Shop Notes

Unfound sounds - radio's digital dilemma

Posted: July 14, 2010 | Tags: Connected, digital radio

"It’s not a good recipe for the survival of the media" if radio is the last remaining analog technology in the broadcast industry, said Bob Struble, president and CEO of iBiquity Digital Corp.

Struble was talking to reporter Mia Steinle about the future of digital radio for the Workshop's latest report. iBiquity is the company that licenses the technology that allows stations to go digital.

It’s a sobering comment from the industry’s chief cheerleader. Only 14 percent of radio stations are broadcasting digital signals, according to a new Workshop investigation, and listenership amounts to only three-tenths of 1 percent. And that’s eight years after the technology was approved.

We also learned there’s a lot of interesting programming out there. But few people are listening to it because they don’t have digital-ready radios.

The new report – "Digital technology could save radio – is anyone listening?" – is the first for our newly launched permanent watchdog, "Connected: The Media and Broadband Project." The investigation includes a fun and informative interactive timeline and a searchable database of digital radio stations across the nation.

Through Connected, we will do cutting-edge, investigative reporting regarding the political influence of media and broadband companies.

Our latest interactive database, complete with formats and maps of coverage areas, will allow users to find out what programming is being broadcast in their area that won’t get picked up on an analog radio.

Take a look. You may be surprised at what’s out there.

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