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HD Radio Listening Tops 3 Billion Hours, says iBiquity

Digital radio technology grows in Mexico, Canada

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.