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Forbes Sees ‘Evolutionary Spurt’ for Radio

Forbes Sees 'Evolutionary Spurt' for Radio

Radio is going through an “evolutionary spurt,” so says Forbes.com.
In a story looking at the business outlook for our industry, Forbes notes that XM and Sirius have more than 2 million subscribers total, but also that AM/FM is going digital, “with new signals, more programming and a batch of additional services you’d expect more from the Internet than the box on your kitchen counter.”
The article touches on the HD Radio situation (“Together, broadcasters affiliated with Ibiquity control 20% of the U.S. radio market, according to one study by InStat/MDR”) and the Tomorrow Radio split-channel concept (“Tune in to a given station, and you’ll have the choice of listening to its typical programming on what’s being called the “A” channel. Don’t like it? Switch to the “B” channel, and hear something else without having to change stations.”)
Mike Starling of NPR, Bob Struble of Ibiquity and Charlie Morgan of Susquehanna Radio and the NRSC are quoted.
Forbes’ outlook for the biz?
“Expect in the coming year or so to hear lots of promotions giving away HD Radio receivers to the 97th caller and other buzz-generating tricks that commercial radio does so well. Still the market will be small at first. Some 70 million radios ship in the U.S. each year, a third of those into cars, while another 30 million are portable.
“Michelle Abraham, analyst with Instat/MDR, says not to expect much of a market for the receivers until 2005 or 2006. ‘You’ll start seeing it as an option on cars with the 2006 model year,” she predicts.'”
The article is at www.forbes.com/2004/06/02/cx_ah_0602hdradio.html

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