Impulse iTunes Downloads: The Radio Rollout Begins

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Just like advertising messages, consumers frequently require repeat impressions of a song before catching on.

But terrestrial radio frequently skips the back-announce, resulting in a major disconnect between songs and their identifying elements.  In some cases, listeners can hum or sing along with a track, but lack any knowledge of the corresponding band or song title.

Of course, that makes any subsequent purchase nearly impossible, though fresher radio technologies could solve the problem.  Terrestrial streams frequently transmit identifying information using RDF, though emerging satellite and HD (or digital) radio streams package metadata far more effectively.  That means that fans can easily identify track information without the assistance of a deejay.

But HD radio technology actually enables a more interesting step.  Just recently, Clear Channel Radio started streaming digital stations that allow instant iTunes tagging, thanks to technology supplied by iBiquity Digital Corp.  More specifically, songs are tagged within an iPod for subsequent purchase on the iTunes Store.

A total of 440 HD radio stations, and 340 HD2 stations now carry the capability, though just one tag-ready receiver is currently on the market.  “Radio continues to be the number one way that people discover new music, and the HD radio iTunes tagging capability lets listeners add songs to their iPod playlists with just a push of the button,” explained Clear Channel Radio president and chief executive John Hogan.