Super Hi-Fi, Xperi Corp. and Cumulus Team For HD Multicasts


NASHVILLE — A six-year-old company offering “a complete and robust radio management platform powered by advanced AI” has teamed up with the parent company of HD Radio and DTS AutoStage and station ownership group Cumulus Media for the launch of two new HD Radio digital multicast brands.

These channels, the companies say, will serve as a testing ground “for exciting new radio programs and related services” — some 20 years after in-band, on-channel HD Radio multicasts first arrived in the U.S.

While iHeartMedia and Audacy Inc., to a lesser extent, have been champions of HD multicasts, other companies have been slow to build out channels that can extend listener engagement opportunities and attract more advertising. In some markets, HD Radio isn’t present at all on an HD-1 signal.

The Super Hi-Fi, Cumulus Media and Xperi Corp. partnership seeks to convince the naysayers that investing in HD multicast programming can pay dividends.

In Nashville, the three companies ahead of this week’s Country Radio Seminar (CRS) gave birth to HD Radio multicast stations “The Hill” and “Nashville Songwriter Radio.”

They’re the HD2 and HD3 offerings, respectively, now heard on WGFX-FM 104.5, the Gallatin, Tenn.-licensed Cumulus-owned Sports Talker with a Class C1 58kw signal.

As Super Hi-Fi, Xperi and Cumulus see it, these two multicast stations can be “testing grounds for next generation broadcast radio services and programming in the connected car.”

In particular, there’s a business opportunity at play for Super Hi-Fi, as its “Program Director” Radio Operating System is powering “The Hill” and “Nashville Songwriter Radio,” eliminating the need for a human to spend their time crafting what could ultimately be a niche audio offering.

The Hill is described as a station “designed with the tastes of high school students in mind,” featuring a mix of popular and emerging music across Pop, Hip-Hop, Alternative, and Country genres. Developed in partnership with Green Hill High School in Mt Juliet, Tenn., the station, Super Hi-Fi says, “offers students a unique opportunity to engage with programming and on-air activities, fostering a practical learning environment within the broadcasting field using next-generation programming and operations tools.”

It could also prove to be a competitor to iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River,” in a way, as that station has been the default Top 40 home in Nashville since Midwest’s WNFN in June 2023 switched to Country music.

“By partnering with Super Hi-Fi and Xperi, we are adopting innovative technology that allows us to connect to new, local communities with targeted programming by leveraging our HD radio ancillary channels that have the potential to reach different audiences around the country,” Cumulus Media Chief Technology Officer Conrad Trautmann said.


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