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2013 Streaming Audio Update
Trying to simplify ad-insertion. In reading articles from last year about why ad-insertion is considered problematic by some companies, I noted that many simply said the results sounded bad or clunky. Some companies simply have been unsuccessful at selling spots for ad-insertion and consequently, not a lot of effort goes in to making the online presentation sound good. Their online stream can easily become an afterthought.
There are quite a few companies that are in the business of helping radio stations make money from their online presentations though. Let's look at StreamOn. It offers a one-box solution that has quite a bit of functionality. It looks very simple, mainly because it's an all-in-one box, accepting audio from a station (or other source) and generating the streams internally: AAC+, Ogg Vorbis, and MP3. The streams that are generated are sent to StreamOn's own servers, and then distributed to the listening public. Each client station gets its own player (or Web interface), and the player displays artist and song info using proprietary software. That metadata comes from the station's automation.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this device though is how it works in conjunction with AdsWizz; this gives the station the ability to sell audio pre-roll, video pre-roll, and targeted ads for ad-insertion on the stream. The targeting can be based on time and day of the week, geography (with granularity down to the Zip Code) or requested demographics. AdsWizz Radio allows for both client-side ad-insertion and server-side ad-insertion.
Liquid Compass is another company that works with radio stations to provide streaming and add insertion. Its Pro 2.0 desktop player includes social media integration, interactive track history with song details, artist biographies, concert schedules and lyrics. The Pro 2.0 Mobile player has social media integration; enhanced now playing information with interactive history and track details; song ratings, and a place to save favorites; and, it also allows the user to look at program schedules and on-demand schedules by way of RSS feeds. Like StreamOn, Liquid Compass has partnered with AdsWizz to help radio stations generate income from their audio streams.
Abacast is another well-known provider of streaming and ad-insertion services. It offers the Clarity Digital Radio System for broadcasters. This system will provide for ad-insertion, companion banner ads, pre-roll videos, and rotating display ads. Users can target audiences by day of the week and time of day, the market, the format, or by geo-targeting. And certainly in response to last summer's commotion about ad-insertion, Its Web page reads: "Sound quality is preserved, with no skips, jarring volume changes, or dead air, all of which can cause tune-out."
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