Look for the number of U.S. FM radio multicast channels to hit 1,000 shortly.
According to iBiquity Digital data, the number stood at 994 last week, up 10 from a month earlier. By RW’s count, 185 multicasts have been added to the rolls in the last year.
Our HD Radio Scoreboard began tracking the number of multicasts (HD2, HD3 etc.) in September 2005, when there were 21 such channels. By February 2006, three years ago, the number was 62; a year later it stood at 532. By February 2008 it was 809.
There are 9,346 FM stations in the country, not counting LPFMs, translators and boosters. The number of multicast channels includes HD2s and HD3s, counted separately, though the great majority are HD2.