"HD Digital Radio Alliance Continues Aggressive Marketing Campaign in Q1 Despite Down Economy"
It makes for fascinating reading, although probably not in the way intended by the Alliance.
The new 2009 campaign will focus on HD Radio's evolution (not sure how that will play to a certain segment of the population, but we'll let that pass).
So what will this fantabulous new campaign be about? According to the press release,
HD Radio has 'evolved' and wants to show off its cool new features (iTunes Tagging), low price-points (as little as $79), extra stations (from Indie Rock to Smooth Jazz to The Irish Channel), and no subscription fees (perfect during a recession). And with less advertising 'clutter,' there has never been a more perfect time for the message to resonate with consumers.OK, let's look at those points in detail.
Cool new features (iTunes Tagging) - What customers want:
- Hear a song on the radio
- Press a button
- Download song
- Hear a song from an HD Radio broadcast that has compatible metadata on an HD Radio tuner that has the iTunes tagging option
- Press a button
- Metadata (NOT song) stored on tuner until customer syncs iPod with tuner
- Customer syncs iPod with computer
- Metadata loaded into iTunes and displayed as an option to purchase
Low price-points (as little as $79) - Low prices are good, in context. Getting a product you want for $79 instead of $300 is a real bargain. Being asked to spend $79 dollars for something you neither want nor need is just a waste of money. So far, most consumers have shown a steadfast indifference to HD Radio.
Extra stations (from Indie Rock to Smooth Jazz to The Irish Channel) - This could be attractive, if all of these stations were available in all markets. They aren't. Most commercial stations only have one HD Radio signal -- the simulcast of their regular programming. Of those that do offer an alternative channel, it's up to the station to pick the one -- or two -- other programming feeds it offers. So I'm sure the Irish Channel is being aired somewhere, but not in every major market, and certainly not in most other markets throughout the country. So if you're thinking of getting an HD Radio for that fine Indie Rock Channel, better check your local program listings first.
No subscription fees (perfect during a recession) - Cool. But analog broadcasts are also free. So if money is really tight, why not save $79 (see above) and just keep using the radio I already have? I know this tis a swipe at satellite radio, but that's still a small percentage of the radio market. This seems to be paying it a disproportionate amount of attention.
And with less advertising 'clutter,' there has never been a more perfect time for the message to resonate with consumers - Does it mean that the Christmas season is over, so there's fewer ads? Nice, but filling the empty spaces with HD Radio spots isn't really the solution. Listeners have consistently complained about the overburdened spot breaks for years. Too many commercials in every break simply makes every ad less effective, and all of them more annoying. This press release acknowledges that there's clutter -- so why not address that problem (less spots at higher ad rates) and make everyone happy?
I'm not sure talking about HD Radio in terms of evolution is the way to go, but one thing's for sure. This isn't intelligent design.
Day 189 of the WJMA Web Watch. (We could do with a little evolution here.)