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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Dan Kelley

A couple of thoughts come to mind after reading the post: how many years did it take satellite radio to get to its current state; wasn't there a time when satellite radio was just one service (XM) with no big names to offer? Not a whole lot of receiver options either.

We're in the midst of HD Radio's start-up phase...and its going to take longer than launching one or two satellite services, given that we're talking many stations/many markets/many owners nationwide. Affordable radios aren't here - yet.

That said - HD needs to deal with the auto manufacturers as satellite has done.

I've seen no activity before the FCC requiring radios to be "HD compatible", much like the AM/FM compatibility requirements many years ago or the VHF/UHF tuning requirements of television manufacturers a long long time ago.

Should present-day HD radio be promoted as "commercial free"? The current business model of radio broadcasting doesn't make this a long-term "deal" with the listener.

And with content. Are additional channels of HD all going to be little more than a hard-drive resting inside a PC in the rack room? Will this be national content or locally originated?

And - will radio's share of advertising budgets increase to support additional channels in the future or are we simply spreading existing budgets over thousands upon thousands of new channels.

Could someone pass the crystal ball?

Despite the unknown, its an exciting time to be in the industry and remain optimistic about the future. I am.

Don Beno

Would it be fair to compare satellite radio to the dot com boom less than 10 years ago. Talk about hemorraging money!

By now, all the dot coms have seemed to level out. No longer is a website name and idea alone worth millions of dollars.

Let's look at cable. Yes, it took forever for a "community antenna" service to become a household utility on par with telephone or electricity service.
But I don't ever remember the CATV's bleeding.

I hope the HD listeners are the winners in all this. Not just a bunch of copycat hard drive propelled formats similar to what we experienced when FM discovered automation.

HD is terrestial radio's challenge. Satellite certainly has a head start, but we can use that to our advantage...find out what worked for XM and/or Sirius and what didn't and apply or improve on those qualities.

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