Sales of HD Radio gear to consumers may be improving a bit in spite of the economic downturn. According to a story by Amy Gilroy in www.twice.com, some retailers indicate that reduced price points and a recession that's boosting the appeal of free media are helping propel sales of HD Radio-equipped car audio head units.
Quoting several spokespersons at nationwide consumer electronics outlets, Gilroy says that SKU's at price points below $149 are selling better as consumer become aware of increased content via HD FM multicast channels. One such unit, JVC's KD-HDR20 CD-HD Radio receiver, which typically sells at about $119 discounted, was rated as a top 10 seller by market research firm NPB Group.
One marketing executive interviewed by the author noted that product awareness on the part of car audio salespeople is also driving the increase. As sellers who interface directly with consumers on sales floors get more hands-on familiarity with HD Radio and multicasting, they are more likely to point them out as a product differentiation feature to buyers, something that's been a weak link in past retailing of HD Radio products.