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Here’s the latest data on HD Radio-compatible vehicle sales for last year

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Now that we’ve made it almost two months into 2018, we have data to share about HD Radio sales across the US for 2017. 

A couple of salient facts for you to consider:

  • All 40 major automobile brands offer HD radio in at least one model
  • Nearly 250 different car models come with HD radio
  • More than 50% of those car models sell for under $35K, and 75% cost less than $50K

While the growth in HD radio penetration seemed to level off a bit in 2014 and 2015, it has grown as of late, now reaching an impressive 48.9%.

Lest you think your market “doesn’t care” about HD, let’s take a look at the highest levels of HD radio in-car penetration: 

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An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

The following is from the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to ABA’s Larry Wilkins. To subscribe to the newsletter, email lwilkins@al-ba.com .

RADIO ONLINE PUBLIC FILES

March 1st is the deadline for radio stations to have their public files posted on the FCC hosted web site. I know we sound like a broken record, but checking the web site, there are not very many that have posted their files yet. Remember February only has 28 days this year….so March 1st will be here soon. If you haven’t gone to the site yet, we encourage you do it today. The URL is publicfiles.fcc.gov. For a complete tutorial on how to log in and upload your files watch the ABA video here

GOOD NEWS OUT OF WASHINGTON

With all the activities that television stations are saddled with surrounding the re-pack and ATSC 3.0 the FCC has issued some good news. Since everyone including the Commission recognized that the funds that were allocated for the repack was way short of the real world cost the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill that plugs holes in the original legislation authorizing the incentive auction and relocation of about 1,000 U.S. full-power and Class A TV stations.

It also establishes a Translator and Low Power Station Relocation Fund, sets up the FM Broadcast Station Relocation Fund and creates a Broadcast Station Relocation Consumer Education Fund.

STATIONS GETTING READY FOR ATSC 3.0

As television stations start making plans for ATSC 3.0 they need to formulate an educational plan for both consumers and retailers. While visiting a big box store the other day I mentioned ATSC 3.0. The salesperson said they were all ready for it with plenty of sets in stock. I commented “oh really”? They said see all these sets on the floor has 4k and HDR. I calmly said something about the type of tuner….to which I got the “deer in the headlight” look.

REVIEWING THE REQUIRED EQUIPMENT PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS

Stations are reminded that FCC rules part 73.1590 requires that licensee of each AM, FM, TV and Class A TV station, except licensees of Class D non-commercial educational FM stations authorized to operate with 10 watts or less output power, must make equipment performance measurements for each main transmitter upon initial installation of a new or replacement main transmitter; upon modification of an existing transmitter made under the provisions of 73.1690 and most importantly annually, for AM stations, with not more than 14 months between measurements.

The data required, together with a description of the equipment and procedure used in making the measurements, signed and dated by the qualified person(s) making the measurements, must be kept on file at the transmitter or remote control point for a period of 2 years, and on request must be made available during that time to duly authorized representatives of the FCC.

This is especially important for AM stations that must conduct the measurements annually and keep the last two reports on file. 

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More States Insist on Net Neutrality

Do Hawaii and New Jersey have the right to do so?

WASHINGTON — Hawaii and New Jersey are the latest states to decree that all state agencies should only do business with internet service providers agreeing to follow net neutrality principles, joining Montana and New York. Hawaii, New Jersey and New York are among the 23 states where the attorneys general are suing the FCC for repealing net neutrality rules put in place in 2015.

One important question is like the 800 lb gorilla in the room though: do states have the right to create their own Internet policy? Markham Erickson, the telecom attorney representing Incompas , the industry association for competitive communications carriers, said the FCC may have “backed itself into a corner on the states’ rights issue,” according to lightreading.com . While the FCC said individual states couldn’t override federal policy, it also renounced its own authority to impose net neutrality provisions, which would appear to leave the door open for states to impose them if they so choose.

In Congress, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced a bill banning blocking and throttling of Internet traffic, but leaving in place the possibility for paid prioritization, and maintaining the categorization of ISPs as Title 1 information service providers, which are regulated by the FTC rather than the FCC. Blackburn also calls for continued limitations on the FCC to preempt state net neutrality laws, according to the same article. Representative Mike Coffman (R-Co.) says he will introduce a net neutrality bill that would go further than Blackburn’s proposal: Coffman wants to ensure blocking, throttling and paid prioritization are all illegal, and he wants to create a compromise in how ISPs are regulated that would keep them under FCC oversight, but not subject them to Title II governance.

The FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Act” will likely get published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks, after which there will be a 60-day period before the order goes into effect. Any lawsuits are likely to take one to two years before they’re granted a decision by a federal court, and the party which disagrees with the outcome will likely take the issue to the Supreme Court. 

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Each week, more Americans tune into AM/FM radio than watch TV or use smartphones, tablets and computers

NEW YORK — Let’s shut out the gloom and doom about our industry for just a bit.

According to Nielsen’s second quarter 2017 Comparable Metrics Report, radio remains the top way to reach consumers across all media platforms. Each week, more Americans tune into AM/FM radio (93%) than watch television or use smartphones, tablets and computers. At the same time, streaming audio offers consumers even more ways to listen across many of those same devices.

“…To really compare apples to apples, we need to consider AM/FM radio (both over-the-air stations and their online streams) alongside all forms of streaming audio (apps and websites that stream both music and talk) and turn to comparable metrics,” writes Brad Kelly, managing director for Nielsen Audio in this article . “This allows us to go in-depth with audio use and evaluate listeners, using three basic concepts that can be applied across all media: how many, how often and how long. When viewed through these comparable measures, we can see how AM/FM radio and streaming audio stack up.”

· AM/FM radio continues to reach significantly more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million adults 18+ compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 204 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone. Broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 67.6 million using streaming audio, 35.9 million using satellite radio and 20.7 million consuming podcasts.

· Americans use radio five days per week, compared to three days for streaming on smartphones and tablets and two days for streaming on a computer.

· By understanding the reach (how many) and frequency of use (how often) for each form of audio, the time spent (how long) for both radio and streaming audio can be calculated. When comparing gross minutes (the total time spent summed for all p18+ users) radio outpaces streaming audio by a factor of 14:1 in an average week.

“Adding up the total minutes for AM/FM radio and streaming audio equates to more than 202 billion minutes per week, with AM/FM representing 93 percent of total weekly minutes compared with roughly seven percent for streaming audio,” writes Kelly.

Note: Nielsen’s Q2 2017 Comparable Metrics Report uses audience measurement data from an average week during the second quarter of 2017. AM/FM radio data is sourced from Nielsen’s RADAR and National Regional Database systems. Streaming audio data is sourced from Nielsen’s Electronic Mobile Measurement (EMM) panel and is inclusive of sites and internet applications used on smartphones, computers and tablets which are specifically designed to provide audio content for both music and talk.

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This news follows recent national FM switch-offs and transitions to digital radio

OSLO and BERLIN — In a recent article , I wrote that we can gain some sort of idea about how radio listening in Norway will trend based on the sales of radios there. If you agree with that then you will likely agree that there is likely to be an uptick in the use of radio there, even after the FM switch-off.

Over the course of 2017, while the nationwide FM networks were being switched off, Norwegians bought 1.1 million home and portable radios and 700,000 DAB+ adaptors for in-car use, along with 159,000 cars with pre-installed DAB+ radios, according to Radio.no . Prior to last year sales of radios were typically around 750,000 pieces including home and car products. By November 2017 85% of Norwegian households owned at least one DAB+ radio and 49% of all Norwegian private cars had a DAB+ radio (Digital radio survey, Kantar Media).

Meanwhile, the number of cars sold in Germany with digital radios installed has almost doubled since 2016, with The German Automobile Trust (DAT) announcing in its 2018 annual report that the take rate of new cars sold in Germany with DAB+ radio in 2017 was 39.1%. In 2015 only 13% of new cars were sold with DAB+ radio and by 2016 it was 21%. The data is based on surveys of new car buyers by the Society for Consumer research (GFK, commissioned by DAT), reports WorldDAB.org .

Ninety-eight percent of German highways are covered by the national DAB+ radio network coverage, along with 96% of the German population. National services include three programs from Deutschlandradio and nine from private broadcasters; from 2019 onwards, the national DAB+ offering is likely to increase from 16 to 30 stations. Already, regionally broadcast services include over 150 different DAB+ programs from the ARD regional broadcasters and private broadcasters, according to the same article. 

Go to Radio Magazine Online

Software will analyze both prerecorded and live media

Radio advertising can be a cutthroat business, as stations and groups are searching for new ways to use technology to gain a competitive edge. Entercom Communications believes it has found one through the use of artificial intelligence. The broadcaster has announced a partnership with Veritone Inc. which involves the use of their platform at Entercom’s over 235 stations.

Entercom elaborates that it expects that aiWARE will deliver actionable insights from previously unstructured data, as well as critical capabilities such as indexing for search and discovery. It is claimed that this will be accomplished via verifying, monitoring and repurposing aired content, and not just preproduced material, but also live streams. The software is already used by major sports broadcasters and organizations to maximize their audience reach, fan affinity, and ultimately, sponsorship revenue.

“The market for radio broadcast is evolving rapidly, and continued and major growth is expected,” adds Bob Philips, chief revenue officer at Entercom. “We’re expect to begin delivering new value to our listeners and partners, and focusing our efforts on new projects that will continue to drive us forward.” He adds that they expect to use aiWARE to verify campaign deliveries, reaffirm sponsorship value with shareable analytics, and monitor in-game detection of speech, sentiment and more.

Broadcasters are familiar with Veritone through its work with the media, but this artificial intelligence company’s software is also used to analyze structured and unstructured data for clients in a variety of markets, including legal, compliance and government. Their open platform integrates an ecosystem of cognitive engines, which can be orchestrated together, and a suite of proprietary applications, to reveal previously undiscovered multivariate insights from linear files such as radio and TV broadcasts, surveillance footage as well as public and private content globally.

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Auralex SonoLite SonoKits Available

Acoustic treatment-in-a-box for small spaces

Acoustic treatment specialist Auralex has announced that its SonoLite SonoKits are now available.

The modular DIY room acoustic treatment-in-a-box kits consist of wall-mounted fabric-wrapped Auralex Studiofoam acoustic absorption panels and mounting adhesive. They are modeled after the company’s Studiofoam Roominator kits and should allow users to reduce unwanted acoustical reflections and tame excessive reverberations in both professional and residential settings.

A SonoLite panel can be used for wall or ceiling applications, and included bass trap panels can be installed in either vertical or horizontal orientations where walls and ceilings meet.

Standard SonoLite panels are one-inch thick x two feet wide x two feet tall while the SonoLite bass traps are three inches thick x two feet wide x two feet tall. Colors available are tan and black.

The SonoLite SonoKit-1includes eight SonoLite panels, two SonoLite bass traps and 40 EZ-Stick Pro adhesive tabs. It is recommended for rooms 228 sq. ft. and smaller.

The SonoLite SonoKit-2 includes 12 SonoLite panels, four SonoLite bass traps and 64 EZ-Stick Pro adhesive tabs. The company says that it is recommended for rooms 228 sq. ft. and larger.

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The new feature is part of NoiseScout

SCHAAN, Lichtenstein — The XL2 Sound Level Meter can now be remotely controlled from a web browser, and recorded measurement data is available for download, NTi Audio says.

To set up remote operation, the XL2 is connected to a NetBox (v1.60 or higher), which transmits the data via 3G or LAN, according to a press release.

The XL2 Sound Level Meter stores measurement data locally, and users can assess available storage space and the current supply voltage via the web browser, the company says. While the measurement is in progress, levels, third-octave spectral data and audio filescan be manually downloaded to a computer or the download can be scheduled to your data server using any FTP software that supports the secure SFTP protocol.

In addition to the SFTP access, all optional remote measurement commands available on the XL2 are supported. Users can program a customized measurement application for remote sound level monitoring, audio analysis or automated measurement tasks.

The new remote control feature is part of NoiseScout, NTi’s unattended noise monitoring solution. The feature gives customers the choice selecting between a flexible remote monitoring and a fully managed service.

NTi Audio provides the infrastructure for the Gateway connection to the XL2 Sound Level Meter. This service is offered as an annual subscription or with a usage-based service model.

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