Indianapolis - Apr 9, 2008 - Eight leading radio companies have formed a new joint venture, the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) to build a first-of-its-kind nationwide network to distribute traffic data via radio technology. The BTC is working with Navteq, a provider of digital maps and traffic for vehicle navigation. The BTC will use HD Radio technology to broadcast real-time Navteq Traffic and other location-based information to portable navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems. The high bandwidth capacity provided via HD Radio technology will enable consumers to obtain high-quality, up-to-date information including traffic flow and points of interest when and where they need it most.
Founding members of the BTC are Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, Cox Radio, Emmis Communications, Entercom Communications, Greater Media, NPR and Radio One. The growing membership base contributes to the BTC's burgeoning national footprint and includes such additional organizations as Lincoln Financial Media. The BTC broadcasts across a suite of Navteq Traffic and location content and services used by application service providers, original equipment manufacturers and automakers.
The BTC is the alignment of the traditional radio business model with high- growth, consumer-demand applications. Paul Brenner, administrative agent for the consortium and VP of integrated technology for Emmis notes, "Our purpose is to further accelerate consumer HD Radio receiver penetration and create new revenue. By leveraging our strengths -- low-cost distribution, localized content and digital capacity -- we are re-establishing this industry as an innovative means of engaging consumers."
Brenner also said that broadcasters' ability to monetize HD Radio bandwidth is greatly increased by providing a one-stop shop for a low-cost nationwide data distribution channel. The BTC represents a data distribution service that allows broadcasters to expand beyond traditional audio programming as their sole use of the HD Radio spectrum and enable major service providers, like Navteq, to leverage broadcasters' free, over-the-air systems to meet consumer demand for interactive user-specific data applications.