Wal-Mart to Carry HD Radio Receiver; Major Ad Campaign on the Way
In a move that could send awareness of HD Radio skyrocketing, Wal-Mart said it has rolled out JVC’s sub-$190 HD-W10 Mobile HD Radio Receivers in 1,989 of its stores across 85 markets.
While this announcement involving a car audio system does not have a direct impact on most custom installers and integrators, it will be backed by a “major advertising campaign” that could well boost consumer recognition of HD Radio to the point where those businesses can sell and integrate more high-end components that support the technology.
The HD Digital Radio Alliance, a joint initiative of broadcasters, touted the move as a breakthrough for the free terrestrial digital radio technology, which has thus far lagged behind its subscription-based satellite competitors Sirius and XM. “Wal-Mart brings HD Radio to an incredible new level of reach and power and we are very grateful for their leadership,” said Peter Ferrara, president and CEO of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. “This underscores that HD Radio is now within easy reach of millions of consumers nationwide and Wal-Mart is an ideal partner to make that possible. Wal-Mart customers not only get a terrific HD digital radio at a great price, but they can hear lots of new radio stations on the dial for free!”
Over 1,100 radio stations currently broadcast in HD, and more than half of them offer multicasts.