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Here’s the latest data on HD Radio-compatible vehicle sales for last year

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Now that we’ve made it almost two months into 2018, we have data to share about HD Radio sales across the US for 2017. 

A couple of salient facts for you to consider:

  • All 40 major automobile brands offer HD radio in at least one model
  • Nearly 250 different car models come with HD radio
  • More than 50% of those car models sell for under $35K, and 75% cost less than $50K

While the growth in HD radio penetration seemed to level off a bit in 2014 and 2015, it has grown as of late, now reaching an impressive 48.9%.

Lest you think your market “doesn’t care” about HD, let’s take a look at the highest levels of HD radio in-car penetration: 

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An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

The following is from the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to ABA’s Larry Wilkins. To subscribe to the newsletter, email lwilkins@al-ba.com .

RADIO ONLINE PUBLIC FILES

March 1st is the deadline for radio stations to have their public files posted on the FCC hosted web site. I know we sound like a broken record, but checking the web site, there are not very many that have posted their files yet. Remember February only has 28 days this year….so March 1st will be here soon. If you haven’t gone to the site yet, we encourage you do it today. The URL is publicfiles.fcc.gov. For a complete tutorial on how to log in and upload your files watch the ABA video here

GOOD NEWS OUT OF WASHINGTON

With all the activities that television stations are saddled with surrounding the re-pack and ATSC 3.0 the FCC has issued some good news. Since everyone including the Commission recognized that the funds that were allocated for the repack was way short of the real world cost the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill that plugs holes in the original legislation authorizing the incentive auction and relocation of about 1,000 U.S. full-power and Class A TV stations.

It also establishes a Translator and Low Power Station Relocation Fund, sets up the FM Broadcast Station Relocation Fund and creates a Broadcast Station Relocation Consumer Education Fund.

STATIONS GETTING READY FOR ATSC 3.0

As television stations start making plans for ATSC 3.0 they need to formulate an educational plan for both consumers and retailers. While visiting a big box store the other day I mentioned ATSC 3.0. The salesperson said they were all ready for it with plenty of sets in stock. I commented “oh really”? They said see all these sets on the floor has 4k and HDR. I calmly said something about the type of tuner….to which I got the “deer in the headlight” look.

REVIEWING THE REQUIRED EQUIPMENT PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS

Stations are reminded that FCC rules part 73.1590 requires that licensee of each AM, FM, TV and Class A TV station, except licensees of Class D non-commercial educational FM stations authorized to operate with 10 watts or less output power, must make equipment performance measurements for each main transmitter upon initial installation of a new or replacement main transmitter; upon modification of an existing transmitter made under the provisions of 73.1690 and most importantly annually, for AM stations, with not more than 14 months between measurements.

The data required, together with a description of the equipment and procedure used in making the measurements, signed and dated by the qualified person(s) making the measurements, must be kept on file at the transmitter or remote control point for a period of 2 years, and on request must be made available during that time to duly authorized representatives of the FCC.

This is especially important for AM stations that must conduct the measurements annually and keep the last two reports on file. 

Go to Radio Magazine Online

More States Insist on Net Neutrality

Do Hawaii and New Jersey have the right to do so?

WASHINGTON — Hawaii and New Jersey are the latest states to decree that all state agencies should only do business with internet service providers agreeing to follow net neutrality principles, joining Montana and New York. Hawaii, New Jersey and New York are among the 23 states where the attorneys general are suing the FCC for repealing net neutrality rules put in place in 2015.

One important question is like the 800 lb gorilla in the room though: do states have the right to create their own Internet policy? Markham Erickson, the telecom attorney representing Incompas , the industry association for competitive communications carriers, said the FCC may have “backed itself into a corner on the states’ rights issue,” according to lightreading.com . While the FCC said individual states couldn’t override federal policy, it also renounced its own authority to impose net neutrality provisions, which would appear to leave the door open for states to impose them if they so choose.

In Congress, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced a bill banning blocking and throttling of Internet traffic, but leaving in place the possibility for paid prioritization, and maintaining the categorization of ISPs as Title 1 information service providers, which are regulated by the FTC rather than the FCC. Blackburn also calls for continued limitations on the FCC to preempt state net neutrality laws, according to the same article. Representative Mike Coffman (R-Co.) says he will introduce a net neutrality bill that would go further than Blackburn’s proposal: Coffman wants to ensure blocking, throttling and paid prioritization are all illegal, and he wants to create a compromise in how ISPs are regulated that would keep them under FCC oversight, but not subject them to Title II governance.

The FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Act” will likely get published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks, after which there will be a 60-day period before the order goes into effect. Any lawsuits are likely to take one to two years before they’re granted a decision by a federal court, and the party which disagrees with the outcome will likely take the issue to the Supreme Court. 

Go to Radio Magazine Online

Software will analyze both prerecorded and live media

Radio advertising can be a cutthroat business, as stations and groups are searching for new ways to use technology to gain a competitive edge. Entercom Communications believes it has found one through the use of artificial intelligence. The broadcaster has announced a partnership with Veritone Inc. which involves the use of their platform at Entercom’s over 235 stations.

Entercom elaborates that it expects that aiWARE will deliver actionable insights from previously unstructured data, as well as critical capabilities such as indexing for search and discovery. It is claimed that this will be accomplished via verifying, monitoring and repurposing aired content, and not just preproduced material, but also live streams. The software is already used by major sports broadcasters and organizations to maximize their audience reach, fan affinity, and ultimately, sponsorship revenue.

“The market for radio broadcast is evolving rapidly, and continued and major growth is expected,” adds Bob Philips, chief revenue officer at Entercom. “We’re expect to begin delivering new value to our listeners and partners, and focusing our efforts on new projects that will continue to drive us forward.” He adds that they expect to use aiWARE to verify campaign deliveries, reaffirm sponsorship value with shareable analytics, and monitor in-game detection of speech, sentiment and more.

Broadcasters are familiar with Veritone through its work with the media, but this artificial intelligence company’s software is also used to analyze structured and unstructured data for clients in a variety of markets, including legal, compliance and government. Their open platform integrates an ecosystem of cognitive engines, which can be orchestrated together, and a suite of proprietary applications, to reveal previously undiscovered multivariate insights from linear files such as radio and TV broadcasts, surveillance footage as well as public and private content globally.

Go to Radio Magazine Online

It’s too early to tell what the end result will be, we’re anxious to answer this question

OSLO — One of the advantages radio has over the years had with respect to other services like Pandora, Spotify (and other online sources) is that everyone already had one or more radios in their homes or cars.

Now, though, with the ubiquitous presence of smartphones, that advantage is gone, with the possible exception of inside the car.

So the question must be posed: Why would you force all of your listeners throw out all the radios they already have and buy a new one? How many of them will bother? That’s the operative question as we watch the results of the FM switch off in Norway. By the way — though it’s too early to tell what the end result will be, we’re anxious to answer this question and I, for one, can’t help but pour over the initial findings.

“The number of weekly listeners is almost the same as before the switch off. However, the number of daily listeners is down by 463000, according to listening figures just published for January 2018,” reports Radio.no . The Director of Digital Radio Norway, Ole Jørgen Torvmark, thinks that since there are fewer radios in Norwegian households, that there are fewer places and times to listen, thus explaining the drop.

The number of radio devices that can receive national radio stations has been reduced by almost 50% after the FM-switch off, according to the Digital Radio Survey, citing research from Kantar Media. Notably, though, according to the PPM survey (also Kantar Media) almost 3.7 million Norwegians listened weekly to radio in January 2018. That is only 44,000 less than in 2017. 2.6 million Norwegians listened to radio every day in January 2018, 463,000 fewer daily listeners compared to 2017, according to the same article.

“Our experience from the early switch off regions has shown that the listening figures drop at first, and they then start to rise again when consumers have had time to replace their FM radios,” said Torvmark, quoted in the same article.

Our correspondent in Norway doesn’t share the optimism of Mr. Torvmark. Eivind Engberg, whom we have quoted previously, thinks local FMs will be unprofitable with two–three years, and many of them will have to go dark. “It’s a really bad idea to shut down the FM system. Reason number one is clear: Every listener has access to many FM radio sets these days. So lesson number one is to not shut down the feed that can access millions of receivers and end-users,” writes Eivind. “The second reason: Don’t forget the end users. If they are not happy — then you’re out of business very soon. It’s the end-user that will decide the future distribution of radio — not the broadcasters. If the end-user loves the radio — don’t make him lose the signal so that he’s forced to find other workarounds…then the end-user might end up at Pandora or Spotify.”

Go to Radio Magazine Online

The Democrat from Texas will be recognized Feb. 27 during the NAB State Leadership Conference

WASHINGTON — Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) will be honored Feb. 27 for his “exemplary leadership and commitment” to strengthening the future of radio and TV and recognizing their importance to local communities by NAB with its inaugural Broadcast Champion Award during the NAB 2018 State Leadership Conference at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., the association announced today.

“Gene Green has been a steadfast champion of hometown radio and television broadcasters since he first came to Congress in 1993,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith in a press release announcing the award. “He has a deep appreciation for the invaluable role local radio and television stations play in their communities.”

Green has been a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee since 1997 and worked on many issues of importance to broadcasters. On the House floor, Green has championed the role of broadcasters in their communities as “first informers” during emergencies.

He has been the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes a performance royalty on local broadcast radio stations for free, promotional music airplay. He also is the principal cosponsor of the Radio Consumer Protection Act, which would establish a fund to reimburse local radio stations impacted by the TV spectrum repack. Green also is an original cosponsor of the Viewer Protection Act, which would provide further funding to cover repack-related expensive so local TV stations.

“Our nation’s television and radio broadcasters are an important part of our day-to-day lives, providing Americans important news and weather coverage, entertainment and critical alerts during times of emergency, all free of charge,” Green is quoted as saying in the release.

More information is available on the NAB website .

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