Clear Channel teams with Apple on iTunes tagging for HD Digital Radio

Clear Channel Radio today announced it will offer HD digital radio broadcasts for devices supporting Apple’s implementation of a new HD digital radio tagging feature, announced earlier today. The company also urged all radio broadcasters to fully support the new capability.

“Apple has been a strong supporter of radio, previously making an FM tuner available for the iPod, and we view their support of HD digital radio as an enormous opportunity,” said John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio, in the press release. “All of our FM stations broadcasting in HD digital radio will be available on these important and unprecedented devices. With substantial gains in online and on-demand programming already under our belt, there should now be no doubt of radio’s ability to constantly evolve and embrace new technology. The iPod is not a competitor to radio — it is a collaborator in connecting with consumers on a continual basis.”

The I-Sonic Entertainment System 2 from Polk Audio that was announced today is the first to offer a “buy” button for songs broadcast in HD digital radio. As a result, users can purchase and download songs they discover on the company’s FM-frequency HD digital radio broadcasts via Apple’s iTunes service. Users who “tag” a song have the option to purchase it or simply find more information about it when their iPod is synced with iTunes software. The display screen indicates which HD digital radio stations have songs enabled for this service.

Clear Channel Radio has led the industry in creating and airing HD2 programming. The company currently broadcasts more than 400 stations in HD digital radio and more than 300 additional HD2 channels. Its “Format Lab” — staffed with more than 200 programmer and production pros — has created more than 100 new and niche offerings. Some have already seen enormous success — crossing over to local FM stations (Americana Bluegrass); focusing on underserved cultural segments including the gay and lesbian community (Pride Radio); and even underpinning entirely new listening experiences (Lone Star). A complete list (including live streams) of the company’s HD2 broadcasts can be found at

HD digital radio technology increases the number of local channels able to be broadcast over a given AM or FM frequency. These digital channels enable broadcasters to offer advanced services, additional audio content with no monthly fees and improved digital sound quality where AM sounds like FM and FM is near-CD quality.

Clear Channel Radio is a leading radio company focused on serving local communities across the U.S. with more than 110 million listeners choosing Clear Channel Radio programming each week. The company’s content can be heard on AM/FM stations, HD digital radio channels, on the Internet, via iPods and via mobile-navigation devices from Cobra, Garmin, Kenwood and others.


  1. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that digital tags come across the airwaves with the song, the song title/artist is displayed on a screen on the radio. When you hear a song you like, you hit a button. The digital tag for that song is saved and transfered to the ipod. When you connect your ipod to iTunes, those tags will pull up the songs you liked in the iTunes store and you could then buy them.

  2. I just clicked on your link and tried to listen to 2 different stations (both were web casting in .WMV and flip for Mac could not even play them. So Apple teams up with a company that is not friendly to Macs just to make a buck on iTunes 🙁

  3. This is a really big deal. How many of us have heard a song on the radio and either forgot or didn’t hear the name of the band or song. To be able to pick songs to buy after you heard will catch a lot of impulse buyers. I’ve been wanting this for the longest time.

    Radio will still have to sort out how not to play the same songs over and over again, but once they do that radio will be interesting again.

    Even if you don’t have an HD radio at home or in the car, I’m sure Apple will come out with an add-on.

    I wonder if Apple will do the same deal with satellite radio?

  4. Apple makes another step towards totally integrating our listening experience. I’ve always wanted this capability on my radio – just punch a button when you hear a song you like to find out all about it and transfer it to your iPod (obviously there are going to be a few more steps, but it’s essentially the same).

    Didn’t some other company make an announcement today about changing the way people play? Wankers…

  5. Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) is a media conglomerate company based in the United States. Clear Channel, founded in 1972 by Lowry Mays and Red McCombs, wields considerable influence in radio broadcasting, concert promotion and hosting, and fixed advertising in the United States through its subsidiaries.

    Lowry Mays is a close friend of and major fundraiser for both former President George H.W. Bush and current President George W. Bush.

    In 2003 Lowry Mays testified before the US Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. However, in an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, he remarked, “We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.”

    In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company became an object of persistent criticism. Critics claim that it has abused its market position and has operated in an unethical manner. FCC regulations were relaxed following the Telecommunications Act of 1996, allowing companies to own far more radio signals than before.

    > > > Much, much more here:

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