As technology grows and morphs at breakneck speed, our Tech Poll questionnaires have had to cover more ground. This year, we spent a considerable amount of time on the subject of HD Radio.
Why? Because so many of you are investing a great deal of money and time on technical improvements, not to mention all that advertising time you're running to promote this new technology.
Our data shows a classic good news/bad news scenario. On the smiley face front, awareness of, and knowledge about HD Radio have markedly improved from year to year.
But there's a dark side. Only 1% of our Rock Radio sample owns an HD Radio, and there doesn't appear to be great desire to buy one among the rest of our respondents. What's the problem? There is still considerable confusion about HD Radio, and most people simply haven't heard it nor do they know anyone who owns one.
This is a serious problem with any new technology. Did you want to buy an iPod before holding one in your palm, or talking to your enthusiastic friends who already bought one? Did you have any desire to purchase a TiVo until the guy at work told you how it changed the way he watches TV? And did you really get the plasma/HDTV bug until you walked into Best Buy and saw Brett Favre like you've never seen him before?
That's a big issue affecting HD Radio's future, in addition to other challenges down the road. Our study provides rich data about what the radio industry can and should do to face the future. We hope you'll find it worth the read.