HD Radio™ Technology – Product Token
HD Radio Technology allows FM and AM broadcasters to leverage the capabilities of Program Info to transmit commercially identifiable information, referred to as a ‘product token’. This token provides more information to the radio listener on the product, service, or merchant. The token is transmitted only as text, but in addition to common textual descriptions, the token can also include specific product identification such as URL and barcode digits. The radio listener can retrieve the product token / product info either as text or in a graphical representation such as a QR code or a barcode. The graphical representations can be read by using available QR code/barcode readers on a smartphone. The barcode can be read by the scanning devices that are used at retail stores for purchasing a product or redeeming a coupon.
The Program Info transport supports the required fields to construct and transmit the product token. The following two groups of data need to be properly populated in Program Info for efficient product token transmission and retrieval by the listener.
Artist and Title ID3 tag information
This information is already broadcast for music on most AM/FM stations.
These tags should also be used for the product during advertisement spots.
Artist ID3 tag may contain the manufacturer or merchant name.
Title ID3 tag may contain the product name.
Commercial ID3 tag information
Description field – up to 150 bytes, containing the following;
Product/service description – 127 bytes
UPC/ISBN/Coupon barcode digits (if exists) – 23 bytes
URL field – up to 127 bytes
Seller field – up to 127 bytes (optional)
At least one of the above groups is required in order for the receiver to construct a QR code. For the receiver to properly display the relevant product token / product info, these fields need to be correctly populated by the Studio Automation Software. Additionally, the Studio Automation Software/broadcast station must also pay attention to the following:
- The additional product token / product info being transmitted may also be received by receivers that do not have the graphical representation capabilities to display a barcode or QR code. They may only view the text.
- The provided content for the URL, Description, and Seller fields combined, should not exceed 412 bytes.
- For faster and reliable transmission, it is recommended to shorten the employed tags as much as practical.
Consider these principles when implementing the product token / product info feature:
- The product, service, or merchant descriptions should be concise and optimized for a web search engine.
- The product token / product info feature is intended to promote e-commerce: the listener may be enticed to purchase the product or the listener may be interested in learning more about the product, service, or merchant.
- The product token / product info provides an additional channel for presenting advertisements and stimulating revenue.
Broadcast monitors that display Program Info can be used to effectively monitor the Program Info for the Commercial ID3 tag information.
Commercially available HD Radio receivers with graphical representation capabilities for QR codes and barcodes can be used to evaluate the product token / product info feature; a smartphone/scanner can be used to read the QR code / barcode.
Please contact iBiquity for more detailed technical information on the structure and guidelines for populating the various fields within the Commercial frame in Program Info.