Warriors Sound uses Backbone to Connect with Fans

Warriors Sound RadioAs you would expect, the Golden State Warriors have a huge following on social media. As of today they have over 9.1M likes on Facebook, 2.39M followers on Twitter, and 3.2K followers on TuneIn. This creates a wonderful opportunity to use their Warriors Sound online radio station and podcasts to engage with their fans who would like to hear more about the team and what they are doing. [Read more…]

Now connect to Backbone Co-Host using LUCI Global for Android

Luci Global for AndroidOur partners at Technica del Arte have just unveiled a version of LUCI Global for Android, lending incredible mobility to your broadcasts. It is now available for download from the Google Play store.

[Read more…]

Cape Fear Productions finds Backbone Networks and it is a wonderful thing

The Producer of Motorweek’s Goss’ Garage weekly radio show is glad he found Backbone to help his client, a nationally renown TV/radio personality, create a 24/7 online radio station. Guest contributor Steve McMillan tells what his production company went through and why he’s happy. [Read more…]

Backbone Networks on NAB Show Live 2016

April is always fun. It’s NAB time. This year our focus was on integrating “live radio production” elements, a topic we aimed at radio engineers and radio producers. While there, we announced the Backbone Production Suite, made an appearance on NAB Show Live and attended other events, including the Public Radio Engineers Conference, the RAIN Conference, BEA and other extra-curricular activities. [Read more…]

Internet radio at TCEA 2016 in Austin Texas!

TCEA Radio

TCEA Radio Booth

Last week I traveled to Texas for the TCEA 2016 Conference where I was asked to present on running an Internet radio station. I spoke on the history of radio and how it has transitioned over the years from monaural, terrestrial AM radio broadcast to full digital internet broadcasting.

While touching a bit on the Backbone technology the main meat of the presentation was more about the production aspects of running an Internet radio station. Running a radio station requires a lot of content and a lot of people working together to produce compelling programming for your listeners.

It was very interesting the number of schools interested in broadcasting! About half of those in my session were there as part of their writing and journalism programs. Being Texas, there was quite a bit of interest in broadcasting the football games and using the broadcasts to teach sports journalism.

This is a trend that we are seeing where a number of our schools are running their radio stations as part of their journalism programs. We are also seeing this with commercial customers too where many journalism outlets are broadcasting and podcasting quite a bit.

It is quite a bit of work to run a station, a full week of programming is 168 hours! Often the most interesting and compelling programming is something that resonates well with the community of the station. A high school is one of the centers of the community and it is a great place for students to learn about story telling and connecting with their audience.

I’d also like to thank Scott Floyd and our friends at White Oak Independent School District for setting up and running the TCEA Radio Station. They broadcast new educational technology product reviews, expert interviews, conference updates and wrap-ups, as well as opportunities to win the latest SWAG!

Overall, it was a great experience and a good reason to leave New England in the winter!

For those of you that want the slides from the session here they are:

 


APME names Boston Herald Radio Innovator of the Year!

Michael Harrison - Talkers Magazine

Michael Harrison – Publisher and Editor, Talkers Magazine

“They put a radio station on a newspaper platform*”—and they just won the newspaper industry’s “Innovator of the Year” Award

Congratulations to Joe Sciacca, Tom Shattuck and the whole team at Boston Herald Radio on being named Innovator of the Year by the Associated Press Media Editors! The award points the way for newspapers around the world to transition with digital “media stations*”. Kudos to Michael Harrison, Talkers Magazine president, for coining *these phrases to predict and inspire the very success that the Boston Herald has proven to be possible. We at Backbone are proud to have helped and thankful for our relationships with such visionaries as Joe, Tom and Michael.

The coveted APME innovation award recognized the Herald for “its innovative platform called Boston Herald Radio that is fully integrated with its print, online and video divisions.”

“Innovator of the Year is a prestigious national award that speaks to a news organization’s innovative and creative approaches to reach their audience,” said Joe Hight, a member of APME’s executive committee and awards program chair. “The Boston Herald shows it is a leader in the country by winning this award. Boston Herald Radio is not only innovative but practical. The Boston Herald should be congratulated for winning this tough competition against other innovative news organizations that are investing and building for the future. They show us that journalism is as strong as ever,”

“The Boston Herald isn’t just a newspaper, it’s a newsroom, and with Herald Radio it has become a leading example of journalists aggressively mastering and using each medium to its full potential to get the news out,” Desaulniers said. “It is, quite simply, pioneering and innovative.”

Pat Purcell and Joe Sciacca

Pat Purcell and Joe Sciacca

Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell said, “This distinguished national award is a tribute to the finest multimedia newsroom in the city led by our cutting-edge Boston Herald Radio platform. I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible work our staff does every day. It is absolutely innovative — and it is incredibly rewarding to see that recognized by our peers in journalism.”

“Herald Radio has enhanced our journalism, expanded our reach and empowered us to cover and present news in a true multimedia way in real time,” Sciacca said. “But it wouldn’t work without the energy and commitment of our entire newsroom. I couldn’t be prouder of our staff. This award demonstrates that they are setting a new standard for our industry.”

For a sense of what happens when you embed a radio station in the newsroom watch the video that the Boston Herald submitted.

 

 

How Internet Radio Royalties Flow

We, naturally, get a lot of calls from professionals interested in starting their own Internet radio stations. After we explain how easy it is to launch and operate a complete radio station in the cloud, using our Backbone Radio and Backbone Talk services, we are usually asked about how Internet radio royalty rights are handled and paid. Recently we found an excellent visual aid to help you follow the money, and we want to share it with you.

As you probably already know, broadcasters are responsible for their content, as well as any and all royalties that need to be paid on their stream. If you are a customer of Backbone, you have seen this laid out in the Backbone Networks Terms of Service, where section 2 lists the station’s responsibilities. Chief among them is that the broadcaster must have or must secure the rights to the content that they are broadcasting.  In other words, you must own the content or you must get a license to broadcast it, especially to stream it.

Let’s assume that you have secured those rights either with a direct license or a statutory license. Where do the Internet radio royalty payments go? The Future of Music Coalition and the Berklee College of Music have put together a great infographic on how this works.

royalty-flow-radio

Royalty Flow for non-interactive Internet Radio

As you can see, terrestrial radio broadcasters are not required to pay royalty payments for performances, but non-interactive Internet radio broadcasters are. Nonetheless, Internet radio continues to grow, while terrestrial radio continues to decline.

We hope you enjoy this infographic. Please let us know if it helps you envision the flow a little better.

Congratulations to the Boston Herald, finalist as national media ‘Innovator’

Boston Herald Radio - Backbone RadioWe love it when our customers are recognized for their achievements. The Boston Herald was just named one of three national finalists for the prestigious Innovator of the Year award by the Associated Press Media Editors for creating Boston Herald Radio and integrating the new platform with their multimedia newsroom.

The Boston Herald was one of our first integrated media customers, and they have spurred us to add new functions and features to our Talk Radio products. We are proud to have a part in their continuing success.

Broadcast Beat Review of Backbone Talk

Broadcast Beat MagazineWe’d like to thank Jeff Adams for taking the time to review Backbone Talk, our Voice over IP (VoIP) Talk Radio Phone System for Broadcast Beat Magazine. In the review he walks through the product showing how you screen calls, make notes, place certain callers on a blacklist and put them on the air.

 

There is quite a bit there to see in the video review. What you might not get from watching the review is the quality of the calls. The connections between the caller and the talent determines the overall quality of sound you would hear. For example, if some one calls in from a mobile phone with little signal you will hear the degraded quality. The connection from the cell-phone to the tower would most likely be weakest link.

Old wireline phones use a narrowband speech codecs like G.711 which in general are optimized 300–3400 Hz audio. For standard phone calls Backbone Talk uses the G722 Codec. G722 provides improved speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz. G.722 samples audio data at a rate of 16 kHz (using 14 bits), double that of traditional telephony interfaces like G.711. The result is superior audio quality and clarity. A difference you can certainly hear.

We will be writing more on this topic and ways that we are delivering high quality audio for our customers. Please leave your comments below on what you would like to hear from us on this topic.

 

 

Nieman Lab on the Future of Local Journalism

Nieman Lab LogoThe Nieman Lab, part of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, just ran a lead article by Joseph Lichterman on the how local newspapers are hoping online radio can be a growth area. Nice mentions of a number of our customers, the Omaha World-Herald, Hersam Acorn Newspapers and the Boston Herald.

The article confirms what we have seen over the last few years, a blurring of the lines between traditional media outlets, television, newspapers and radio. More and more outlets are becoming what Michael Harrison from Talkers Magazine calls a media station. From the article:

As Internet radio and podcasting have become more prominent in recent years, a number of local newspapers — from small community chains like Hersam Acorn, which owns 18 local papers, to metro dailies like The Boston Herald — have launched online radio stations.

It’s easy to understand why else Internet radio might be appealing to local newspapers. Radio has traditionally a local business — bound by the strength of a transmitter’s signal the same way a newspaper was defined by how far delivery trucks could drive in the morning. Local news and talk radio has been reduced to just NPR stations — if that — in many markets, leaving a potential market open. And the same force that worries terrestrial broadcasters — the coming of the connected car, where tuning into a podcast or streaming radio station is just as easy as finding something on your FM dial — is a potential opportunity for newcomers.

Most large metropolitan newspapers have a significant presence in the community. Radio is another way to get the news out.

With the release of Backbone Talk we have made it easier for stations to get on the air, get out of the studio and connect with the community.  We anticipate helping more local newspapers find their voice through radio. How do you see the industry evolving? Leave you comments below.