FM HD Radio May Be Finally Paying Off in this Area
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Thread: FM HD Radio May Be Finally Paying Off in this Area

  1. #1

    FM HD Radio May Be Finally Paying Off in this Area

    Many of the local FM stations have been leasing HD subchannels over the past few years, apparently recouping some of the costs of adopting HD technology.
    WWPR and WNEW have subschannels broadcasting in Russian. WQHT has carried programming for the Indian community for quite some time. WBMP added Radio Disney last year, while WHTZ HD2 broadcasts the similar Nick Radio. WVIP has had a religious broadcaster on HD4, and last week added a Hispanic music broadcast on HD3.
    Some have also been utilized along with translators to form new low power stations, such as WPLJ HD2 for 'FAS FM, and WPTY HD2 for an oldies station on LI.
    There have been a lot of negative posts on radio message boards in past years that have been critical of HD Radio. But at least in heavily populated areas such as this one, it may finally be a worthwhile investment for broadcasters. Perhaps the slow but continuing rollout of HD in cars is related to the increase in leased HD subchannels. But there has also been a resulting decrease in separate broadcasting supplied by the station owner.

  2. #2
    HD radio may be creating some new revenue streams for the owners of those signals, but the real question is whether or not the organizations leasing those channels are able to effectively monetize that broadcast time? I haven't seen anything to indicate that those organizations are able to reach a big enough listening audience on an HD signal to merit a significant and steady flow of cash from advertisers. If the business model isn't working, you'll see a lot of turn over on the HD channels.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmargalotti View Post
    HD radio may be creating some new revenue streams for the owners of those signals, but the real question is whether or not the organizations leasing those channels are able to effectively monetize that broadcast time? I haven't seen anything to indicate that those organizations are able to reach a big enough listening audience on an HD signal to merit a significant and steady flow of cash from advertisers. If the business model isn't working, you'll see a lot of turn over on the HD channels.
    There is also considerable leasing of narrow bits of bandwidth for real-time traffic data.
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  4. #4
    I enjoy the HD subs for different reasons than foreign language formats. Here in Philly I hear great oldies on 102.9 HD2, 70's on 98.1 HD2, 80's on 101.1 HD2, Hair Metal on 94.1 HD3 and Active on 104.5 HD2. If it wasn't for these subs I would have to rely on the net for these long gone formats. If more stations in more cities would adapt these forgotten formats it could help HD radio and bring back these formats to people who cannot receive them now, thoughts..

  5. #5
    Though it is enjoyable to have additional formats to listen to on the HD subchannels, my guess is that it is more profitable for station owners to lease them out.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by dmargalotti View Post
    HD radio may be creating some new revenue streams for the owners of those signals, but the real question is whether or not the organizations leasing those channels are able to effectively monetize that broadcast time? I haven't seen anything to indicate that those organizations are able to reach a big enough listening audience on an HD signal to merit a significant and steady flow of cash from advertisers. If the business model isn't working, you'll see a lot of turn over on the HD channels.
    Something like Radio Disney is intended more as a promotional tool for Disney products and theme parks than it's ever been for revenue generation. I'd also be willing to bet that leasing HD-ansillary channels, even in NYC, is no doubt less expensive and has a greater penetration into market #1, than owning and maintaining an AM station.

  7. #7
    The stations I mentioned are commercial free, except for the CBS owned ones, WXTU, WIP, WTDY and WOGL who run those annoying Geico commercials on the half, but now they switched to HD commercials. Usually, when a format leaves the main signal they put it on a side, example K-Rock, but I think there should be a few more Rock, a Smooth Jazz and a Standards, on the NYC HD2 sides, after all I do think their are some decent suits left that do care about listeners that don't have their taste on the terrestrial band, are their lol.

  8. #8
    Boston and Philly have some great HD subchannels. I wish New York had more variety. CBSFM has CBS sports on both HD3and. 4. Why? Wouldn't a 50s 60s or a Standards format make more sense?

    Y

  9. #9
    Speaking of broadcasting the same programming on two channels, WKCR HD3 has been simulcasting the primary signal for years.
    My guess is this type of thing is done to make it clear to perspective broadcasters that an HD channel is available for leasing.
    At least in New York, most of the new programming in recent years on HD subchannels has been provided by outfits that have leased them.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by benale View Post
    Boston and Philly have some great HD subchannels. I wish New York had more variety. CBSFM has CBS sports on both HD3and. 4. Why? Wouldn't a 50s 60s or a Standards format make more sense?
    Could be that it's a CBS station, broadcasting a CBS product. That, and the audience for 50's and 60's music isn't exactly a sought-after demographic anymore.

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