Thursday, December 15, 2005

What To Call Your New HDRadio Digital Side Channels

Thanks to
RBR's Jim Carnegie for raising some great questions: "Were they asking the right questions? It looks to us like people were offered two bad choices and they chose the one they found least objectionable. Can't we find something more consumer friendly than perpetuating the existing one-oh-whatever-point-thingamajig system? We think the radio industry needs to hire branding experts to try to come up with a more consumer-friendly way of numbering HD Radio channels. Harper told us that a few panelists offered other suggestions, "but none of them ever lit up the room." Maybe there isn't any better option than having the HD Radio FM band run from 88.1 to 247.9, but we'd sure like to see some other avenues explored. Radio has to get this right."

.. AND, to researcher
Bob Harper, who did the Cox focus groups, for his thought-provoking response: "I look at it this way. We were asking the first of what are sure to be many more questions concerning HD Radio and the way listeners will use the new technology. One thing you learn very quickly when you open the HD Radio box: there are many unresolved issues so it is very easy to be pulled off track and into a deep technical and theoretical ditch. Did we ask all the questions ... find all the answers? Certainly not. But our twelve national Focus Groups did clear up a big one for all of us: the industry needs a more intuitive and simpler approach than the so-called Layered option. If you take out a yellow legal pad and watch our twelve Groups on the web. You'll fill page after page with insightful listener comments on both Display options we tested. You will hear over and over in their own words that the Layered system confuses them and makes what should be a simple thing like finding and remembering a radio station more complicated than it needs to be. Branding pros should have a field day with all the anecdotal material."

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