Broadcasting the SF Music Tech Summit

sfmusictech2012Today is the SF MusicTech Summit.  It brings together visionaries in the evolving music, business and technology ecosystem, along with the best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, journalists, musicians, and organizations who work with them at the convergence of culture and commerce. We meet to do business and discuss, in a proactive, conducive to dealmaking environment.

While Backbone will not physically be there we are working with our friends at TuneIn to “webcast” the event.  Before the event starts we are playing audio from previous events and will switch to live programming when the sessions start.

The event has three tracks and we will be broadcasting all three tracks.  If you want to learn about the how music, technology and business come together TuneIn to this event.

IBS Student Radio Network underwriting opportunities

IBS LogoOver 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 underwriting@studentradionetwork.org.

Internet Radio Concert Promotion — 100,000 more attendees, no extra porta-potties

Eighteen years ago this week, in a previous life, George and I helped produce and broadcast Woodstock ’94 (Mudstock), and it was quite an experience, with 350,000 people in attendance. This week, we got to participate in another weekend concert, Outside Lands in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and I marvel at how differently big events can now be covered.

outsidelands logoAt Woodstock, we had dozens of television trucks and vans with satellite uplinks, requiring connectivity to and between the two stages, which was our primary responsibility as “fiber optic gurus”. For the most part, all of these broadcasters were on site to provide live news feeds for networks and local stations, as well as the occasional celebrity interview.  The complexity and cost was huge, while virtually none of the concert entertainment was broadcast live.

Outside Lands Stage - 2012Fast forward to 2012.  Over the last few months, in partnership with TuneIn, we’ve enjoyed exploring how today’s music festivals can build their reach to a worldwide audience, without breaking the budget of the event promoters.  We started out with New York’s Hot 97 Summer Jam hip hop festival in June, helping Emmis Communications promote the event exclusively on TuneIn radio the week leading up to the concert, then live Internet radio coverage of the show, and then best-of the concert the week following.  It was a major hit.

So, with that success, Emmis decided to do similar promotion for their Power 106 concert in Los Angeles later that month. It, too, was a big success.

That brings us to Outside Lands–August 10-12, 2012.  TuneIn assembled the team for this broadcast, with not only Backbone Networks but also a professional broadcast team with deep experience in branded radio stations, RFC Media from Houston, TX.  Unlike Woodstock, this concert was broadcast live, and it required no trucks, no satellite uplinks and a minimal crew…all with just “a Mac and a mic”.RFC Media Tent - Outside Lands

Results?  It was unquestionably another big success.  While Golden Gate park only holds about 65,000 people for an event like this, through Backbone Internet radio and TuneIn, over 100,000 unique listeners around the world tuned in for nearly half a million listener sessions.  What amazes me is that a regional concert in San Francisco can pull listeners from all over the world, as you can see in the listener cluster “hot spot” map for the concert week (click to enlarge).

Outside Lands Listener MapLike every other business activity, concert promotion has now been changed by the Internet, specifically Internet radio in this case. Going forward, we will learn even more about how to have the greatest impact and highest return on a very small investment.  We’ll share that with you.

Next up for TuneIn, RFC Media and Backbone: The Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle on Labor Day Weekend.

Peace, love and radio.

Now for the Live Remote – A Huge Concert, Free on the Internet

Last week we told you about the launch of New York’s Hot 97 Summer Jam Internet-only radio station, promoting the upcoming, annual Summer Jam concert this Sunday, June 3rd.  Well, TuneIn and Emmis Communications just revealed that for the first time ever the concert itself will be broadcast free from the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to the world, exclusively on this same TuneIn station.

As you’ve probably figured out, Hot 97’s Summer Jam station, including all Internet radio broadcast and production, is supplied by Backbone Networks, using Backbone’s unique cloud-based broadcast and automation infrastructure.  The broadcast-from-anywhere, “live remote” capability of Backbone’s infrastructure is what enables professional broadcasters to simplify their event-based Internet radio production, using equipment as basic as “a Mac and a mic”.

The TuneIn connection is what makes a station like this so easy to find and far reaching. “TuneIn takes people places. This collaboration with HOT 97 speaks to the power of TuneIn to expand unique experiences like Summer Jam to wider audiences, taking people to events and places in ways that were never before possible,” said John Donham, CEO of TuneIn. “It is very fitting that HOT 97, one of the few truly global U.S. radio brands, team up with TuneIn to bring HOT 97’s Summer Jam to people all over the planet! We are delighted to be able to do so,” added Rick Cummings, President Programming, Emmis Communications.

Hot97 Summer JamThe Hot 97 Summer Jam 2012 concert kicks off at 7pm EST, with the Festival Village stage beginning at 2pm on Sunday (June 3).

Fans can access the free channel on TuneIn by searching “Summer Jam” on any of the 150 TuneIn platforms including smartphones apps, connected vehicle dashboards, Internet home entertainment systems and online at TuneIn.com.

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.

Liz Claiborne Talkers Magazine Talk Radio Event

Talkers magazineBackbone and IBS-SRN member station hosts Nicole Murphy from WLIU-BK Brooklyn and Alyssa DiNubila from WNEK Spingfield, MA were part of TALKERS magazine “It’s Time to Talk Day” — a massive radio row raising awareness about Domestic Violence, produced in association with its sister firm, Talk Radio News Service, and the corporate sponsorship of Liz Claiborne, Inc.

Held last week (12/8/11) in the fashion showroom of the Midtown Manhattan corporate offices of Liz Claiborne, Inc., the ambitious event was one of the largest and most successful, bringing together more than 20 talk media hosts from around the country who broadcasted their shows live or recorded interviews for delayed broadcast.

Alyssa NicoleAlyssa and Nicole had the opportunity to interview Wanda Lucibello, Faranaz Rodriguez , Napur Argarwal, among others, during the two hour event and rebroadcast on their home stations and made available to all the stations on the Student Radio Network.  It is also content that can be replayed later on any of the stations on the network.

The event generates some press in Talkers Magazine.  For some additional photos of the event check out Matthew Harrison’s photo account of the event along with my own Flickr album of the event.

This was a great event for Backbone and members of the Student Radio Network because it emphasized the benefits of being part of our network and how easy it is to set up and run a live remote.  We anticipate doing a number of these in the future starting with a live remote from the NH primary early next month.  Watch for more on that in the near future.