Monday, March 12, 2012

You Wanna Sell HD Radio Receivers?

Yes, it's an awful pun...but guinea pigs do "wheek".
Sales of HD Radio receivers are perennially weak in the USA.  There's a simple reason: nobody knows about it.  Consumers aren't aware, because nobody is telling them about it.  Because they're not aware, they're not asking for HD Radio receivers.  And because they're not asking for HD Radio receivers, nobody has any incentive to make them available to buy in the first place.
This is a vicious cycle and it's especially true in cars...where the bulk of high-value radio listening takes place.  Auto manufacturers (OEM's) don't care because their dealers aren't reporting any consumer demand for HD Radio.  And OEM's do care about companies like Microsoft and XM/Sirius who're paying those OEM's a lot of money to add products like Sync and satellite radio to the dashboard.

Radio doesn't have a single, unifying organization that can afford to step up and pay auto OEM's the big bucks to demand HD Radio's be offered as standard equipment in cars, as opposed to seldom-offered "options" (and only on the high-end models at that).

So instead, the onus falls on the individual stations/clusters to do that.  But how?  By taking a page out of the guerrilla marketing textbook: if you can't afford to market your product, have your customers market it for you.

More after the jump!