Alt Newspaper Teams with Community Radio to Serve New England’s Second City

New England’s second largest city has its first community “media station”, a term coined by Talkers Magazine. Worcester Magazine, the city’s alternative newsweekly, has teamed with Unity Radio, a community-focused online andBackbone powers newspaper radio station low-power FM (LPFM) radio station, to create “ a joint venture unlike anything else in the Worcester media landscape”. The station’s technology, unlike traditional stations resides in “the cloud”, virtualized — without physical hardware, bricks or mortar.

The new media enterprise, which is based on all the elements of Backbone’s Production Suite™, was “soft-launched” during the city’s municipal elections November 7. The station intends to draw upon the resources of both WoMag and Unity’s non-profit parent, Pride Productions, as well as popular, local talk radio talents, like veteran morning host and news director Hank Stolz.

Backbone powers community radio

Worcester Magazine at local elections on Unity Radio, powered by Backbone

During election night, Unity Radio set up operations in Worcester City Hall awaiting ballot counts, where they interviewed candidates (using Backbone Producer™), took listener phone calls (Backbone Talk™), and aired studio-quality remotes from reporters with smartphones around the city (Backbone Co-Host™ with LUCI™ Global). The live production was streamed online (Backbone Radio™) and fed through a low-latency IP connection (Backbone Syndicate™) from the cloud to Unity’s new LPFM transmitter located several miles away.

Read more here: “Worcester Magazine, Unity Radio announce online station

RadioWorld Spotlights Remote Broadcast Technology @ Boston’s JP Music Fest

Backbone remote radio broadcast from JP Music Fest

Ben Maitland-Lewis interviews Boston-area recording studio owner Dan Cardinal at the Jamaica Plain Music Festival. The Backbone Network’s control panel is on the computer screen.

There’s something about a nationwide snowstorm that makes us wax nostalgic about what we did last summer. Sure, we were busy last summer developing sports and talk radio, as well as getting one of the country’s top newspapers broadcasting live online.  But we also took time to smell the roses and listen to the music.

The first week of September we again helped Boston’s Jamaica Plain Music Fest showcase local musical talent to an audience that now spans the globe.  One of the coordinators of the event, Charles McEnerney, wrote up a user report for RadioWorld Magazine, describing how he was able to do this “smoothly and professionally” on a limited budget, and what equipment he used to broadcast the two-stage event.  McEnerney, a respected media consultant at Layers Marketing, also compares the broadcast with what he did for the Future of Music Coalition (futureofmusic.org), at their annual Future of Music Summit.

And while we have the opportunity, we would like to thank the on-air talent who turned a great event into great radio: Boston TV and radio personality Melissa Gaudette and Ben Maitland-Lewis, CEO of Presskit.to.

See the tech report at User Report: Backbone Brings Music Festival to the Masses 

Join the Parties at SXSW — In Person, or on the Radio

South by Southwest (SXSW) is the place to be for music and entertainment, and you can be there even if you don’t have the travel budget. This year Backbone is teaming with Presskit.to as they broadcast a number of parties and showcases from Austin, TX during SXSW — Live on your phone, computer or other device.  We’ll be using the twitter hashtag #SXSWRADIO if you would like to follow along as we move from event to event.

SXSW Presskit.to RadioLeading up to SXSW Events:

Presskit.to will be broadcasting a number of events leading up to SXSW from their studios in Charlestown.  Here are a few:

Wednesday March 6th, 8:00AM

Nobody’s Robots – A Farewell to Piebald – ALL DAY

The final recorded live performance from Boston’s Piebald. We’ll be playing the show from start to finish over and over and over. Be sure to tune in!

Thursday March 7th, 5:00PM

Presskit.to Bus Sessions from SXSW 2012

Featuring stripped down recordings from, I the Mighty, Ximena Sariñana, Crocodiles, Chamberlin, The Shills, Waters, PAPA, The Spinto Band, Herra Terra, Sean Bones, Sun Hotel, Eyes Lips Eyes

Thursday March 7th, 8:00PM

The Life Electric, Live in Studio.  This event is still coming together so check the Presskit.to web-site for more details.

Your current lineup of SxSW events:

Whole Foods Eat n GreetOn Monday, March 11th, 5:00-9:00PM they will be broadcasting the SXSW Full Circle Eat n’ Greet at Whole Foods, presented by Circle Media & Marketing. Stop by the Whole Foods at 4301 W. William Cannon Drive in Austin for a stellar lineup and great food!

RockSxSWOn Thursday, March 14th, they will have another great line up as they broadcast the Rock SXSW day party from the legendary Maggie Mae’s rooftop at 323 East 6th Street in Austin between 11:30AM and 5:30PM.

Focus Event at SXSWLater on Thursday, they’ll be broadcasting an eclectic mix of bands and EDM artists from Big Bangs at 415 East 6th street, Austin between 7:00PM and 2:00AM so TUNE IN!

Follow Backbone and Presskit.to on Twitter and Facebook for more information on these and other events.  For more information visit the main Presskit.to page for SXSW where we will provide continuous updates.

Presskit.to is a small group of entrepreneurs with a diverse, collective background in music, business, technology, and marketing. Their multimedia portfolio solution empowers over 3000 artists and entertainment companies worldwide.

Major League Lacrosse — Broadcasting via Internet Radio

Radio World logoEvery week last season Major League Lacrosse broadcast at least one game live. Initially starting with the ESPN feed of the game of the week, transitioning to their own broadcasters and then to taking live calls before games and during half time. And Backbone was with them every step of the way and for that opportunity we are grateful! In traditional broadcast media doing a live remote (or outside broadcast) is very expensive. There are lots of moving parts and pieces to coordinate. The set up and tear down alone is quite time consuming. With Backbone’s help, Major League Lacrosse took steps to simplify what they needed to do to get their broadcasts on the air.

MLL Championship at Harvard StadiumAfter talking to traditional broadcasters and getting quotes on what it would take do these remotes the old way they turned to Backbone. We showed them how “With a Mac and a Mic” (and an Internet connection) they would be able to take their show on the road from week to week and run a very high quality broadcast. This week they told their story to Radio World Magazine in the streaming edition.  It is a great read and even mentions things we have in the works . . . but not announced.  Stay tuned for more about what we have been up to.

Future of Music Coalition event today

fmc12-bannerToday, you can listen to in on the Future of Music Coalition Summit.  Here is the current schedule of events:

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM
Welcome+

9:05 AM – 9:25 AM
In Conversation: Tim Westergren of Pandora

9:30 AM – 10:10 AM
Expression Obsession: IP Enforcement & Internet Openness

10:15 AM – 10:35 AM
In Conversation: Daniel Raimer of RapidShare

10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
Presentations from Artist Growth, CASH Music, HugeFan and Songkick

11:40 PM – 12:50 PM
LUNCH: In Conversation with Thomas Frank, Sascha Meinrath & Rebecca Gates

12:50 PM – 1:30 PM
Radio-active: Internet Broadcasting and Artist Compensation

1:35 PM – 2:30 PM
Making Music-Making Work for Working Musicians

2:30 PM – 2:50 PM
Keynote: Senator Ron Wyden

2:50 PM – 3:10 PM
Artist Revenue Streams Presentation: Leverage

3:10 PM – 3:50 PM
Why Pussy Riot Matters

3:55 PM – 4:35 PM
The Intersection of Data, Policy and the Arts Sector

4:40 PM – 5:15 PM
Election Day Aftermath & The Arts

5:20 PM – 6:00 PM
In Conversation: Merrill Garbus, Thao Nguyen, Chris Walla and Jordan Kurland

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Gibson Guitar Washington D.C. Showroom
Cocktail Party hosted by MailChimp

* All items and speakers subject to change

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.

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.

TuneIn Creates Internet Radio Channel For Hot 97 Summer Jam

HOT97-Summer-2012Congratulations to our partner TuneIn and Emmis Communications on the successful launch of their Internet only HOT 97 Summer Jam station in New York City.  Radio Ink mentions that the new channel will feature uncensored and uninterrupted music from from event headliners, including; Nicki Minaj, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and Trey Songz. Listeners will also hear archived performances from past Summer Jams.

TuneIn, a free service that lets people listen to music, sports and news from all over the world, has partnered with the #1 station for hip hop and R&B in the tri-state area, WQHT-FM, “HOT 97” to create a first-of-its-kind station, showcasing the world’s premier hip hop festival, HOT 97 Summer Jam. For the first time, fans can experience nearly two decades of HOT 97’s Summer Jam from anywhere in the world, on any of the 150 devices and apps which carry the TuneIn service.

This collaboration enables HOT 97 to expand the content it distributes to hip hop fans and illustrates how broadcasters are using the TuneIn platform to distribute programming which can help expand their over-the-air brand.  The radio industry is rapidly transitioning to digital formats, and traditional radio stations are working quickly to adapt and compete in an evolving streaming and digital landscape.

We expect that this will be come a new model for traditional terrestrial stations to follow extending their programming within their community and enabling them to be heard anywhere, without restrictions or boundaries.

On to New Hampshire! Student Radio Network to cover the primary

GOP DebatesThe first caucus of the Presidential Election season is over in a photo finish with Mitt Romney barely squeaking out a victory over Rick Santorum with Ron Paul finishing a close third.  The race lost one participant, Michelle Bachmann, and it is now on to New Hampshire for the first primary of this election cycle.

Following up our recent efforts with Talkers Magazine we are heading up to New Hampshire to cover the primary.  We will have Emma Bisogno from Simmons College Radio, Joseph Jack Horgan from Emmanuel College Radio and a number of people from Zumix Radio to cover the event.  While there we hope to catch up with Oliver Janney who works for CNN and is the faculty advisor for Goucher College radio.

Listen in to their coverage and reporting on their stations or on other Student Radio Network stations.  It should be an interesting event.

CMJ Events, Broadcasting from Fontana’s and Radio Panel

Pirate Promotions LogoIf you are attending CMJ then stop by and visit Backbone Networks.  Today we will be broadcasting live at from Fontana’s with Pirate! from Noon to 6:00PM at the Pirate! Party Extravaganza.  Of course you are invited. Just RSVP on the facebook event page.  Come on by and learn about running a live remote in the Internet age.  While you are at it talk to George about the things we have been working on in the last year with our partners.

The schedule for today is:

12:00 – Doors Open
12:30 – The One & Nines
1:20 – The Great Book Of John
2:10 – Army Navy
3:00 – Fairmont
3:50 – Nick Diamonds (of Islands)
4:40 – Hollerado
5:30 – Curfew

Stations Broadcasting live include:

Long Island University (WLIU), Brooklyn, NY

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ

Emmanuel College, Boston, MA

Manhattan Marymount College, New York NY

CJLO, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Breakthrough Radio, New York, NY

You can listen in live on TuneIn Radio.

Tomorrow Backbone’s George Capalbo will be on the Digital Music Servicing, Radio Revamp panel at CMJ.  The session is at 2:00PM and will cover content distribution and broadcasting in the Internet age.  Hope to see you there!