It’s another glorious April, and that means the broadcast world flocks to Las Vegas, where the National Association of Broadcasters event also attracts a cluster of affiliated conferences, and Backbone figures prominently in several of them.
On Sunday April 7, Backbone and TuneIn will team to broadcast the live proceedings of the Internet Radio industry’s most prominent event, the RAIN Summit (Radio and Internet Newsletter) from the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Speakers and panelists include representatives from Pandora, ESPN, TuneIn, SoundExchange and many more.
Starting on Monday, Backbone will be actively recruiting new college (and high school) radio stations to join the expanding IBS Student Radio Network by Backbone. Please stop by to visit our exhibit booth at the Broadcast Education Association’s BEA2013 Conference, also in the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton). We’ll show you how schools are taking their stations on the road for live events, using only a Mac and a mic.
And of course, NAB is the most exciting draw in the broadcast world, so we hope to see you there, too.
We are always looking for ways to help our radio stations operate more effectively and efficiently. We have recently come across a great tool to help DJs with a lot of their day to day efforts, Spinitron. Eva and Tom have put together a great solution. Let me tell you a bit more about what it does.
Spinitron is an online playlist management solution for non-commercial educational and community radio stations. It is all web based; there is no software to install. It provides sophisticated features for playlist data entry (manual & automated) and dynamic online publishing. It solves your data storage, archiving and security issues. You can integrate station schedule, current and historical playlists, as well as other custom elements, into your web site. You can put “Now Playing” on your home page, webcast stream, mobile apps, RDS and others.
With an advanced database design, Spinitron offers powerful data manipulation and analysis features. Compile Top-30 charts (or however many you like) with filtering by genre, time period, etc. Generate unlimited reports for CMJ, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange. Track the popularity of artists, disks and songs. Query how often certain disks get played. Produce reports of what DJs at the station are playing to give to record companies and promotional agencies. Stay connected with your listeners.
Watch for other interesting developments as we start working together with them on a few projects. Discover Spinitron with a 30-day no-obligation free trial. Contact: Eva Papp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-233-3115 to learn more.
We often write on our blog about how our stations are using or service to reach their audience. This time HigherEdTechDecisions did that for us. Their lead article today is on Emmanuel College ECRadio.
It is a great summary of what Emmanuel College radio is doing and how easy it is for them to operate a station and perform live remotes.
Be sure to tune into Fisk and Simmons College radio for their perspective on the election.
88.1FM WFSK Presents: Live Election Night Coverage of local, statewide & national races beginning right after the polls close at 7pm. Co-Anchored by Sharon Kay and Ron Wynn, WFSK will present on the ground perspective from key battleground states such as Ohio, Wisconsin & Virginia.
Hear the excitement as the returns come in from around Tennessee and other states. WFSK hopes you get a chance to tune in during the course of this historic election coverage. They stream at www.wfskfm.org or on Dar.fm or TuneIn.
Simmons College will be covering the election also but with a bit more of a slant toward Massachusetts politics because there school is not far from Romney headquarters. The stream at Simmons College Radio or on Dar.fm and TuneIn.
While hurricane Sandy has come and gone its impact is still being felt all of our stations stayed up and on the air. A good number of our college radio stations had school canceled and did not have access to their studios but they all remained on the air. This is enabled by the cloud based design and architecture of Backbone Radio and provides two major benefits.
The first is that your station is always available in the cloud. Your station is not running the servers, we are. And we have designed them to stay up and operational virtually all the time. When there have been outages in the past they are quite small and are often handled without the station’s intervention.
The second is that your studio is mobile. A few of our stations did not have access to their studios so could not broadcast live. If they planned ahead they could have broadcast live from anywhere there was an Internet connection.
Tres Wiggins, Marymount Manhattan: “We were on the air live when we could get an internet connection– but ran on backbone automation otherwise throughout, and working on post-storm coverage now”
Let’s hope the clean up goes well for all of those impacted. With our stations continually on the air they will be out there to bring you updates.
CMJ started yesterday in New York. As part of the broader CMJ Music Marathon Pirate! Promotionswill be broadcasting from Fontana’s today. Tune in for live segments on Long Island University, Brooklyn (WLIU-BK), Griffin Radio from Marymount Manhattan and WFDU Fairleigh Dickinsonstreams between 12:00PM and 6:00PM.
While we are on the topic of CMJ, for those of you that don’t know, CMJ connects music fans and music industry professionals with the best in new music through live events (like today’s event and Fontana’s and others throughout the city), interactive media and print. CMJ.com offers a digital music discovery service, information resources and community to new music fans, professionals and artists. CMJ Events produces the legendary CMJ Music Marathon, the largest and longest-running music industry event of its kind, in addition to live events and tours across the US.
If you are in the area please stop in to hear some great bands and connect with your friends. For more information read the recent article Board the CMJ “Pirate!” Ship on the Daily Rind, RSVP on the event facebook page but whatever you do, come on down.
I saw an interesting post on PolicyMic recently by Adam Hogue, where he relates his transition from a college radio broadcaster at Keene State to becoming an NPR listener, like his (egad) father, and the general decline of Radio from its golden era. What jumped off the page to me were his views about how the future of radio seems to be college radio, because it best serves today’s youth. Here are some of the verbatim nuggets that appealed to me:
- All around America, there are stations that people take regional pride in. Most of these stations turn out to be college radio stations.
- The radio is communication. It is part of our communities, and as long as it continues to evolve with the communities, it will not die.
- College radio should be the local voice of local youth. While radio is rapidly losing the young listeners demographic (people ages 12 to 24), I believe that it is the job of college radio to be the community alternative for young people.
- College stations need to be out there in the community and they need to stay relevant with their fan-base in order to grow. Young people have time to listen if they are given a reason to.
- People should be able to listen to programs from anywhere and enjoy them. Today, radio has the power to be anywhere; it is no longer confined to a frequency alone.
- Radio stations need to play music, no matter what the music is, and have local personalities that bring people in and keep them loyal…radio should be a way to learn about new music or just listen to what people have to say about it.
- It helps that most college radio stations receive a solid amount of money from the school.… A problem occurs when the school sees radio as outdated or too costly, and the station is sold off to a community.
As I see it, this short list distills down to three main points we need to focus on in order to escape the death spiral that’s enveloping Commercial Radio. Our College Radio stations (IBS Student Radio Network stations and others) need to:
- Create compelling content to attract and hold onto loyal, repeat listeners,
- Become an active participant in the community, no matter where your listeners are tuning in from, and
- Become monetarily self-sufficient to keep from becoming a burden on their schools’ budgets.
We’re going to need some time to look at each of these points and create a plan of attack. There are other necessary improvement points, to be sure, and I’d like your input on those, as well.
I would like to invite comments, emails and blog posts from interested station managers and faculty advisors. I think it’s time we put our collective network heads together and establish an action plan with some guidelines for how we might go about making these improvements.
Over the years many of the members of the IBS Student Radio Network have asked about finding sponsors and underwriters for their shows, segments and stations. This week we are launching a pilot program to work with some of the schools in finding underwriters and sponsors.
In the last year our stations have taken well over 1M listener connections. As the school year progressed the audience engagement increased by over 50% as measured by the average length of a listener session. Clearly the efforts of the schools to promote their stations and streams is making an impact.
Building off the success of the live events Backbone helped to power over the summer, from the HOT 97 Summer Jam in New York, to the Outside Lands in San Francisco to the recently concluded Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, we will start this year off with a bang by broadcasting the Jamaica Plain Music Fest on the Simmons and Emmanuel College station streams. These streams are available in the TuneIn tuner. For this weekend they will be at the top of the college radio section as a sponsored link.
The college demographic is clearly a target that sponsors and underwriters would like to reach. What better way than through the campus taste makers of the college radio stations. If you are interested in being a sponsor or underwriter please contact us at email@example.com.
How many times have you heard it: “Adapt or die”? It sounds heartless, yet it poses the essential question of radio’s survival. Is radio dying? Nope, but it is going somewhere else, and not by itself.
Take the recurring news of disappearing stations, like this post from the Dialy Iowan, College Radio Fights for Recognition, Funding. To summarize the article, it provides some color about what is happening at many campuses — funding is being cut for the radio station or that the school is selling off its terrestrial radio frequency. In these economic times, it must be difficult for an administration to pass up millions of dollars for an FM station that continues to be worth less as Internet radio starts to become dominant.
So, that raises the question of whether a school that agrees to sell off its terrestrial radio signal can actually support a broadcast journalism program. Well, it’s not only schools. All media are facing similar challenges and looking for the best ways to respond.
Throughout the industry, you can see signs of a growing creative trend: integrated media. For example, one of our newest member schools, Lehman College, has integrated its Internet radio station presence into its online newspaper, the Bronx Journal. Media integration such as this was a persistent theme we heard at the CMA conference in New York last month.
We are also seeing mixed modalities in the mainstream media. None other than the esteemed Wall Street Journal has integrated video into its site. The Boston Globe has its Globe 10.0 video. Sports radio powerhouse WEEI in Boston now has both an online presence and video on its site.
We first wrote about this in our white paper, The New Breed of College (and High School) Internet Radio-Surviving the Dinosaur. It is more apparent now. Journalism isn’t dying, either. It is transitioning to a new paradigm as radio becomes a big part of it. With evolving convergence occurring on the Internet, a college, university or high school can reach a much larger audience than it has in the past, using a truly integrated media strategy. It is the path to the future. Embrace it.