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Is This Thing On?

Digital radio promises to revolutionize the world of broadcasting, exponentially increasing the number of stations and making radio a better advertising vehicle for entrepreneurs trying to reach small niche markets.

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This story appears in the February 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The HD Digital Alliance, a group of big broadcasters promoting digital radio, compares the push to the rollout of FM decades ago. But skeptics point to slow growth in the number of listeners and say digital isn't likely to reach its potential soon.

For more than two years, the Alliance has plastered airwaves with spots plugging HD's improved sound quality and expanded programming options. It has convinced radio-makers and retailers to sell HD-capable sets and recruited more than 1,500 stations to add digital second channels. Digital is on the air in every major market now, and heavyweights like , and Wal-Mart are even offering the .

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