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BTC Continues to Drive HD Radio Growth as a Data Provider

Network of stations providing traffic says it’s adding more markets

The Broadcaster Traffic Consortium saw growth in 2013 and says it’s poised for more growth with current customers and anticipated product launches in 2014.

The BTC is a nationwide broadcasting network; member stations distribute location-based data via their FM analog signals using RDS and their digital signals using HD Radio. Data is available for any compatible receiver.

The BTC is comprised of both commercial and noncommercial stations. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups contributing to the network, the BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups.

Since its inception with RDS-TMC broadcasting, BTC has seen a total revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.8%, it says. The addition of HD Radio technology for traffic data in 2011 comprises 20% of the BTC’s total revenue. Both are expected to continue to grow at this rate, according to the group.

“Greater Media is now seeing a return on our investment in BTC,” said CEO Peter Smyth. “The transmission of traffic data via our HD signals allows us to be an integral part of the digital dashboard. We are pleased to see that revenue growth is exceeding our expectations.”

As costs increase for the connected car, the BTC expects the affordable digital data pipe that HD Radio technology offers to alleviate that expense for bandwidth-intense activities like traffic. The launch with auto manufacturers Honda and Mitsubishi last year has opened the door for additional automakers to realize the value of HD Radio Data real-time traffic with BTC, according to the group.

BTC Technical Product Manager DeAndra Barkocy oversees the day-to-day operations of the BTC network of radio stations that deliver both RDS and HD Radio traffic data. “The revenue we are generating for our partner stations has really helped them commit to continuous improvement. We have broadcasters upgrading HD Radio systems, increasing power, and dedicating the resources needed to maintain our 24/7 broadcast requirements,” says Barkocy. She says BTC is expanding, adding new markets as more stations come onboard. “They see us as a viable stream of revenue for a broadcast that they already have on the air.”