Formats for multicast radio channels will be a hot topic in coming months, based on talk from the New York press conference. Among those being considered: female-oriented talk, Hispanic love songs, tropical, urban ballads, as well as mainstream formats that may be new to a market.
Radio's new digital alliance will announce specific programming and promotional efforts for the top 25 markets sometime early next year.
Initially, Ferrara said, multicast channels will have no commercials and will be free.
As to how the major groups would divvy up hot program formats, Ferrara said alliance members have worked out a system that they think is fair and equitable.
Infinity Broadcasting Chairman/CEO Joel Hollander said, “It’s a great day for radio and there are more great days coming. You’ll see us creating an alliance with receiver makers and retailers. We’re looking at new and compelling formats.”
Hollander said there’s still more work to be done.
“We want to work with automotive manufacturers and OEMs to make HD Radio seem of value to them and help them sell new cars.”
This is the beginning of a road that will take some time, he said, roughly 2 to 7 years.