Radio Disney Launches on AM/FM Push on New HD Networks

Ariana Grande, 2014.
Disney Channel/Rick Rowell

Ariana Grande visited Radio Disney Studios to discuss her newest album, "My Everything." Her Night Show interview with Brooke airs Monday, August 25, 2014.

Radio Disney has partnered with iBiquity Digital to broadcast on as many as 60 HD2/HD3 stations nationwide, becoming the first national station on the high-definition AM/FM digital bands.

iBiquity’s HD Radio Digital Network ad sales team, based in New York City, will manage advertising sales on the Radio Disney stations. Radio Disney and the network will also engage in collaborative selling of airtime.

“We viewed Radio Disney as still unique in targeting a demo that is nationwide,” Robert Struble, president and CEO of iBiquity, tells Billboard. “HD 2 and HD3 had never had a nationally branded content, and we saw this as a chance to keep this in local markets.”

Struble says Radio Disney quickly grasped the iBiquity pitch, which focused on “kids in cars with moms” and HD Receivers increasingly being installed in new automobiles. HD receivers, which allow broadcasters to digitally broadcast local stations plus two other stations on the same frequency, were installed in 40 percent of all new cars last year, according to iBiquity.

"By working with iBiquity Digital, we expand our distribution footprint onto the FM dial and become more accessible to families looking for music that can be enjoyed by the entire household," Eric Goldstein, vp, Distribution and Consumer Engagement, Radio Disney, said in a statement. 

The announcement was made April 13 at the NAB show in Las Vegas where Radio Disney is broadcast on KCYE 102.7 -- HD2.

iBiquity Digital also announced its HD Radio Ad Network, which sells advertising on an aggregated network of HD2/HD3 stations on air currently in 60 markets.

By offering an aggregation of stations, Struble says, “we can go out to national advertisers and begin to monetize the stations.”