HD Radio didn't take off because of several other reasons that you didn't mention. But if you feel it's just because of "The Man," then so be it.
I could have gone on about how the HD signals themselves suck (especially on AM), bad analog/digital syncing, the shady licensing/royalties of HD Radio technology (if Zenith ever demanded this when they rolled out their FM Stereo system in the early '60s, we'd be using Crosley, EMI or some other system today) http://www.ibiquity.com/i/Licensing_%20Fact_%20Sheet_2009.pdf
....and everybody's favorite scapegoat - the economy. But I was illustrating the problem with the general public.
But the way it was rolled out, it seemed more like a knee-jerk reaction to the threat of satellite radio. There was no REAL plan in the industry as far as building a SERIOUS alternative to satellite, which could have actually saved it. The programming itself on the HD2/3 subchannels was just an afterthought. And it shows.
But if it wasn't, that would have meant iBiquity would have demanded more $$$ in broadcaster royalties from these sub-channels. Which itself helped iBiquity to doom their own invention.
Actually, if it was JUST "The Man" (corporate or government), the solution would have been far simpler. Public demand would see personally to that.....And "The Man" would just have to suck it. And yes, part of that would have had to include mandatory HD inclusion in new FM radios.......
iBiquity would have to quit their racket - which is the ONLY way NOW this technology is EVER going to get out the pit it's in. And make it open source. The FCC should have had the brass balls to DEMAND iBiquity FORGET their licensing/royalty scam if they were ever going to become any kind of standard in American radio. At all. If Zenith could be happy just knowing THEIR invention is now the world standard for FM Stereo broadcasting (which has paid off for them far more in the long run than any amount of broadcaster "royalties"), iBiquity can shove it's own ego aside and move on to NEWER innovations/inventions.
I still think radio DOES have a digital future. But not THIS way. The technology presently (as well as this little racket) isn't helping digital radio presently.
There is another technology entirely rising up. It just has yet to be perfected and on that note, we're still a few years off and a few uphill treks in technical/patent/copyright avalanches before we get to that yet. But I have a feeling those apps for your iPhone are just merely the rough beginnings.....