NEW YORK — Is investment in a publicly traded broadcast media company a wise one? Has Wall Street responded to the much-heralded benefits of NEXTGEN TV and the potential nontraditional revenue growth tied to the new ATSC 3.0 digital broadcast standard?
Those are just some of the questions addressed by an all-star panel of financial analysts, joined by one veteran media broker, at a Forecast 2022 morning session.
The impact of Qualcomm shutting down its Reciva internet radio aggregation platform earlier this year continues to reverberate through the internet radio manufacturing industry. The loss of this platform means Reciva-enabled internet radios can no longer connect to audio streams on the web — rendering them effectively useless.Grace Digital’s page for users affected by the Reciva shutdown.
Sangean Electronics is one of the manufacturers left stranded by the Reciva shutdown.
“The official date was April 30, 2021,” Sangean Marketing Director Andrew Wu said. “The response we got [from Qualcomm] was, ‘We have decided to withdraw this discretionary service, for business reasons. We wish you well in finding alternative solutions’.”
“It’s not the first internet radio platform to shut down,” said Wu. “But it is the first time for a supplier to not offer any viable solutions.”
“The shutdown was difficult on both the brands and customers who used Reciva-based devices,” said Greg Fadul, CEO and cofounder of Grace Digital, another internet radio manufacturer. “For Grace Digital, it’s been very difficult. We are a family-run business and we were partners and friends with the Reciva team. However, over the years Reciva was sold twice and the companies that acquired them decided that they would no longer support the legacy servers.”
Why did Reciva shut down?
Qualcomm has not responded to Radio World’s requests for interviews about the Reciva shutdown. However, internet radio manufacturers who supported this platform have offered several reasons for its demise.
First is the complexity and cost of running the Reciva platform. “Back in 2003 the processors in internet radios were extremely slow and had little memory, so Reciva’s strategy was for its servers to perform the heavy lifting with the radio only performing the basic streaming function,” said Fadul. “Their server system was not simply an internet radio station aggregator, but a high-end global array of dozens of servers located in key cities around the world. The server network provided radio authentication, managed log-ins for premium services, and various settings and configurations for the radios, among many other functions.”
Fast-forward 18 years and quality internet radios perform all those functions on the radio itself without the costs of an intermediary array of servers.The C. Crane CC WiFi-3 is one of the receivers affected by the Reciva shutdown.
To make matters worse, “there was no path to upgrade due to the age of the code and its incompatibility with new hardware,” said Bob Crane, president of radio equipment firm C. Crane. “In addition, there are no longer people who fundamentally understand the ins and outs of this proprietary code and programming. The original software was also burdensome and slower than new chips.”
Despite this, Crane said he believes the driving force behind Qualcomm’s Reciva shutdown was the cost of maintaining its global server system. With manufacturers having moved to newer and more self-contained internet radio-tuning systems, Qualcomm had to cover this cost without receiving any revenue to pay for it.
“The Reciva problem happened in part because there was no recurring income for the founders,” said Crane. “This is why every software developer on the planet — think Adobe, Microsoft, and Oracle — has switched primarily to subscription-based purchases because there has to be some way to fund ongoing maintenance and future development.”
As reported by Radio World in March 2021 (“Reciva Internet Radio Platform Shutting Down“), internet radio manufacturers are doing their best to assist Reciva-stranded listeners.
At C. Crane, “we accelerated our new CC WiFi 3 internet radio into production as quickly as possible based on Skytune.net,” said Crane. “We also developed a program to take care of our Reciva-based CC WiFi owners, offering them a graduated discount that took into consideration how recently they’d purchased their older sets. We tried to offer a reasonable solution with proof of purchase and a cutoff date so we could take care of as many people as possible.”
“Since Grace Digital did not own the Reciva radio software — we only licensed the code, which means we could not change the radio software – there was unfortunately nothing we could do to save the old Reciva-based radios,” Fadul said. Fortunately, his company had launched its own self-maintained aggregation platform in 2018 to support its new generation of internet receivers.
“To help our dedicated customers with the transition to our new platform, Grace Digital offers discounts to purchase new radios,” said Fadul. “The vast majority of people understand the situation and realize the shutdown was out of our control.”
Over at Sangean, “we contacted the responsible parties to work on possible solutions, but we weren’t given any options that would allow our Reciva devices to continue working,” said Wu. “Therefore, we took the responsibility and offered our newer internet radio devices to our customers at a loss. It’s a very unfortunate situation and it is our desire to ensure all our customers are pleased, but that’s just not always the case. However, the majority took our offer and were satisfied with our response.”
Reality of business today
At first glance, the logical conclusion to be drawn from the Reciva shutdown is never to purchase a device that relies on third-party servers to function.
The problem with this conclusion is that it ignores the fundamental nature and ubiquity of third-party server solutions on the internet. “Any platform that uses a server is at risk of going down or being shut down,” said Fadul. “Basically anything such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, your cell phone, and even plain old POTS lines use servers/databases.”
But this is just the tip of the iceberg: “All software platforms are probably at risk when you think about the countless updates and the ‘required’ new equipment purchases we all probably made over the last 15 years,” said Crane. “I am guessing that even Alexa may have a meltdown for the original units at the 15-year mark if you observe the software and hardware upgrades Amazon has issued so far. And even Sirius is looking at sunsetting one of their older platforms,” as reported by thedesk.net on September 21, 2021.
The business reality of “limited lifespans” even applies to broadcast radio. For instance, although AM radio remains viable in North America, the U.K. government’s just-released Digital Radio and Audio Review says that national AM (a.k.a. medium-wave) services should be closed down, due to the AM audience declining to 3% of all radio listening there.
Given this reality, the best internet radio manufacturers can do — and are doing — to protect listeners is to make their latest models multi-platform capable.
For instance, Grace Digital allows users to save and display up to 100 presets on their latest internet radios. “The radio presets do not relay on our servers to play,” said Fadul, “so even if we had a short or long server outage it would not affect your ability to play those 100 stations. It would also not affect your ability to play SiriusXM, Pandora, Bluetooth, or Chromecast.”
“It took us years to develop and optimize the software, but we learned from the Reciva shutdown and put all the software in place to make sure that we do not have this issue again,” he added. “Live and learn.”
As for the Reciva shutdown threatening the very existence of internet radio as a viable consumer technology? Bob Crane isn’t worried. Although he acknowledges that smart speakers “dwarf the sales of internet radios, it would be unwise to underestimate the dedication of radio listeners who have a preference to the way they listen,” he said.
“With smart speakers you give part of your private life up to a large company for marketing. Internet radios made by us and others don’t track you at all. It is more of a personal experience well-suited for a person who thoroughly enjoys and relies on radio,” Crane said.
This is why C. Crane, Grace Digital, and Sangean plan to keep developing and selling internet radios — Grace Digital has two models planned for release in 2022 — despite the risk of future Reciva-like platform shutdowns. “Standalone internet radios offer the convenience and simplicity of enjoying various radio streaming services,” said Wu. “They are not only viable, but trending.”
The post With Reciva Dead, Internet Radio Manufacturers Manage the Fallout appeared first on Radio World.
NEW YORK — “A meeting is only as good as the results it inspires and/or achieves.”
Those are the words of Streamline Publishing President and Publisher Deborah Parenti as she welcomed a capacity in-person crowd of the broadcast media industry’s top leaders at Forecast 2022, held at the Harvard Club in midtown Manhattan.
Marketron has brought to market the first three connectors within its new Marketron Integration Suite.
Connectors for Salesforce, HubSpot, and NetSuite “simplify” and automate the sharing of data between Marketron’s traffic systems and the three platforms.
“Streamlining the exchange of data between CRM and accounting platforms, these connectors reduce data silos, eliminate duplication and normalization issues, improve data accuracy, and enable greater efficiency and agility across sales, traffic, and billing operations,” the broadcast technology company says.
“Our connectors with Salesforce, HubSpot, and NetSuite allow Marketron customers to begin sharing data with these platforms quickly and easily without involvement of development teams,” noted Marketron VP of Professional Services and Presales Greg
Aimone. “Using these prebuilt integrations with leading third-party platforms, customers can quickly start reaping the benefits of increased automation, broader visibility across key business tools, and complete data access.”
Marketron will work with customers to customize existing connectors as needed and build additional connectors by request, the company says. Additionally, Marketron plans to bring dozens, and eventually hundreds, of connectors “into a broad ecosystem of business tools and platforms.’
One will oversee markets in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. The other will oversee markets in Missouri, Minnesota and select locales in Iowa.
Each now hold the title of Regional Vice Presidents at Alpha Media.
Brian Foster will take Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, while Tuttle will handle the other markets for the Portland, Ore.-based radio broadcasting company.
They each report to COO Larry Bastida.
Bastida commented, “Throughout our extensive search to fill the Regional President position, it became clear that Brian and Les could play crucial roles. In recent weeks, the added collaboration from these three has enhanced the discussion as the company gains momentum going into 2022.”
Foster has worked in the Chicago market as General Sales Manager and Market Manager for the last twenty years. In addition, Foster served as Vice President of NM360 Digital from 2008 to 2015. During that time, Foster was named to the “Top 40 Under 40” list by Radio Ink magazine.
Over the past eleven years, Tuttle has been Market Manager for Alpha Media in the Missouri market of Moberly-Farmington-Festus, comprised of eight radio stations, two information portals, and all digital marketing services.
The appointments follow the recent naming as a Regional President of Zoe Burdine-Fly.
NEW YORK — Take an Uber or Lyft across one of the Five Boroughs, and there’s a good chance you’ll get a driver tuned to WPAT “Amor 93.1” or WSKQ “Mega 97.9” — FM radio properties that command the lion’s share of the Spanish-speaking audience in the New York market.
The properties are just some of the audio properties that make Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) one of the broadcast media industry’s biggest comeback companies. In Q3, radio revenue and adjusted OIBDA again exceeded 2019 pre-pandemic levels, the company announced late Monday (11/15).
“Our third quarter results evidenced continued solid financial performance as we again delivered double digit growth in both net revenue and adjusted OIBDA, driven by the strong growth of our radio business,” said Raúl Alarcón Jr., Chairman/CEO of SBS.
It was the second quarter in a row that SBS’s radio revenue exceeded 2019 levels. “Our radio operating margins again led the industry, and we expect continued peak operating efficiency as we roll out our previously pandemic-postponed schedule of projected sold-out sponsored concerts in the New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas and Puerto Rico markets in the coming months,” Alarcón said.
Despite a 38% drop in television division revenue, to $3.02 million from $4.87 million, radio division net revenue surged to $35.94 million from $25.08 million.
This led SBS to shift to net income of $846,000 ($0.11 per share), compared to a net loss of $4.46 million (-$0.61 per share). Operating income increased to $9.21 million, from $6.58 million. Overall net revenue including $485,000 of political advertising climbed to $38.96 million, from $29.96 million in Q3 2020, when some $2.06 million in political ad dollars were seen.
With SBS President/COO Albert Rodriguez in attendance at Forecast 2022 at the Harvard Club on Tuesday, SBS will have its quarterly earnings call for analysts and shareholders on Thursday.
This week, we’re taking a look at NPR/Edison Research’s new report on spoken word audio.
The research behind the latest NPR/Edison Spoken Word Audio Report suggests an explosive growth in listening to that medium, particularly among young and multicultural demographics. This begs several questions: Why, what motivates them? How long are they listening? Is it more or less than in the past?The Spoken Word Audio Report shows increases in listenership for spoken audio rising fastest among younger and multicultural demographics.
While not part of the formal quantitative research, NPR and Edison conducted in-depth interviews with several respondents for additional background about their listening habits, including the why part of the equation.
The results — many are seeking a different point of view from what they’re hearing on social or mainstream media. Typical of the responses, “… I really like the idea of seeing things from different sorts of perspectives.” Another said, “I want to know about different parts of the world, country, different things like that.” And, “I do think it provides different perspectives on stuff that we don’t see in the media every day.”
Another frequent response from participants is that spoken word audio provides them with an inward view, as well as an opportunity for self-improvement and introspection. One respondent said, “it kind of helps me understand more about how to be more successful and try to be more financially well-off.” Others replied, “… so I can improve my positivity within myself that way and I can spread it to others.”
Additional comments included, “You hear other people call in and someone who has a similar problem gives you an idea to try that you can apply to your situation or whatever,” and, “I can take things from each podcast that can help me become a better mom or be a better girlfriend or, eventually, be a good wife. So that’s why I like to listen.”
The research suggests respondents have an average daily listening time of 2 hours and 6 minutes for spoken word content. Compared to five years ago, 51 percent of those surveyed said they are listening to spoken work more than in the past; 31 percent say it’s the same, while 18 percent are listening less. Those numbers skew upwards for the younger demographics and multicultural listeners, down for older listeners, and stay more or less even for white listeners.
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This continues our coverage of the recent online WorldDAB Summit 2021.Digital Radio UK launched worked to educate retail staff about the advantages of DAB.
To drive DAB+ receiver sales in Europe, the radio industry has to educate consumer and retail sales staff more effectively. How to do that and more were addressed during Session 2 of the WorldDAB Summit 2021 on Nov. 9. (Recordings of the sessions are on the WorldDAB YouTube page.)
To motivate consumers to buy DAB+ receivers, they first have to understand what DAB+ is all about. Jacqueline Bierhorst, project director with Digital Radio Netherlands, outlined how this education is being delivered in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium in the presentation “Working With Retailers to Help Listeners Upgrade to DAB+.”
“The Netherlands has a 360-degree campaign to influence behavior and improve the actual use of DAB+,” said Bierhorst. “The campaign has been heard and seen on radio TV, through native ads and Facebook links, out of home, on the back of trucks and online video. On top of that, we have a collaboration with the five biggest Dutch retailers.” The payoff, she said, “All these efforts have resulted in a great uplift of sales [with a growth of] 271 percent.”
Meanwhile, “Digital Radio Germany is very active and a great inspiration for other countries,” she said. “The team in Germany made sure that all retail staff get guidance and new updates on DAB+ and its advantages. This makes sure that the shop seller is well-informed and can give a good explanation of DAB+ to customers.”
Then there’s Belgium, where this year “the first joint national DAB+ campaign was aired a two-week radio campaign aired on the main French- and Flemish-speaking stations, starting on Sept. 13 in association with the retailer Vanden Borre,” Bierhorst said. Again, both national efforts are increasing DAB+ receiver sales in their respective markets.
Similar promotional efforts in the United Kingdom were touched upon during a session about “Working With Retailers to Train and Educate Their Staff,” presented by Ford Ennals, chief executive officer of Digital Radio UK.
In the U.K., “digital radio sales are challenging,” Ennals said. To find out why, Digital Radio UK surveyed audio sales staff, most of whom were in their mid-20s.
The results: Young audio sales staff tend to view radio as being “more for older people,” said Ennals. “When they’re pressed [by customers], ‘Should I buy a smart speaker or a digital radio?’ they would advise consumers to buy a smart speaker because they see it as an easier and perhaps a more sexy sale.”
Based on this knowledge gap, Digital Radio UK spent the past six months educating sales staff about the full benefits and options provided by DAB+
One way to sell digital radio to consumers is to outline how “green” its transmission system is compared to conventional FM broadcasting. One real-life comparison was offered during “Environment — Bavaria’s DAB+ Green Report,” which was presented by Veit Olischläger, head of technology, media management and public relations for Bayerischen Landeszentrale für neue Medien (BLM), the Bavarian public-service broadast operator.
BLM compared the FM and DAB power consumption levels, on a per-service basis, for two Bavarian broadcasters. The results were impressive: “The given FM power consumption for Bayerischer Rundfunk is around 1,000 megawatt hours per year, and on the DAB side it’s 261 megawatt hours, which results in a reduction of 75 percent,” Olischläger said.A Bavarian study found a 75 percent increase in energy consumption to reach the same audience with digital radio versus conventional FM.
Similar savings were seen for the private radio broadcaster Antenne Bayern. “The energy consumption on FM is higher … [while] the energy consumption on the DAB side is slightly reduced to a slightly reduced data rate,” he said. “Overall, the reduction is 85 percent for the private network.”
The final Session 2 presentation was titled “Performance — GfK Analysis.” It reported trends in consumer electronics sales.
The bare facts: “Total 2021 spending was up versus 2020,” said Max Templeman, insight director for consumer electronics at research firm GfK. Digital radio sales only showed “a small value increase,” he said. “Germany, France, Italy and Belgium increased share of total Europe DAB sales, but the Czech Republic saw the highest growth rate.”
As well, “over half of all DAB sales occurred online in quarter one this year,” said Templeman. “DAB radios over €200 still provide a healthy market share and gain importance in quarter four.”
The post Educating Consumers, Sales Staff Key to Building DAB+ Receiver Sales appeared first on Radio World.
The IBC show is a “go.”
After weighting tightened COVID restrictions announced by the Dutch government late last week, the show organizers announced Tuesday morning that the show will take place as scheduled starting Dec. 3 in Amsterdam.
The IBC cited “determined industry support” for the event to proceed.
“The announcement follows a decision at [Monday’s] IBC Partnership Board meeting to continue with the planned event because it can be delivered safely and create the essential business momentum that the industry needs,” it stated.
“We will forge ahead with our IBC Digital offering to ensure that whether onsite in Amsterdam or onscreen at home the industry can come together,” said Chief Executive Michael Crimp in the statement.
Crimp acknowledged the “waves of concern” prompted by the government action last week, but said that examination of the new rules and consultation with The RAI facility showed that “not much changes with regards to the safety plans we had already put in place. We will still have the perimeter fence around The RAI and thorough COVID status and health screening on entry. We will make a number of adjustments to our safety management and operational protocols to make sure the guidance is clear, and the event is safe for exhibitors and visitors.”
The show hours have been adjusted so participants “can make the most of their visits.” Crimp said, “I can definitely see breakfast and lunch gatherings being the mode of networking at this year’s event. Let’s save the big parties to 2022 and focus right now on re-connecting and driving business.”
IBC2021 show opening times will be:
Friday 03.12.21 09:00 – 16:30
Saturday 04.12.21 08:30 – 16:30
Sunday 05.12.21 08:30 – 16:30
Monday 06.12.21 08:30 – 16:00
The post Despite Tightened Restrictions, IBC Show Will Proceed appeared first on Radio World.
Alpha Media has operations in 42 markets around the United States, stretching from Alaska to South Carolina, comprising about four dozen studio locations and 200 or so FM and AM licenses.
Director of Engineering Mike Everhart is one of several engineers I interviewed for our ebook “After the Masks Come Off.”
He told me that Alpha’s leadership has been putting lessons of the pandemic into practice.
“You’ll see it in future iterations of our studio builds. We’re entering a right-sizing operation in the Portland, Ore., market right now; and we’re looking at a move-and-build in another market in the next year or so that will take a lot of those lessons into account.”
The company was already heading down this road, he said, due the cost of construction, which Everhart said has ballooned well above the rate of inflation; a general decline in radio revenue in recent years; and the possibilities that technology brings for enabling remote work and creating more flexibility in the use of infrastructure.
“Those forces have come together and forced us to rethink the way we do these facilities,” Everhart said.
“We’ve been reducing the physical footprint. We’ve been reducing studio counts. We’ve been looking at hoteling workspace as opposed to dedicated individual workspaces, in the office as well as the studio. A person does not have a dedicated workspace all the time.”
A design principle of engineering is to seek efficiency, he said; but Alpha Media’s analysis has shown that traditionally radio is inefficient in their use of space, with low occupancy rates of desks and studios. He attributes this to a cultural paradigm in which a brand’s identity is wrapped up in the control room, where you build a culture to share with an audience.
“What we’ve found is that the culture and feel of a brand is what comes out the speakers and the feelings engendered in the audience members. It doesn’t come from the space, it comes from the head and the heart of the people producing the programs.”
With all that taken into account, and given the costs of building facilities and the expense of commercial real estate, “It doesn’t make sense to keep doing things the way we’ve been doing things.”
I enjoyed putting this particular ebook together and invite you to read more from Mike Everhart and other top engineers. Find it at radioworld.com/ebooks.
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Europe’s leading exhibition and conference for broadband, television and online business executives is readying for “a brilliant comeback” from a COVID-19 pandemic pause.
Get ready for ANGA COM, scheduled for May 10-12, 2022 in Cologne, Germany.
Stand booking is already open and a Call for Participation for the technology program is available online at www.angacom.de.
Key topics of ANGA COM 2022 include FTTH, DOCSIS 4.0, 10G, Wifi, Fixed Mobile Convergence, Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Services, OTT, AppTV, Video Streaming, Smart City and Smart Home.
Numerous leading technology vendors have already confirmed their stand bookings for the exhibition, including ASTRA, ASTRO Strobel, AVM, Berthold Sichert, BTV Multimedia, CommScope, DCT DELTA, Deutsche Glasfaser, Emtelle, gabo, Ocilion IPTV Technologies, Technetix, Vodafone and WISI Communications.
The broadband industry is facing a new spirit of optimism. Even after the pandemic – or precisely because of last year’s experience – the expansion of broadband networks is at the top of the agenda everywhere in Europe. In Germany, for example, with its more than 40 million households, network operators and a steadily growing number of international investors have announced an investment of many billions.
Event organizers says ANGA COM will take place at a date that allows sufficient lead time, given the dates of CES 2022 and the NAB Show, in mid-April in Las Vegas.
Legal and company travel restrictions are expected to be lifted by Spring 2022 at the latest, even with a current surge in COVID-19 cases across several German states.
Solid State Logic has confirmed that it will feature its new System T TE1 and TE2 Tempest Engines at IBC 2021, scheduled for December 3-6 at RAI Amsterdam.
The company’s new System T V3.1 software introduces pay-as-you-go licensing, while delivering enhanced third party device control on top of advanced AoIP routing technology at its core.
The new System T V3.1 software release enables operators using the new TE1 and TE2 Tempest Engines to flexibly scale processing capabilities according to their specific broadcast production requirements. Software licenses for five different processing packs, defined by the total number of mono All-Paths equivalent channels supported, from 85 to 800, are available to users as perpetual or short-term, time-based rental upgrades.
The new TE1 Tempest Engine supports Processing Pack 1 (140 paths) or 2 (256 paths) while the TE2 engine supports all five packs, from 140 to 800 paths at 48 kHz or 85 to 500 paths at 96 kHz. The TE1 is equivalent to the original T25 engine for System T, which offered a maximum of 256 paths, while the TE2 matches the previous 800-path T80 engine. The two new engines and five processing packs expand beyond those configurations to offer a wider variety of channel path capacities that align with a broader range of applications and budgets.
Additionally, the System T V3.1 software provides alerts and warnings as any processing pack license nears its expiration. The new SSL licensing platform enables users to retrieve licenses as required and seamlessly add them to their console systems.SSL invites you to arrange a demonstration or consultation with a broadcast specialist to walk through product features and real-world broadcast scenarios using its latest System T software and DSP engines. To register for a meeting or consultation, please visit https://www.solidstatelogic.com/events/ibc-2021. At IBC 2021, SSL will be at booth 8.C64.
The infrastructure supporting live productions is gradually changing from mainly SDI Video to IP networks. That’s a result of more computer-generated content, new IP cameras and other NDI or IP sources become commonplace.
As such, there’s a need to integrate a mix of SDI, HDMI and IP Video sources.
Broadcast Pix has responded.
It’s brought to market a new integrated production product, “MX Solution.”
The MX Hybrid features:
- 8 Network/IP + 3 SDI (HD/4K) + 1 HDMI/SDI/Analog inputs
- 4 (2 SDI + 2 NDI) Program and Aux assignable outputs
- 6 Keyers with DVEs and chromakey
- Remote “Browser-Based” and “Easy-To-Operate” User Interfaces
- GuestPix remote guest integration
- Integrated Chat and Intercom
- Enhanced macros to automate repetitive tasks and ensure consistency of production
- Built-in streaming, recording and audio mixing
- Hardware that fully supports 1080p/60 and 4K
“We are very pleased to announce MX Hybrid, the latest product in our range of easy-to-use live production solutions,” said Graham Sharp, CEO at Broadcast Pix. “The feature rich, future proof and flexible MX Hybrid will serve the production needs of government, broadcast, live events, and visual radio users – well into the future with its hybrid input configuration and video format agnostic support. We are offering competitive upgrades to existing users and coupled with our customer support packages, we are fulfilling our vow never to leave any customer behind.”
The MX Hybrid is now available to order for $19,995 MSRP and will begin shipping in late 2021.
Marketing analytics company LeadsRx’s LeadsRx Attribution product now supports multi-touch attribution (MTA) for national television commercials — including live, broadcast, and dual-feed cable programming.
The enhancement, says LeadsRx, “leads to greater accuracy in attribution results, which means buyers of TV advertising can better optimize their budgets and earn higher return on ad spend (ROAS).”
The new LeadsRx capability is available to provide support for national television spot logs that take into consideration the complexities of national advertising. The system automatically adjusts the time commercials air according to the type of feed, time zones, and daylight savings time considerations.
“Accurately measuring the impact of national television advertising has been a pain point for some time due to the existence of dual feeds,” said Adam Ortman, VP of Growth & Innovation at Generator Media + Analytics. “With this new methodology, LeadsRx is now able to better inform clients and help optimize their national TV ad budgets by providing a truer picture of TV’s impact across the country.”
Incorporating national television ads within analytics, such as MTA, is difficult due to the complexities of television. Commercials air at different times throughout the U.S. depending on whether ads are shown during live events (such as sports, concerts, etc.), on broadcast networks (such as the big three of ABC, CBS, and NBC), or on cable networks.
Adding to the complexity is the fact that some cable networks are shown live across the country, while others are aired twice a day (“dual-feed cable”), time zones are different, and some states (e.g., Arizona and Hawaii) do not switch to Daylight Savings Time.
National advertisers must take an analytic approach to understanding how various ad mediums are performing both as individual channels as well as in combination with other channels. The complexity surrounding national TV advertising compounds the issue of accurately measuring advertising effectiveness for brands that advertise across the country. The examples in this Nielsen Feed Pattern Guide shows just how confusing it can be to understand broadcast and dual-feed cable programming air times.
“By offering this solution, LeadsRx is using analytics to help national television advertisers and agencies representing advertisers to lower customer acquisition costs, increase customer lifetime value, and spot and eliminate wasted ad spend,” said AJ Brown, CEO and co-founder of LeadsRx. “Our customers have been clamoring for this kind of solution, and our team has worked hard to provide an MTA solution offering this capability.”
There is no extra charge to add the new feature, LeadsRx notes.
MadHive, described as “the enterprise software platform that powers modern media,” has a new Chief Product Officer.
Craig Berlingo will lead product strategy and development for MadHive’s suite of customizable ad tech software.
Prior to joining MadHive, Berlingo recently served as Head of Product at Telaria, where he grew the video exchange business from zero to $300+ million per year in gross revenue and oversaw the platform’s adoption by top tier publishers and partners such as Hulu, Sling, A&E, Cheddar, Pluto.tv, Adobe, Google, and The Trade Desk.
“There’s no question that advertising has reached an inflection point,” said Adam Helfgott, CEO at MadHive. “New policies from tech giants, a shifting regulatory environment, and the fragmentation of consumer attention across more devices and channels than ever are causing the entire industry to rethink how we target and measure advertising. Craig’s experience building billion dollar ad tech businesses will allow us to further accelerate our rapid growth trajectory as we push the industry forward.”
MadHive got its start helping the nation’s largest broadcasters transition to streaming. The company’s infrastructure-as-a-service offering currently powers local OTT reach extension for major broadcasters including Fox. The full-stack solution provides customizable tools to manage the entire campaign lifecycle, from the industry’s most accurate audience forecasting and targeting to cross-screen attribution against its proprietary OTT-first device graph. This holistic approach has led to adoption with agencies and DTC brands aiming to target more precise audiences beyond social media.
“MadHive has established itself as a leader in digital TV, with its end-to-end platform now powering efforts for both broadcasters and brands,” said Berlingo. “I’m looking forward to joining the team at this exciting time in the company’s growth, as we continue to scale the software that further simplifies how media is bought, sold, and measured across all devices and screens.”
Reaching over 2.7 million people each week, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is one of Australia’s most diverse entertainment companies, with audio and visual brands and content reaching Australians through radio, television and digital properties.
When it came time to build and flip the switch on a Network Operations Center for Commercial Radio, the first in Australia, SCA selected a U.S.-headquartered provider of resource management software to make it happen.
Specifically, SCA selected Xytech to deploy its flagship MediaPulse system for the operations center.
“Although we are still in the development process, there has already been a significant level of support from Xytech,” said Ben Fransman, Network Operations Manager at SCA. “Fully understanding the nature of our business, the team has been extremely helpful in outlining our goals for MediaPulse and working with us on addressing the complexities associated with this project.”
Southern Cross Austereo upgraded from ScheduALL to MediaPulse. This, Xytech says, was done to better provide stakeholders the ability to create bookings. The resource management solutions provided by Xytech’s MediaPulse “was exactly what we were looking for,” Fransman says.
The Network Operations Centre will manage work orders as well as confirm the booking and create the connection based on date, time and project collateral, including talent interviews, remote guests and cameras.
This is one of the first installed MediaPulse systems in Australia since the ScheduALL acquisition, said Greg Dolan of Xytech. “Everyone at Xytech is really excited to see the confidence Ben and his team have placed in us and MediaPulse,” he said. “Our Managing Director in Australia, Tanya Kelly was really instrumental in this transaction, and I know she’ll be a great partner to Sothern Cross for years to come.”
Broadcast audio software tools developer Futuri Media has announced an update to its Post podcast creation system.
New tools include an in-app audio editor “designed to save production time, speed up distribution of timely content, and enable audio brands to quickly make simple edits to their on-demand broadcast content to keep people listening longer,” according to the company
Customizable widgets have been added that aids in branding embedded audio. Ad insertion has also been with improvements in ad marker and mid-roll capabilities.
Futuri adds that third-party destination publishing is better, chapter markers are enhanced and analytics deeper.
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Working to help kids with catastrophic illness, “98.1 The Max” had a particularly good fundraiser this month.
The Cumulus station brought in about $533,000 for the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Memphis, a record for its local campaign.
WXMX(FM) plays “maximum rock.” It raised the money in less than 12 hours in a radiothon on Nov. 5. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis supports children with pediatric cancer and other catastrophic illnesses undergoing treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their families.
Morgan D. Bohannon is vice president/market manager at WXMX. Danni Bruns is station program director and the cluster’s operations manager.
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Pierre Robert is baked into the radio landscape of Philadelphia, and now Beasley Media is celebrating him with a month-long 40th anniversary party.
WMMR(FM) will feature highlights of his career, “commemorating local radio’s iconic moments broadcast by a most unique, warm, and recognizable personality.”
Robert (pronounced “roh-BAYR”) is on the air middays in Philly. During his career he has done notable stints on overnights and in morning drive.
“The award-winning radio host began his journey aboard his trusty microbus, Minerva, when he left his hometown of San Francisco in 1981 to look for a radio home in the City of Brotherly Love,” Beasley Media wrote in the announcement.
“Upon his arrival, there was a natural fit with ’MMR, the progressive rock ’n’ roll radio station located on Rittenhouse Square in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia. The Philly-area listening audience has enjoyed 40 years of Pierre’s musical passion and positive outlook, with his diverse appreciation for all things rock ‘n roll including a vast knowledge of the music they all love.”
The company said he is well known for his interview style with rock artists, his concert coverage and his “Roaming Rock Microphone” on the concert scene.
Beasley Media has owned the station since 2016. Group Vice President of Talent Development and WMMR(FM) Program Director Bill Weston said, “I’ve never worked with a more beloved air talent.”
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Commissioner Nathan Simington thinks the FCC should wait rather than make more changes to media ownership rules just now.
He calls it a strategy of “purposeful nothingness.”
Simington, a Republican who has been on the FCC for 11 months, came across as a big fan of radio when he gave a pre-recorded talk to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association last week. And he said he “loves” working with Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and that they have “got a lot done together on a bipartisan basis, and I think we’ll get a lot more done.”
On the subject of the refreshed 2018 Quadrennial Review, he didn’t comment directly on specific proposals, but he seemed to suggest he would resist moves to tighten up rules under the expected Democratic majority. Using a baking simile, he asked, “How about we let the dough proof a while?”
He said that with a newly constituted full commission, “We risk whipsawing back into the pre-Pai world, or, worse, ratcheting further back in the other direction. … Broadcast groups whose market caps vanish into a rounding error of big tech media platforms have to be permitted the space and time to compete. To discover business models that differentiate their offerings and grow audiences. To create scale efficiencies that allow them the flexibility to compete with digital-only platforms. To sell their bread.”
On the power of localism in broadcasting, he said, “Radio broadcasters have expanded their role to become ombudsmen between local communities and institutions, and this is nowhere more true than it is in communities where the most common language is not English. … Google and Facebook don’t have stringers outside of city hall sniffing out corruption, hurricane evacuation routing, or staffing for informational access to local community resources anywhere in their product development path.”
In language that would make any broadcast licensee proud, the commissioner talked about the “irreproducible technological advantage” broadcasters have thanks to their “durable, hardened communications infrastructure.”
“Let me ask you something. During a really bad storm — a tornado or a hurricane — what would you trust more to give you information on what you need to do or where you need to go: a hand-cranked radio or a cell phone? Stupid question, right? The radio. And even people not in broadcast know this. Why? Because everyone knows that your cell phone connection is the first thing to be knocked out, and your connection to broadcasters is, well, the last. That’s not to criticize cell phone carriers, of course. That’s just the reality of the situation.”
Simington said that in upcoming debates over media rules, “I hold out hope that I can urge my colleagues on the commission, and maybe even on Capitol Hill, to take full stock of the realities facing broadcasters. The enormous pressures they are under. And how we must preserve the industry prudentially. While I have no doubt that the full commission will be animated by a zeal to protect consumer interests, I will ask them to consider whether in 2021, broadcasters really wield the kind of power, whether nationally or in local markets, that justifies forceful application of rules drafted for a completely different competitive media landscape.”
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