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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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« Where The Puck Is Going | Main | Establish »


Greg Smith (Maryland)

"HD Radio inches upward..."

Not according to this Google Trends graph, which shows the little interest in HD Radio has been trending downwards:



Greg, you're talking apples and oranges. Google Trends measures search. Our data indicates sales. Note that Techsurvey7 is conducted among core radio listeners. The HD Alliance (and everyone else involved in this initiative) will tell you that the best prospects for buying an HD Radio are people who already enjoy listening to radio in the first place.

Our data is solid, and the trend line is career. As we stated in the analysis and webinar, HD Radio still has a long way to go in a challenging, competitive arena that is loaded with new gadgets, fads, tech, and toys. But their arc is positive.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Greg Smith (Maryland)


If you look at the graph, I included searches on "hd radio" and "hd radios". Google Trends measures consumer interest through searches over time:

"With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time.


I know, Struble claims that HD Radio sales are doubling each year. By the end of 2012, there will be a total of 12 million HD radios sold, or was that 8 million? Of course, HD radios have all but vanished from the sales floors of the major retailers. You can pick up the Gigaware adaptor for $20 at RS, now on clearance (used to be $79).

Greg Smith (Maryland)

Looks like Radio Shack and Amazon are dumping their HD Rado inventory:


As I stated before many times, virtually no one outside the radio indusry is interested.


Greg, this is a chat board - not research or sales data.

We stand by our Techsurvey7 research. The way I've explained it in webinars, releases, and in interviews is that HD Radio continues to trend up, but the numbers still pale in comparison to other gadgets. There's progress, but a long way to go.

I respect you having a different opinion. Thanks for reading the blog.

Greg Smith (Maryland)

"Tech Q? Whither HD Radio"

"New York Times technology columnist David Pogue published a great article on HD Radio last week. He's got 100,000 Twitter followers and asked them who was using HD Radio. Sixteen people replied. Three of them worked in the radio industry. Of the latter, all were concerned for the future of the platform."


Thanks for letting me comment, Fred!

Kitsa Lee (Maryland)

Greg, we all know that you don't like HD Radio. But you've missed Fred's point. There continue to be new technologies out there that compete with radio for the consumer's attention. Radio has weathered that storm in the past (8-track, cassettes, CDs), but the leaps in technology and the ability essentially to do everything (listen, watch, text, call) from a mobile location (think Smartphone), is competition that radio cannot choose to ignore. Where digital radio fits into that remains to be seen.

Fred, I think it's hard to predict what media will look like even 5 years down the road. What new technology or app will emerge that might supplant Facebook or Pandora or even the iPad?

I've just read articles that suggest some deterioration in the use of Facebook but it is too soon to tell whether it's just a blip or a trend.

It does suggest that as time goes on there is 'fatigue' with whatever the latest cool thing is. Look at your MP3 number - it's flat now.

In the meantime, Twitter's awareness far and away exceeds its usage, yet it's constantly in the press. So how much of what we see/hear/read is hype due to good PR (similar to what happened when satellite radio first emerged) vs. reality?

The Tech Survey is a nice benchmark of trends so keep up the good work and keep keeping us informed.


Kitsa, thanks for writing and offering some perspective. There's no question that we DON'T know what's coming. At the CES in 2010, netbooks were the rage. At this year's show, it was tablets (and netbooks were like 1982 Chevy Novas).

We appreciate you reading our blog and taking the time to comment.

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