Sometimes futurists don’t look far enough into the past before proposing their next big idea.
Case in point: Eliot Van Buskirk seems pretty excited about the pending expansion of the LPFM radio service, and he suggests that stations look into crowdsourcing their programming: “using music apps to control low-powered radio stations within small urban (or suburban, or even rural) areas” seems like a great way to program a station on the cheap, and it would most likely sound like nothing else on the dial.
Initial reaction to the idea is mixed. But it’s not necessarily new: pirate radio’s already been there and done that, more than a decade ago. Continue reading “Crowdsourcing Community Radio”
HD Radio proprietor iBiquity Digital Corporation made three announcements at the NAB annual convention, which winds down today.
iBiquity, Emmis Communications (an Indianapolis-based broadcast conglomerate) and Intel unveiled a prototype smartphone with FM-HD reception technology. The FM-HD phone chip also includes a feature developed by Emmis called TagStation which will allow FM-HD stations to broadcast targeted advertisements to listeners on cell phones within a station’s coverage area.
Called “a landmark” in the digital radio transition by Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, the companies will now attempt to woo phone-makers to include an HD chip in their devices and telecom companies to support the effort. Continue reading “HD Radio at NAB '12: Stayin' Alive”
Radio World recently published a long Q&A-style feature with Caroline Beasley, Executive Vice President of the Beasley Broadcast Group. A family affair, Beasley owns more than 40 stations in 11 markets around the country.
Among the many topics covered in the conversation, Beasley revealed that the National Association of Broadcasters has been quietly working on an engineering study that “outlines a number of different options regarding the future of the AM band.”
We have formed an AM Task Force that will be reviewing this study, along with the Radio Technology Committee. That committee is made up of engineers from the various groups around the country. So the AM Task Force, along with the Radio Technology Committee, will review the study and then report back…with the options that they feel that we should go with regard[ing] AM. Continue reading “NAB Plots Future of AM Broadcasting”
An interesting disclosure in Cumulus Media‘s yearly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
On December 21, 2004, we entered into an agreement with iBiquity pursuant to which we committed to implement HD Radio systems on 240 of our stations by June 2012. In exchange for reduced license fees and other consideration, we, along with other broadcasters, purchased perpetual licenses to utilize iBiquity’s HD Radio technology.
That was then…this is now: Continue reading “Cumulus Acknowledges HD Malaise”
Clear Channel’s had a lot of success enticing broadcasters into its iHeartRadio service. On the surface, it looks like a nice turnkey solution for radio stations which have neither the time, technical knowledge, or money to go it alone on the Internet. Just sign up for distribution through iHeartRadio and set up enough gear to send a source-stream to the aggregator.
From there, Clear Channel does the rest, providing all the front-end bandwidth necessary for your listener base and leveraging its economies of scale to put stations’ streams in front of as large of a potential audience as possible. The iHeartRadio application is a default install on a variety of smartphones, gaming consoles, and vehicle infotainment systems. Continue reading “The Fine Print of iHeartRadio”
The slow-motion struggle that is HD Radio proliferation in the United States continues to bobble along with no meaningful developments in traction. This is exemplified by the results of a recent survey which shows that consumer awareness of what HD Radio is is stagnant at best. A bit more than half of those surveyed have “heard of” HD Radio – but of those knowledgeable folks, one in three don’t have any clear idea what it actually is. Continue reading “HD Radio: Listeners Still Missing in Action”
From the new-lows-in-translator-abuse-department: HHawaii Media, owner of nine stations throughout the island chain, has begun quadcasting in HD on its adult-contemporary station, KORL. The three additional subchannels are smooth jazz, Korean pop, and Japanese pop.
KORL owner George Hochman launched the multicasts exclusively for feeding analog FM translators, and each HD subchannel already has its own translator. Continue reading “HD Radio Scene Report: Hawaii”
This week, Clear Channel (#1 in national radio station ownership) and Cumulus (#2) inked an agreement intimately linking their online broadcast strategies.
Cumulus will integrate the webcasts from its ~560 radio stations under Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio streaming platform, and will actively promote it on-air. In exchange, Clear Channel will cross-promote Cumulus’ SweetJack service, a Groupon-style business the broadcaster is developing in markets where it has stations, both on-air and online. Continue reading “Broadcast Conglomerates Consolidate in Cyberspace”
The FCC’s put a proposal by iBiquity, NPR, and NAB out for public comment that would allow FM-HD broadcasters more flexibility to increase the power levels of their digital sidebands independently. Called asymmetrical transmission, this flexibility conceivably allows more HD-enabled stations to pump up the power of their digital signals to make them reliably receivable in a station’s primary coverage area.
All signs are that the comment/reply comment rigmarole in this instance is a formality. As at least one industry lawyer has noted, the fact that the FCC’s scheduled the comment period for a short three weeks before Christmas – and a week for reply-comments to be filed between Christmas and the new year – means there is little likelihood that a robust record of public debate will be assembled over this latest wrinkle in the HD Radio saga. Continue reading “Skids Greased for Further FM-HD Experimentation”