HD Radio – Driving Radio’s Digital Dash

Author: Rick Greenhut, Director – Broadcast Business Development, Xperi / HD Radio

Increase spot impact by 550%

Wouldn’t it be great if a radio station could offer their biggest local auto dealer client the opportunity to increase their name recognition? How about enabling the agency for a home improvement chain to demonstrably enhance the effectiveness of their radio advertising? Federal legislation taking effect this May (and broadcasters’ investment in HD Radio technology) helps radio maintain preeminence in tomorrow’s dashboard while benefiting agencies and advertisers alike.

Starting next month, all new cars manufactured in the U.S. will be required to come equipped with backup cameras and, by definition, screens in the dashboard to display those images. This, and the millions of cars on the road already equipped with in-dash displays, provides broadcasters, advertisers and their agencies the opportunity to offer something never before available to radio stations: The ability to provide an image to accompany a client’s spot.

This capability, called “Artist Experience®,” is a capability of HD Radio™ technology from DTS, a subsidiary of Xperi Corp. You’ve probably noticed that some stations can already automatically pair album art with the appropriate song, creating an in-car visual experience that rivals what consumers are already used to seeing from their other digital media interactions.

The ability to pair a static visual with an advertiser’s message adds an additional level of effectiveness to radio’s already impressive ability to deliver for clients. In fact, Xperi commissioned a study from Nielsen that proved a significant uptick in unaided recall of the brand name when the radio spot was accompanied by a brand’s logo.

The study from Nielsen employed a national sample of car owners. The sample was split, with half exposed to national radio spots accompanied by the picture of a car radio, and the other half hearing the same spot but their picture of the car radio had a static visual of the client’s logo or a picture of the product itself. When looking at a key local radio advertiser category (car dealers), Nielsen saw a significant lift in unaided recall when the radio spot was accompanied by the car dealer’s logo, as seen below:

When respondents were asked the name of the auto dealership in the radio ad they just heard, only 4% of the group that just saw the picture of a radio remembered the dealer’s name. But when the static image of the dealer’s name was shown on the digital in-car display , the recall percentage jumped to 26%! That’s a 550% lift in recall just by adding an image of the client’s name to a radio spot.

Considering that local auto dealers are among the top advertising categories for local stations, and a priority for these advertisers is brand name recall, stations are well-positioned to super-serve an auto dealer by demonstrating how Artist Experience can enhance the dealer’s brand recall. Couple that with the potential to demonstrate this capability live on the showroom floor using the HD Radio receiver in a new car, it represents a tremendous selling opportunity.

Another segment of the Nielsen study tested a spot for Scotts Turf Builder run by Home Depot. As with the automotive dealer example, half the sample just heard the spot while seeing a radio with no image on the screen. The other half saw the radio with all the data and image fields populated:

The results from the second group showed that recall for Scotts Turf Builder went from 19% of those who remembered the name of the product when they were exposed to the audio only to 31% among those that also saw the picture of the product while exposed to the audio. That’s a 63% boost in awareness of the product when the radio spot is coupled with the product image.

Adding this enhancement to HD Radio stations is simple and inexpensive for a radio station. Third-party software from companies like Artic Palm™, Jump2Go™, BE/TRE™, or a TagStation™ subscription are all that’s needed. At present, over 1,700 radio channels can display album art paired with the music they play, and this same software allows for the advertiser’s image to pair with their audio spot.

It’s simple and it works – adding the element of visual to audio in the car when radio commands attention equates to a truly comprehensive plan to drive results for advertisers and additional dimension to a local sale.

No need to leave money on the table –  nor a blank screen in the car!


2 thoughts on “HD Radio – Driving Radio’s Digital Dash”

  1. Great, I really like HD radio. Most AM/FM HD radios are that they tend to produce a better quality of sounds compared to AM/FM radio bands. This type of device also makes it possible for stations to integrate more programming.

  2. I have a Sangean DH radio. This radio does the best job on AM-FM I have seen in quite a long time.
    It is DSP and I was concerned about “Soft Muting” No problem AT ALL.
    On FM it is quite selective and sensitive. Much better than the PR-D5 Separation is excellent with very good stereo imaging using only the built-in rod antenna. On HD it sounds very good and tuning in HD2 and HD3 is easy and no problem.
    On AM the sensitivity is on a par with the PR-D5, and RF 2200 It easily hears a 1KW station on 1360 90 miles away despite a local 1KW station on 1380. Also, the power supply included does not introduce any noise, even on the weakest AM signals at the low through the high end of the band

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