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Broadcast Radio Stations on the Internet/The Era of Digital Radio Begins, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

It is now common for broadcast radio stations in major markets across the U.S. to stream real-time programming on their web sites.  This makes it possible for a listener to tune in, even when thousands of miles away.  Radio listenership over the internet has grown to become a substantial audience.

HD-2 and HD-3 Digital Radio Technology:  A noteworthy radio industry innovation, digital radio, refers to technology that improves broadcast radio signals while increasing the number of channels available. Digital broadcasting offers several advantages.  To begin with, the reception is higher quality, with clearer tones and less interference.

Utilizing digital technology enables broadcasters to create extra stations from the same radio bandwidth.  In this manner, extra stations, typically called HD-2 and HD-3, can be broadcast that offer niche content.  For example, a broadcaster that typically offers a wide variety of jazz on its main station could focus on Latin jazz on HD-2 and classic jazz of the 1940s on HD-3.  As of 2015, more than 2,300 radio stations in the U.S. and Mexico offered HD-2 and HD-3 options on 1,550 channels, according to iBiquity.

Prices for digital receivers are quite reasonable.  Meanwhile, these receivers are already available in a growing number of new cars.  According to iBiquity, more than 25 million HD radio units had been sold in the U.S. by early 2015.

In Europe, the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) is a digital standardized system that replaces traditional long-, medium- and short-wave radio.  DRM was developed by a consortium of broadcasters and hardware makers such as Deutsche Welle and the BBC World Service.  It effectively uses frequencies traditionally used by AM stations, which enjoy long ranges but have been plagued by problems with interference.  Higher-frequency FM stations do not travel as far but have clearer sound.  DRM takes the long range of AM stations and the clarity of FM stations to make the best of both worlds.  Transmission in some tests covered several countries with one transmitter.



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