This is one in a series in which Ibiquity Digital Corp. answers questions about how to implement HD Radio, its in-band, on-channel digital audio broadcasting technology. Broadcast Marketing Manager Stephen Wallace answers here.
Q: HD Radio technology was launched to the consumer electronics industry this year at CES, and Ibiquity expects partner products on store shelves in 2003. What were the results of the push for broadcaster acceptance?
A: The commitment of broadcasters gathered great momentum last year. One hundred thirty stations spanning 26 states and more than 20 formats committed to begin broadcasting digitally using HD Radio technology. This broadcasting commitment exceeded our projections for the year.
Q: How does broadcaster adoption affect consumer adoption?
A: Broadcast equipment manufacturers are ready to meet the demands of broadcasters seeking to implement HD Radio systems in their stations. In response to high demand, Ibiquity has outlined a new incentive program for 2003. Coupled with the introduction of receivers in the marketplace, we expect that the consumer adoption will climb steadily over the next year.
Q: We hear that a new licensing incentive is in place. Why?
A: We feel that the new incentive will give those broadcasters who were interested in 2002 another chance to take advantage of the technology in 2003. This incentive program will continue the momentum that the initial broadcasters had begun.
Q: How is the 2003 incentive program structured? How does a broadcaster take advantage of the incentive?
A: The basics of the program and incentive are:
• The first 125 for-profit commercial stations to enter into a station license agreement after Feb. 1, 2003, will have the fee for the lifetime audio license limited to $5,000.
• All non-commercial/non-profit stations that enter into a station license agreement on or before June 30, 2003, will have the fee for the lifetime audio license waived completely.
• All incentives are contingent upon the licensed station making its best commercial effort to: (i) commence digital broadcasting by June 30, 2003, and (ii) continue to transmit in digital until at least Dec. 31, 2004.
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