HD Radio Listening Tops 3 Billion Hours, says iBiquity
     

As more HD Radio receivers are sold, in-car digital listening to stations transmitting using in HD Radio has topped 3 billion hours, says iBiquity Digital, citing an annual growth rate of more than 150% in 2013.

There are nearly 17.5 million HD Radios in consumer’s hands now; 15 million of those are installed in vehicles, says the digital radio tech developer. The company predicts some 7.5 million more HD Radio receivers will be sold in 2014.

The number of HD Radio receivers on U.S. highways is expected to exceed 22 million by year-end.

While HD Radio listening is centered in the U.S., our neighbor countries to the north and south are steadily using the technology more as well. iBiquity says the use of HD Radio in Canada and Mexico means its technology is progressing towards becoming the digital radio standard for North America.

HD Radio Technology has been adopted as the digital radio standard for AM and FM in Mexico. A total of 36 stations, a mixture of both AM and FM, have begun broadcasting digitally, including 13 stations in Mexico City. iBiquity estimates the digital broadcasts can potentially reach some 33 million people — or 25% of the Mexican population and more Mexican stations are converting to digital.

Digital radios are available at seven major CE retail chains in the country, as well as factory-installed in vehicles from Ford, Dodge, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Toyota and Mercedes.

In Canada, CMR 103.1FM is broadcasting in Toronto and data services have been tested with Corus Media, one of the largest commercial broadcasters in that country, with the support of the U.S.-based Broadcaster Traffic Consortium.

Digital radios are currently available in Canada in new cars from Audi, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, and Volvo and from aftermarket manufacturers Alpine, Clarion, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer and Sony. Home AV products are also available from Denon, Onkyo and Yamaha.

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Yes, iBiquity is counting the HD-2 signals, that are being transmitted using analog translators. Also, I don't know where iBiquity is getting their numbers on existing HD receivers. THEY ARE WAY, WAY OFF on the numbers. The actual figure is less than 10 million. In addition, I can't find ONE HD receiver for sale in my city (top fifty market). Dreaming that IBOC is successful is one thing. Using lies to convince the public that the technology is viable, is another. Its difficult to imagine, that after more than ten years after it's introduction, only 5% of the population is capable of receiving HD.
By Sam G on 1/7/2014
Two things: 1. Listening hours is a meaningless metric. Does iBiquity include those listening to HD2 signals online via streaming, and/or via FM analog translators? 2. HD has not been adopted by Canada; only some border-stations are using it, primarily for continuity of datacasting (real-time traffic) services. And in Mexico, adoption is voluntary (just like in the U.S.). Before anyone tags me as a "hater," let me just say that I'm not...but I'd like to have an HONEST, CLEAR dialogue about the future of this technology, because it's far from set in stone, and inertia alone at this point won't turn the tide.
By John Anderson on 1/6/2014

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