Broadcasters are much further along in the process. As of the 2003 CES, several broadcast groups, representing stations in 40 markets over 26 U.S. states, were slated to begin broadcasting digitally, in both AM and FM, sometime in early 2003. Some are fully embracing the new technology. Greater Media, a company with 19 stations in six markets on the East Coast region, pledged to convert all of its stations to digital this year. "By the end of 2003, we predict 300 stations will be broadcasting digital," said Bob Struble, iBiquity's president and CEO, at a CES press conference.
Another major difference between television and radio is the cost of the upgrade. According to Jury, the expense for broadcasters can be anywhere between $30,000 and $200,000, with the average at about $75,000. These amounts include the costs of equipment upgrade and licensing fees. To attract broadcasters to upgrade sooner, iBiquity waived the licensing fee for stations that signed up for the period between October 2002 and the end of that year. Jury said that 130 stations took advantage of the opportunity.
But retailers are going to need more than just a promise of CD-quality audio in order to convince the consumer to upgrade to HD Radio, particularly in aftermarket mobile sales. This may be where data-casting capabilities come into play. iBiquity has partnered with several companies in regards to this issue.