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Study: Consumers Prefer ‘New Band’ Multicast Display

Study: Consumers Prefer ‘New Band’ Multicast Display

Ninety percent of consumers surveyed in focus groups conducted this fall prefer the so-called “expanded band approach” to identifying multicast channels on HD Radio. That’s according to researcher Bob Harper, who conducted focus groups this fall in Los Angeles, Detroit and Washington for Cox Radio.
Cox has supported the so-called “new band” approach within the NRSC and after the group studying the issue disbanded, Cox wanted to pursue the idea further.
Consumers were asked to discuss two possible options to display multicast stations. One option would have multicast stations appear on an expanded FM band above 107.9 (as 108.1, 108.3 or 108.5, for example). Another option would display multicast stations with the main heritage station, such as 98.5 HD-2, 98.5 HD-3 and so on. This is the way HD Radios will display multicast stations for the first few years.
“We believe that the industry, working closely with receiver manufacturers, will use this research to develop an orderly transition plan to the expanded band as the HD radio receiver evolves and develops,” said Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil.
“These findings were so conclusive that broadcasters and equipment manufacturers would only ignore them at their peril,” Harper said.
A total of 156 radio listeners between the ages of 18 and 54 participated in the focus groups. Cox said a number of radio broadcasters and receiver manufacturers responded to the invitation to advise Harper on the study’s design as well as view the focus groups.
Harper will present the results of this study at the next NRSC meeting at CES in January.
Read more in a future issue of Radio World.