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 

Legendary Programmer David Bernstein Named GM of TalkersRadio

We’re thrilled to learn that TalkersRadio, the new 24/7 Internet Talk Radio station being developed as an experimental “skunkworks” and farm system for talk shows, will be managed by David Bernstein. From Talkers Magazine, Wednesday July 3, 2013 edition.

Legendary Programmer David Bernstein Named General Manager of TalkersRadio.
David Bernstein
Prolific radio industry programming and management executive David Bernstein has been named general manager of TalkersRadio, the online experimental talk radio station being developed by TALKERS magazine for launch in mid-August.  Bernstein, a leading talk industry consultant and talent coach, has served as PD, OM or GM of such heritage stations as WOR, New York; WRKO, WBZ, and WAAF, Boston; WTIC, Hartford;  WPRO, Providence; and KVON, Napa/San Francisco among others as well as VP/programming of Air America.

Kevin CaseyTalkersRadio will operate as a 24/7/365 streaming station located on the TALKERS website (www.talkers.com) with links strategically situated on major aggregating portals and websites on the internet. Its primary target audience will be members of the broadcasting industry itself, serving as what TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey describes as a “laboratory or somewhat of a ‘skunkworks’ where we can experiment with talk shows that fall outside the typical and safe fare found on AM/FM radio.”  Casey continues, “It will be an industry farm system, gym and spring training camp all rolled into one where new show ideas and programming concepts can be developed in a professional setting with high standards but without the restraints of commercial, ratings or corporate pressure that currently restrict most professional operations from doing what radio MUST do to survive in the long term, and that is to take chances.  It will not only be a place to nurture new talent but a platform upon which current well-known players can work out new approaches to their craft. We are doing this as service to the talk radio industry, which, of course, is keeping with the mission of TALKERS magazine.”

Michael HarrisonOn announcing the appointment, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The acquisition of the full time services of David Bernstein is a major coup for us – one that we have been working on for almost a year, while he’s been finishing up a number of projects for which he was responsible as president of Bernstein Talent.  I have known David for almost 25 years and consider him to be one of the most intelligent, creative, versatile and talent-friendly radio managers I have ever met.  He is a man of vision and integrity.  All of us at TALKERS are absolutely delighted!” Bernstein states, “This is a radio ‘dream job’ and I am enthusiastic beyond words about the challenge ahead whereby I can hopefully be part of an initiative that will ‘make a difference’ in the radio business.”  His responsibilities in the new position include scouting, recruiting and developing talent for TalkersRadio as well as advising its day-to-day operations and entering into strategic partnerships with other broadcasting operations.  He states, “We will be developing Talkers magazine logoTalkersRadio as a showcase and workshop for new programs to play ‘out of town’ so to speak in front of listening audiences before they open on the big stages of the business.  TalkersRadio will give some suddenly-terminated hosts the opportunity to do farewell shows for their listeners and ‘bridge shows’ to carry them to their next gig. It will be a place for ‘orphan shows’ that don’t quite fit existing AM/FM formats to get an airing and see if they have traction.  We will give some existing high-profile talent the opportunity to do programs about subjects that they are not ‘known’ for doing within their present situations.  For example we are in discussions with a major political news/talk personality who has always had the desire to do a show about metaphysics and parapsychology – stay tuned, it will be mega-cool.”

In addition to his responsibilities with TalkersRadio, Bernstein will advise operations of its sister platform PodJockey (“a boutique for outstanding podcasts”) and assume a seat on Backbone Logothe TALKERS editorial board.  He can be contacted at david@talkers.com. TalkersRadio will utilize the groundbreaking software developed by its technical partners Backbone Networks of Westborough, Massachusetts, revolutionizing the convenience and accessibility of remote spoken word internet broadcasting.  

TALKERS Magazine to Launch TalkersRadio

TalkerRadio Backbone SigningTo Debut to Broadcast Entire “Talkers New York 2013” Live. TALKERS magazine announces the launch next week of “TalkersRadio” – a 24/7/365 streaming spoken-word internet radio station that will be available to listeners on the trade publication’s website, www.talkers.com and feature a unique brand of stationality that, as publisher Michael Harrison describes, “views the world through the lens of the talk media industry.”

TalkersRadio’s mission will be to serve as:

    1. a laboratory for interesting new concepts and talent in talk;
    2. a farm system to help develop deserving up-and-comers;
    3. a real-time stage for talent to audition for specific jobs and opportunities;
    4. a platform for “bridge shows” – a new device by which suddenly terminated AM/FM talk show hosts can do a series of final shows to say goodbye to their listeners and/or announce their upcoming plans within a radio show context;
    5. a vehicle for “orphan shows” – programs that do not conveniently fit into prevailing AM/FM station format categories;
    6. a showcase for new and adventurous programming concepts and ideas; and
    7. a medium to exclusively broadcast TALKERS magazine live events such as the annual convention next week and Talk Radio Day at the United Nations the following day.

TalkersRadio will also carry several “regularly scheduled” programs to give it, as Harrison describes, “the feel and consistency” of a real radio station.  Some of these will be talk shows about the industry and others will just be talk shows about life in general.  “The key,” according to Harrison, “is most of the programming will be the type that is unavailable elsewhere.”  TalkersRadio has been in development for the past year and a half and is a joint project betweenTALKERS parent company Talk Media, Inc. and Westborough, Massachusetts-based firm Backbone Networks Corporation.  It will feature a leading-edge concept in broadcasting technology developed by Backbone that makes it extremely convenient and affordable for talk show hosts to do a fully produced program – with live callers and guests – from an amazingly simple technical remote and portable set up.

According to Harrison, “Our partners at Backbone are technical wizards.  Having them power this operation will give us the flexibility and means to really make a significant contribution to talk radio as both a cultural art form and a 21st century-rooted business — the ongoing mission of TALKERS magazine.”  Further developments about TalkersRadio will be posted in the coming days and weeks.

Your Station Anywhere — How Might This Tagline Change Your Radio Future?

Finding the right motto or tagline is tougher than we imagined. We had to struggle to distill our message into as few words as possible, yet convey the essence of what makes Backbone Radio unique.  Our previous tagline was “Internet Radio Simplified”. That expression was correct, but it didn’t tell people how radio can be great again.

Backbone Networks - Your Station AnywhereWe like our new tagline better, because it concisely says what we provide: freedom and power. How’s that? Let’s examine the tagline to see what we mean, starting with the noun.

STATION
Backbone creates Internet radio stations. We aren’t in the business of producing “shows” or time slots on existing radio stations.  A station is a 24/7, round-the-clock entity, and it always has programs running no matter when a listener tunes in.  Maybe listeners will find your station on your station’s website and listen there; maybe on an Internet tuner like TuneIniTunes or dar.fm. Maybe on their laptop, desktop, iPhone or Android, or any of hundreds of devices like Roku or their car’s digital dashboard.

The station is what listeners search for. A program or show is what’s playing when they find your station.  So, your station could include your show, your choice of PSA’s or none at all, shows contributed by your esteemed colleagues or best friends, shows contributed by people who pay you to air them, or any other audio content you choose. That is the importance of the word YOUR.

YOUR
In traditional over-the-air (OTA) radio, your job is at the will of someone else. Ultimately, that other person is the OTA station owner.  He chooses who to hire and who to fire based on fundamental economics, the same way he makes decisions about transmitter maintenance and janitorial services. Your job is always on the line.

You UsYou prove your value by bringing in listeners and creating a following, which in turn brings in revenue from sponsors and advertisers. Your value has to pay for your salary plus millions of dollars worth of annual station operating costs.

Imagine for a moment that you converted that value to a station that had no existing overhead burden; you retain your following, your loyal sponsors and you build your own station.  You are the station owner, and you call the shots.  This is now YOUR station, so where do you put it?

ANYWHERE
This is the key word. Anywhere.  The power of radio has always been its ability to connect with people at a very personal level.  Want to cover a concert or conference, broadcast an interview from the mayor’s office, or do your show from Cancun? You have the freedom to pick up and go out into the community where things are happening making your radio station more personal.

Obviously, you will need some overhead, but how much?  Well, for starters, on the Internet you don’t have to build a tower, so no requirement for real estate, not to mention permission from the FCC, FAA or any other government bureau.  And you don’t have to sit in the same old studio day after day. You are free to take your studio with you…anywhere.

Liz Claiborne Radio RowBecause your Backbone Radio station resides “in the cloud”, your live studio can simply be “a Mac and a mic”, plus maybe a small mixer, in your backpack. As long as you can find an Internet connection (WiFi, 3G/4G, WiMax or other) you can be broadcasting live. Your other hosts for your other shows can similarly go live from their Macbooks from wherever they are at the time.

And since your archived programs and audio, syndicated content, and a very powerful automation system also reside in your station in the cloud, just stop your live broadcast session, and your automated program schedule takes over. Your studio is wherever you are, and your station is always on the air.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. YOUR STATION ANYWHERE.  It is a complete radio station, you are in control, and you are free to take it wherever you want without limitation. Now you know what we meant by our tagline and how Backbone is changing radio forever.

Internet Radio Takes SxSW Music Live, Worldwide, with a Berklee Finale

South By Southwest just keeps getting bigger and better, and we had the pleasure of bringing a lot of the entertainment live to music fans around the globe this year.  Teaming up with the “Indie Ambassadors” of Presskit.to, we helped create the majority, if not all, of the live radio coverage from Austin.  In fact, in the entire SxSW Trade Show Exhibition, Backbone was the only exhibitor under the category of “radio”.

Ben Maitland-Lewis - Whole Foods, AustinAs we mentioned in our previous post, we planned to broadcast three large events, including one from the Whole Foods“mothership” store and the RockSXSW day party from the world famous Maggie Mae’s Gibson Lounge on Sixth Street.  What we didn’t tell you is our fourth music showcase would be the eighth annual Berklee College of Music’s SxSW Day Party.

See the Berklee Blogs for more photos and artist lineup on this excellent party.

We at Backbone are proud to have the opportunity to work with Presskit.to on these productions, and to have helped all of these artists reach a much wider audience from the Live Music Capital of the World.

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.

Emmanuel Goes Mobile With Internet Radio Broadcasting

HigherEdTechDecisionsWe 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.

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

Future of Music Coalition’s E-Summit + Backbone Internet Radio

This week’s guest blog post is from Charles McEnerney, Principal, Layers Marketing and Host,Well-Rounded Radio.  He is helping to coordinate this event and working to get the word out well beyond the actual conference.

fmc12-bannerOn Tuesday, November 13th, the Future of Music Coalition will hold its 11th annual Summit in Washington, DC, this year at the New America Foundation from 9 AM-6 PM EST / 6 AM-3 PM PDT.  This year’s event is now at capacity and sold out!

As you may know, the Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in June 2000 by musicians, artist advocates, technologists, and legal experts, the Future of Music Coalition works to ensure that musicians have a voice in the issues that affect their livelihood. FMC’s activities are rooted in real-world experiences and ambitions of working musicians, whose perspectives are often overlooked in policy debates.

Over the years, FMC has provided an important forum for discussion about issues at the intersection of music, technology, policy, and law.

I’ve known about the Future of Music Coalition since 2001 and interviewed two of its co-founders,Jenny Toomey and Michael Bracy for my podcast, Well-Rounded Radio, an interview series featuring musicians and music industry thought leaders.

In 2011 I helped FMC with their Artist Revenue Streams research project, where we asked the question, “How are today’s musician’s earning money?” More than 5,000 US musicians and composers took the survey and the final results have been presented at dozens of music conferences around the world to help people understand changes and trends in how to make a living when making music.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working with George Capalbo and Paul Kamp of Backbone Internet Radio on the JP Music Festival, a music festival in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood featuring more than 25 artists. The goal of the festival was to put some of our favorite local musical talent in front of a larger audience, The festival, just in its second year and attracting 1,500 people, was heard by more than 9,000 people over the course of one September day with Backbone’s help.

Working with Boston colleges Emmanuel College Radio and Simmons College Radio and their radio stations to broadcast the concert live, it was also distributed through the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System and TuneIn to reach music fans around the world.

For a tiny, new festival to have this reach was extremely exciting for the festival organizers as well as all the musicians who performed and had the opportunity to reach new ears and fans. It helped get the festival’s brand to a global audience and gave all the participating artists another way to reach potential fans. The webcast also gave our sponsors and underwriters exposure through both the live broadcast and post-event plays.

Given the Future of Music Coalition’s mission “that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want,” we wanted to look at new ways to reach people working in the music industry with this daylong event. Streaming audio from the Summit with Backbone Internet Radio is a terrific way for FMC to do that.

Backbone will help with FMCs streaming the event on November 13th, but they’ve also set up apreview station broadcasting now, which features highlights from past Future of Music Summits to give listeners a sneak preview of the kinds of subjects and ideas to be discussed this year. It was quick and simple to set up the station, using Backbone’s OnAirStudio and OnAirDisplay software.

Ultimately, the Future of Music Coalition is going to reach many more people across the US and through this audio stream, helping the organization to accomplish its mission and goals by educating and inspiring musicians.

The speakers and panels at the Summit will tackle big-picture issues like:

    • new ideas about how musicians are making a living
    • federal policies that impact musicians
    • insights and strategies from music industry insiders

View the full event’s schedule.

It’s a great event for musicians, entrepreneurs, academics, legal professionals, technologists, and media personnel.

Everyone listening to the event from around the US and world can ask questions of our live speakers and panelists via social media, as well via:

Need a reminder? RSVP for the E-Summit on Facebook or sign up for an email reminder from FMC.