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How Will HD Radio, Wi-Max Affect Satellite Penetration?

How Will HD Radio, Wi-Max Affect Satellite Penetration?

Eight million listeners in 2010. That’s the latest best guess of research company Bridge Ratings as to how many listeners will have HD Radio, and compares with a projection of 54 million for satellite radio that year.
The new HD Radio digital format is growing “slower than previously thought”; still, it has the potential eventually to rival the satcasters in receiver penetration, but that depends on how fast automakers embrace the technology, Bridge said.
In making projections for HD Radio, it found that though market penetration is now small – expected to be around 555,000 by the end of this year – it thinks HD Radio could improve to 46 million by 2020, on a par with either satcaster by then.
Bridge Ratings President Dave Van Dyke said, “HD growth is slower than previously thought due to conservative estimates related to the automotive market component and slow adoption by the majority of consumers. It is difficult to project how quickly the auto industry will embrace the technology.”
Originally Bridge projected total subscribers to satellite radio could reach more than 53 million by 2010 and possibly 100 million by 2020. However, Bridge now is hedging a bit, saying its satellite radio projections are “cautious” that far out, as other technologies, such as Internet radio and the advent of HD Radio, may affect growth.
Internet radio could benefit as Wi-Max or Wide Area Wireless Access catches on and brings Internet radio over wide distances to portable devices, including car radios by 2008, Bridge believes, although Van Dyke acknowledged that Internet radio also faces the hurdle of acceptance by automakers.