Digital Radio Update - February 18, 2009

February 18, 2009

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  • Online Listening Bumps Up in 2008
  • Revo Ready for DAB+ Down Under
  • World Space Bankruptcy Sale on Hold
  • To Mel, Liberty Looks Siriusly Better than Bankruptcy
  • IBOC by State: Colorado
  • The New Language of Digital Radio
  • Jaguar Jumping on HD Radio Bandwagon

  • News

    Online Listening Bumps Up in 2008
    2008 may well be a year many radio broadcasters would rather forget, but those streaming their audio online likely gained some listeners, according to a study by Accustream Imedia Research. In fact, a company press summary of the report suggests that music radio streams online generated 4.85 billion total listening hours in 2007, up 26.1 percent over 2006.

    Entitled Net Music radio 2007-2010: Listening Hour Analysis by Site and Brand, the report finds that total listening hours averaged 404.2 million hours per month (excluding downloaded music), compared to a 320.5 million hour average in 2006, including leading music subscription services such as Napster, Yahoo Music and Rhapsody.

    Accustream concludes that the numbers indicate that online radio has enlarged its profile, thanks to online commitments made by terrestrial brands such as Clear Channel and Citadel, but remains concentrated, with the top 10 sites capturing more than 90 percent of total listening hours monthly.

    Among other standouts in the report:

  • Shoutcast (owned by AOL) remains the top platform/destination in the music radio segment with 48.4 percent of total listening hours for the year, followed by Clear Channel Online, Yahoo Music, AOL Radio Networks and Pandora.
  • A comparison of reach and revenue between terrestrial radio and online radio/music track plays suggests an online market with fully valued potential of approximately $525 million annually.
  • Based on billings of $92 million and 25 percent of inventory sold, the market achieved 17.5 percent maturity in 2007, and forecast to reach 26 - 29 percent in 2008.
  • Clear Channel Online, with experienced cross platform sales personnel, has been among the most assertive brands allocating avails against listening time, with 6-8 minutes per listening hour dedicated to ad inventory.

    A complete version of the 70+ page report is available for purchase from Accustream.

    The Revo Pico

    The Revo Pico

    Revo Ready for DAB+ Down Under
    Revo Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of digital radio products headquartered in Scotland, says it will have DAB+ compatible receivers available in Australia in April, just in time for a rollout of a new national DAB+ transmission network there.

    Among the first product to find its way to Aussie consumers will be the company's Pico Radio station model, which features FM analog and DAB/DAB+ digital radio reception, along with Wi-fi/wired Internet radio capability, stereo RCA line-level outputs, and an LCD display screen for text and graphics. Pico is also equipped with a rechargeable NiMH battery pack and an SD flash card slot for MP3 playback. Revo, which currently distributes its products in Europe, the U.S., India and Singapore, says it also plans to offer DAB+ versions of its Blik and Iblik Radio Station models.

    Australia is still on track to turn up its new DAB+ network on or around May 1. Currently, the only nation routinely operating in DAB+ is the tiny island nation of Malta, which offers 22 channels on a single multiplex signal.


    World Space Bankruptcy Sale on Hold
    A Jan. 26 auction of World Space satellite radio assets by a U.S. Bankruptcy court in Delaware has apparently been sidetracked by a series of objections filed by stakeholders.

    A recent report on, suggests that the delay was necessitated by objections regarding understated debt amounts and detailed allegation from World Space's Italian partners that the bankrupt broadcaster is deliberately attempting to sell assets it does not own.

    Based on filings for extension of World Space's Debtor In Possession (DIP) loan, it appears that the bankruptcy court extended the asset auction date to Feb. 26, allowing more time for details in the case to be sorted out by the respective attorneys.

    To Mel, Liberty Looks Siriusly Better than Bankruptcy
    Cash-strapped Sirius XM Satellite Radio has dodged a bullet, at least for the moment. Wire reports from AP and Reuters confirm that company CEO Mel Karmazan struck an 11th hour deal with Liberty Media to provide a secured loan of $280 million, more than enough to cover $172 million in debt that came due just hours after news of the agreement broke.

    Nearly all of the pending debt had been purchased by Echo Star's Charlie Ergen, who had high hopes of using it to wrest control of Sirius from Karmazan. Past history suggests the two executives share little affection for one another, and speculation held that Karmazan was preparing to file for Chapter 11 reorganization in order to fend off the move.

    Under the current deal, Karmazan will remain at the helm of Sirius, and his firm will receive a second phase loan of an additional $150 million. Liberty will also sop up another $100 million of Sirius debt for a total outlay of over half a billion dollars.

    In return, Dish Network owner Liberty reportedly receives a more than 40 percent interest in Siruis, along with seats on the board of directors for Liberty's CE Greg Maffei and President John Malone.

    But unless Sirius XM can reduce its expenses while simultaneously boosting subscriptions, its financial position in 2009 is likely to remain perilous. The firm still must meet $350 million in bank loans due in May, and another $228 million in notes due in December, while the Liberty deal is expected to draw the attention of regulators looking at potential anti-trust issues.

    IBOC Across America

    IBOC by State: Colorado
    Ibiquity has a list of stations with licensed HD Radio technology and notes those on the air now. IBOC by state looks at various states and lists the stations making the transition. There are 56 stations in the Centennial State broadcasting 82 HD Radio channels.


    AspenKUUR-FM 96.7Soft AC--CO Radio Marketing
    Colorado Springs KCME-FM 88.7All Classical--Cheyenne Mountain Public Broadcasting House
    Colorado Springs KCBR-AM 1040Christian/Talk--DRJ Broadcasting
    Colorado Springs KKMG-FM 98.9CHR--Citadel
    Colorado Springs KCMN-AM 1530Adult Standard--DRJ Broadcasting
    Colorado Springs KVUU-FM 99.9Hot ACOldies - All 80s-Clear Channel
    Colorado Springs KVOR-AM 740News/Talk--Citadel
    Colorado Springs KCCY-FM 96.9CountryCountry - All New-Clear Channel
    Colorado Springs KEPC-FM 89.7Alternative--Pikes Peak Community College
    Colorado Springs KCSF-AM 1300Sports--Citadel
    Colorado Springs KRCC-FM 91.5NPR/DiverseNews/Talk-Colorado College
    Colorado Springs KATC-FM 95.1Country--Citadel
    Colorado Springs KIBT-FM 96.1Urban/Hip HopHip Hop Classics-Clear Channel
    Colorado Springs KKLI-FM 106.3Soft ACComedy-Clear Channel
    CortezKSJD-FM 91.5Variety--KUTE
    Denver-BoulderKJMN-FM 92.1Spanish/CHR--Entravision
    Denver-BoulderKMXA-AM 1090Spanish/Adult Hits--Entravision
    Denver-BoulderKLDC-AM 1220Gospel/Christian/Religous--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    Denver-BoulderKUVO-FM 89.3Jazz/Variety--Denver Educational Broadcasting
    Denver-BoulderKQMT-FM 99.5Progressive/Classic RockDeep Cuts and Live Rock-Entercom Communications Corp.
    Denver-BoulderKRFX-FM 103.5Classic RockClassic Rock That Rocks-Clear Channel
    Denver-BoulderKOA-AM 850News/Talk/Sports--Clear Channel
    Denver-BoulderKBPI-FM 106.7AORAll New Rock-Clear Channel
    Denver-BoulderKKZN-AM 760Talk/Progressive--Clear Channel
    Denver-BoulderKEPN-AM 1600Sports--Lincoln Financial Media
    Denver-BoulderKYGO-FM 98.5CountrySmooth JazzESPN RadioLincoln Financial Media
    Denver-BoulderKRWZ-AM 950Oldies--Lincoln Financial Media
    Denver-BoulderKGNU-AM 1390Eclectic--Boulder Community Broadcast Association
    Denver-BoulderKCFR-AM 1340News/Talk--Colorado Public Radio
    Denver-BoulderKLZ-AM 560Christian Contemporary/Talk--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    Denver-BoulderKLVZ-AM 810Spanish/Christian--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    Denver-BoulderKLTT-AM 670Christian/Talk--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    Denver-BoulderKBCO-FM 97.3AAAPerformance Studio C Sessions-Clear Channel
    Denver-BoulderKPTT-FM 95.7Rhythmic/ACPride Radio-Clear Channel
    Denver-BoulderKPOF-AM 910Inspiration--Pillar of Fire
    Denver-BoulderKCFR-FM 90.1News/TalkClassical-Colorado Public Radio
    Denver-BoulderKIMN-FM 100.3Hot ACBest of the 80sHoly Hits RadioCBS Radio
    Denver-BoulderKALC-FM 105.9Hot ACComedy-Entercom Communications Corp.
    Denver-BoulderKXKL-FM 105.1OldiesAll Number One Radio50s and 60s - KOOL ClassicsCBS Radio
    Denver-BoulderKWLI-FM 92.5CountryWillie - Heritage CountryCNN Headline NewsCBS Radio
    Denver-BoulderKOSI-FM 101.1Lite RockBlues-Entercom Communications Corp.
    Denver-BoulderKTCL-FM 93.3AlternativeClassic Alternative-Clear Channel
    Denver-BoulderKCFC-AM 1490News/Talk--Colorado Public Radio
    Denver-BoulderKDDZ-AM 1690Family Hits--Radio Disney
    Ft. Collins-GreeleyKXBG-FM 97.9Country--Clear Channel
    Ft. Collins-GreeleyKSME-FM 96.1CHRTop 40-Clear Channel
    Ft. Collins-GreeleyKUAD-FM 99.1Country--Regent
    Ft. Collins-GreeleyKTRR-FM 102.5AC--Regent
    Ft. Collins-GreeleyKUNC-FM 91.5News/Variety--Community Radio for Northern Colorado
    Ft. Collins-GreeleyKPAW-FM 107.9Classic RockClassic Rock-Clear Channel
    IgnacioKSUT-FM 91.3Ethnic/News--KUTE
    IgnacioKUTE-FM 90.1Ethnic/News--San Juan Basin Vocational Tech School
    PuebloKDZA-FM 107.9Classic Hits--Clear Channel
    Rocky FordKPHT-FM 95.5Urban ACOldies - 1350-AM-Clear Channel
    TellurideKOTO-FM 91.7Variety--San Miguel Educational Fund
    VailKPRE-FM 89.9News/Classical--Colorado Public Radio

    HD Radio Terminology

    The New Language of Digital Radio
    FFT: fast fourier transform
    FM: frequency modulation
    GPS: Global Positioning System
    HD BML: HD Broadcast Multimedia Language (HD BML is an Ibiquity trademark)
    HDC: the codec used in the HD Radio system (HDC is an Ibiquity trademark)
    HDLC: high-level data link control
    HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol


    Jaguar Jumping on HD Radio Bandwagon
    Jaguar will be the next carmaker to offer HD Radio technology across its 2010 product line. Breaking the news last week at the Chicago auto show, the company says factory-installed HD Radio receivers will appear this summer in its XK model, followed later in the year by the XF.

    "Jaguar is committed to being at the forefront of adopting innovative media and HD Radio technology is part of that vision," said Nick Gionis, senior manager, Jaguar Infotainment.

    Jaguar, formerly owned by Ford Motor Co., was recently spun off to India-based Tata Motors, which is reportedly trying to restore some cachet to the heritage brand as its sales continue to ebb. No word yet as to whether Land Rover, another Tata acquisition from Ford, might also be adding HD Radio to its line.

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