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:

 


Indiana Junior High Club Sets Example in College Radio Network

Lincoln Junior High School Radio Station Storm RadioIn the largest network of online college and high school radio stations, you would expect the biggest, most senior or most affluent of the student radio clubs to maintain the leadership role for its sister affiliate stations. However, a new affiliate station in Plymouth, Indiana has stepped up to become one of the nation’s most active and successful online stations, even though the station comprises the youngest group of broadcasters in the IBS Student Radio Network—and said to be the only 24/7 junior high radio station in the United States.

In little more than six months from launching Digital Storm Radio, the students of Lincoln Jr. High School, under the direction of Ms. Paula Neidlinger, have established their station as living example of what student-run radio can achieve. Not only have they brought home three first place awards from this year’s premier college IBS College Radio Awardbroadcasters’ conference in New York City and tackled the task of creating their own staff training videos, but they have found the elusive formula for funding their radio station through local sponsorships.

Winners in News, Sports, Talk
Last month at the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s 75th annual International Conference, the LJH Digital Storm team Lincoln Junior High School Radio Award Winnerswere finalists in five categories in the high school division, walking away with three wins: Best Spot News:  Trenton Arveson, Nikki Laucis, and Brittney Klotz;  Best Sports Update:  Soren Houin and Shaun Frantz; and Best Sports Program:  Adam Hunter and Korey Kopetski.

Storm Radio is one of the few “high school” stations to schedule live call-in talk shows, and has been a beta partner in testing our recently announced Backbone Talk™ broadcast phone system in the cloud. The LJH radio team saw this as an opportunity to put their own spin on documenting a new technology, so they applied their media expertise and made their own training video showing how to configure a mixing board for “mix-minus” and how to screen phone calls through their Mac® computers. We are proud to feature this video on the Backbone YouTube page.

How are they funding the station?
Tackling one of the most important, and difficult, subjects in broadcast media, the team have secured six sponsors from their community, including a funeral home, a pizza parlor, a Ford dealership and Coca Cola. Junior High Radio club finds community sponsorsIn addition to performing live reads, the students have produced commercials for each sponsor. These spots run throughout the day and night, using the Backbone Radio automation system.

More about Storm Radio
Storm Radio, is one part of the Interactive Media program at Lincoln Junior High (Plymouth, IN), which is a new program this year.  The radio station is a 24/7 Internet Radio with the call tag – STORM RADIO – “Ride the Waves.”  The radio station is Internet based, so it’s available through the TuneIn App on iOS and Android devices, the LJH DigitalStorm website-http://www.ljhdigitalstorm.com/ , and the Internet at: http://tunein.com/radio/Storm-Radio-s231710/    Students research, write, create, and broadcast daily and provide 100 percent of the programming.

 

 

We’re Part of the 27% and Proud of It

Internet Radio InfographicA recently released infographic from BrandSavant.com indicates that 53% of online Americans listen to “streaming audio” in one form or another. It distinguishes among three large categories: Personalized radio (Pandora and iTunes — music), On-Demand Music (esp. Spotify), and Live Streaming (TuneIn, Backbone and others).  Music, music and everything.

This could alternatively be framed as: Robot DJ, Infinite iPod and Radio.  Certainly, Pandora and Spotify perform their functions with wonderful precision, but neither fills the function of real online radio any more than MTV and VH1 complete the cable television experience.

Twenty-seven percent of the people, and we think that number will soar when in-car dashboards are better connected, listen to the thousands of live streaming stations available on tuners like TuneIn. And, what is the composition of the programming on these stations?  Much of it is music, some of it personally curated by talented program directors, and some of it produced on autopilot.  It takes a lot for a station to stand out among the crowd.

At Backbone, we’re fortunate to work with clients who really know what it takes to make radio great.  We work with faculty advisors who understand traditional radio and teach their students how to apply that experience into online radio which represents their colleges and high schools.  We work with seasoned news organizations and professionals to create compelling talk radio that engages listeners and callers from around the world.  We work with professional and Division 1 NCAA teams and leagues who create an exciting blend of live play-by-play with interactive halftimes and 24/7 team-related sports content.  This is real radio.

Music is wonderful, whether you listen to it passively or actively grab it on-demand.  But there is much more to radio than music, just as there is much more to music than radio.  We love being part of the 27% of the radio you can’t get from Pandora or Spotify.

Backbone Welcomes Buffalo Public Schools’ RadioARTS Station

We are proud to announce that the Buffalo Pubic School District has launched its first student run radio station: RadioARTS  The station was started in June, as part of the District’s  summer camp.  RadioARTS  now has an ambassador at each school in the district who will help create content for the station. Created by Jackie Albarella RadioARTS is dedicated to the arts and the community.  In addition to the station, RadioARTS has a blog and Facebook group, where its listeners can continue to keep in contact.  RadioARTS has a blog and Facebook group, where its listeners can continue to keep in contact.

Radio ARTS

The RadioARTS program includes students from the Buffalo Public Schools (grades 6-12) who develop programming for this online school radio station. Each student has the chance to create a program with either original music and musical playlists, theatrical pieces, and/or arts-related interviews. The content created is all recorded, edited, and broadcast by RadioARTS students participating in the program.

Student radio at Buffalo Public Schools

DJ Jordan in the Booth

The station’s stated goal in all RadioARTS programming is to “offer arts information and entertainment that is diverse, educational, enriching and fun. Our interviews will focus on our students interests, which may include programs that revolve around family members, BPS faculty, and a variety of arts supporters. RadioArts students will also create programs that focus on community issues, family heritage, and cultural events that relate to the arts. It is the hope of everyone at RadioARTS that in using this mode of communication, we will be able share the positive things that are going on within the Buffalo Public Schools and with our students to a wide-reaching audience. ”

RadioARTS is a member of the IBS Student Radio Network by Backbone and is supported by the Buffalo Public Schools Art Education Department and the Arts Service Initiative of Western New York.

Third Annual CHAMPSFEST – Arts & Entertainment Radio fund raiser

Champsfest 2012With tomorrow being High School Radio Day we wanted to tell you about the efforts of one of our High Schools.  Arts & Entertainment Radio (AER) presents the 3rd Annual CHAMPSFEST 2012 featuring 12 hours of non stop music from noon to midnight Saturday May 19th at CHAMPS Charter High School located at 6952 Van Nuys Boulevard, Van Nuys, CA 91405

The Beat Lab, Boom Room and Main Stage will feature the best of LA’s Underground Hip Hip, Electronica, Rock n Roll, and eclectic music scenes with headliners such as Blu, Shlohmo, Jonwayne, Doll-E Girl, Kosha Dilz and Canto. Food Trucks and fun activities will be available throughout the day and evening. Here are some of the activities:

25 Solo Performances
16 Bands
6 DJs
6 Food Trucks
2 Stages
12 Hours of Non-Stop Music
Video Game Room
Champs Charter Academy and Club Booths
Mehndi & Face Painting Area
and scores of other Champtivities

 

Tickets are $7 Pre-Sale and $10 at the door.  Order yours NOW at Brown Paper Tickets or CALL: 800-838-3006

For more CHAMPSFEST 2012 info visit the CHAMPSFEST website

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Artist links:

Blu

Shlohmo

Jon Wayne

Doll-E Girl

Kosha Dilz

 

Three College Radio Conferences in One Month. First, IBS in NYC

March has been a wonderful month of travel for Backbone, especially in support of the IBS Student Radio Network.  We put a lot of miles on our airline and Amtrak cards, hopping from New England to New York, to Texas and back to NYC, talking to students and media advisers at the IBS National ConferenceSouth by Southwest (SxSW) and the College Media Association’s NYC12 conference. I don’t have room to cover them all in this post, so I’ll just try to run through them one at a time in separate entries.

IBS NYC 2012
IBS LogoThe Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s annual National Conference at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania pulled in students and advisers from all over the country, the largest contingent being a dozen who flew in from Champs Charter High School in Los Angeles.  Champs’ AER station is currently the IBS-SRN’s most listened-to station, and with this kind of involvement, we can see why.  Plus, with so many compelling sessions running simultaneously, it takes a crew to cover them all adequately.

One thing we took away from this year’s conference is that we need another live broadcast position/station on our Radio Row, where students sign up for a 1-hour air shift on their own station or on the designated demo Internet radio station.  The signup sheet filled up in a very short period, and we want to accommodate all who are interested.

Because of the conference schedule, I didn’t personally get to see all of the live broadcasts, but the ones I did see were animated and great radio.  One of my favorites was the SUNY Fredonia onairFredonia group (pictured below) who jumped into the Backbone-driven Mac station for the first time and made it look like they were veterans of the system within a couple of minutes.  My other was the polished high school crew from Champs who interviewed Steely Dan’s guitarist Jon Herington and his band and persuaded them to do a live mini-concert for their AER audience.

We want to thank Cedric Watson and Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus (member station WLIU-BK) for hosting our annual pre-conference Network affiliates meeting. And thanks for giving all of the attendees a tour of your very cool facilities.  Of course, the meeting was followed by a tour of Brooklyn’s Junior’s Cheesecake across the street.

It was great to see representatives from so many of our stations’ schools, including Towson, CUNY Lehman, Baton Rouge’s Tara High School, College of the DesertSimmons College and so many more. Thanks to all who attended and participated, and we’ll see all of you at a regional IBS conference near you in the fall.

IBS Student Radio Network welcomes Champs Charter School

The IBS Student Radio Network welcomes its newest member Champs Charter School.

Founded by Dr. Norman Isaacs and a small group of concerned parents in 2005, CHAMPS Charter High School is an independent public high school offering small academic classes including honors and advanced placement, as well as comprehensive academies for dance, drama, film, music, new media and robotics. Students come from diverse backgrounds and a wide geographic area. Kindness and respect for one another predominate on the campus.