Steve Jobs is going to feel more pressure than you think from Android but I agree that he will be ready to defend his position.

I heard you speak a couple of years back when you said Steve Jobs' iPod would influence the next generation to buy Macs instead of PCs. I was skeptical at the time but I have two teenage daughters that now insist of having Macs instead of PCs for just that reason. They love their iPod, they love the Apple store and feel the product is superior.

They are also influencing me. I understand you went from a PC to a Mac, too. Same reasons?

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous 1:29 PM.

Gorman wrote a piece a few months back about Casablanca Records pressing a million copies of a Cher album just so the company's CEO could go on the Today show and claim it shipped "platinum".

The same thing applies to HD Radio chips. They count the chips manufactured, not sold.

Did you see the e-mail from Radio Ink's Eric Rhodes claiming they sold 50% more HD radios than their "shipment"? That is very misleading. How many radios were in their shipment? 5? 10? 15? It is that kind "Tin Men" mathematics that kills the credibility of those connected with HD Radio.

Eric Rhodes should be ashamed of himself. Or maybe he should go back to selling radio stations vans and juke box trucks.

Anonymous said...

My daughter wants a Motorola CLIQ. You called it.

Anonymous said...

This is really bush league. This is the text from Eric Rhodes:

Good news! Though we never anticipated selling the entire shipment of Mighty Red HD Radio receivers from a note I wrote last week, we sold out in four hours.
In fact, since many people bought multiple units, we sold about 50 percent more than our shipment. (Okay, Eric - how many did you ship? You bought three, you sold six? You bought four, you sold two?)
Therefore, the people at Ibiquity immediately contacted the manufacturer and ordered another shipment, which they believe will be in the U.S. and available for shipment in time to arrive for Christmas. (That's rich! Where is this secret manufacturer who will make more radios just for you?) We thought you should know in case you want to get in on the next shipment before Christmas. (Order before midnight tonight...call 1-800....Eric you should be ashamed of yourself. This is such low ball stuff. You should be above this by now).

Anonymous said...

There were similarities between DAB in Europe and HD in America. However, the intent of those supporting DAB were different. There was an attempt to create interesting and original programming. Where DAB fell short was in trying to create mainstream formats for DAB only. They were not up to par. With HD radio in America it seemed like a scam right from the get go with Clear Channel leading the way with format labs and even parking the HD radio alliance at their San Antonio headquarters. It also had all the major chains and NPR invest heavily in the technology which turned out to be poor move. The problem the radio groups have is backing out of this mess. They really cannot do it without infuriating their shareholders. In short, the radio groups have a real expensive problem which they cannot afford to clean up. Radio cannot give up HD radio. Pure and simple. It would create chaos at the radio groups and you would really have CEO beheadings.But by not being able to give it up they will continue throwing good money after bad. HD radio will eventually blow up and go away just like the old UHF Pay TV, New Coke and other botched schemes.

Anonymous said...

Reply to the above post:

"...you would really have CEO beheadings."

Could we hope for as much? They're the people who got the industry in this mess (and so many others).

Eliminate the $35,000 a year jock who covers 3 stations, but keep spending millions on technology nobody wants...brilliant. Financial genius at work.

You can tell how much shareholders pay attention or know anything about the industry they have invested in because nobody is calling CEO's out on this bullcrapadoodle (hey I can make up a word if they can make up sales figures).

Anonymous said...

"I think Steve Jobs is going to feel more pressure than you think from Android but I agree that he will be ready to defend his position."

Well, maybe Steve needs to start thinking about including Boobles' HD Radio chipsets directly in his cell phones - Struble claims talks are in the works. As Job's phones start losing numbers, he may need that free publicity from the HD Radio Alliance. For failing/failed products, like the Zune, call Bob Struble at 443-539-4290. LMFAO!

Anonymous said...

"Did you see the e-mail from Radio Ink's Eric Rhodes claiming they sold 50% more HD radios than their "shipment"? That is very misleading. How many radios were in their shipment? 5? 10? 15? It is that kind "Tin Men" mathematics that kills the credibility of those connected with HD Radio."

Our IBOC-haters group had been in email contact with Eric, when this story first got mass-emailed. Here is Eric's response, when we called his bluff:

"I'm not a tech guy and in spite of the accusations much of this has been discussion within the tech trades I'm sure, which I don't read."

Yea, so Eric has no clue about the problems with HD Radio. What a shitbag. Yup, it's the same game played by Struble - just like with the Zune HDs, initial supplies were very limited, to make it appear that the items are selling out, in demand. Like Struble, Eric has zero credibility, as far as i am concerned.

paul vincent zecchino said...

HD jams adjacent stations, by design, to give HD stations a monopoly, jam the adjacent stations off the air, and limit your choices.

HD is the antithesis of Internet Freedom, yet the greedy-gut HD cabal pimps their shonky product as 'internet radio'.

Yeah. Right.

Where you once heard your favorite FM stations, do you now only hear an obnoxious outhouse-fly buzz? That's HD Radio.

Engineers call HD, 'iBuzz', because that's about all it does - it buzzes like an outhouse fly as unsold HD radios pile up on store shelves and HD stations drive away listeners with their jamming.

AM is worse. AM HD ruined night listening, particularly in the northeast, where a handful of AM HD stations jam AM with noise that sounds like a busted airhose.

That's by design so that you only hear the HD station.

Why on earth did they think that hamfisted soviet-style Command Economy tactics would win over listeners?

HD also jams itself. Here in SW FL, 970 WFLA, Tampa hopped on the HD bandwagon - and now transmits weakened signal plagued by a tiresome background hiss.

Though you want to hear Glenn Beck or Limbaugh, after a while you tune them on another station to get away from WFLA's hiss.

820 in Tampa, by comparison, dumped HD after several years of jamming stations for no benefit - no radios sold, no new listeners, just annoyed former ones.

HD Radio is to present day as Uranium Mine Stocks were to the Fab Fifties.

HD Radio is the Chicago Way of Radio.

No wonder people ran from it.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Mansota Key, Florida
01 December, 2009

Bill Figenshu said...

In all the research I have seen NO ONE has ever complained about the audio quality of a well processed, full signal FM station. It's all about content no matter the delivery system. That said, you must reach the market you serve with a clear, quality signal or stream. PPM will finish off all but the most powerful, non-directional AM's in the market.
The meters can't record what they can't "hear."
Consumers will not tolerate inferior programming or substandard signals. Sadly, many markets have too much of both.
fig@figmedia1.com

danni said...

I agree AT&T is the achilles for the iPhone. But not the idea that AT&T itself is the exclusive access provider, but because the access is limited to a single provider in the first place.

Steve Jobs better crack his own phone pretty soon or this product is a goner as soon as one of the other competing companies figures this out.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing stories about some Top 10 market stations turning off their HD for days and no one calls to complain.

Anonymous said...

"I keep hearing stories about some Top 10 market stations turning off their HD for days and no one calls to complain."



I'm afraid that could be because NO ONE is listening anymore - to Analog OR Digital!

Anonymous said...

Maybe if CC turned off their HD they could save enough money so they wouldn't have to cheat their employees out of their health insurance as they are doing now.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about top 10 markets, but when I was a program director in a top 20 market, I left town for a few days and realized that I did not download the logs for the HD2 station. I didn't realize this until I got back. The station was silent for 4 days.

No phone calls--not even from my GM, OM, or chief engineer--you know people who theoretically should have known there was a problem. The station was not running until I put it back on the air.

Tell me again how important HD radio is and why it should be given millions in advertising every year?

Anonymous said...

It certainly is not right

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