Abacast

Abacast live stream song-skipping launches in beta

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 12:00pm

Digital radio software and services provider Abacast has officially beta-released a feature to allow song-skipping on "live" radio streams, and announced a new feature to ensure radio streams begin with music (we first reported on this in February, here).

The song-skipping beta is now available for streaming listeners on Federated Media’s WMEE in Fort Wayne, IN.

"When a listener chooses to skip a song that is currently being played, another song from the station’s playlist will be played immediately and in its entirety for that listener," the company says. Its "Personalized Live Radio" is designed so that the rest of the stream plays seamlessly and in its entirety as well.

The new "MusicStart" feature should roll out in Q1 of next year. Abacast created it to deal with the problem of a listener launching a stream and not immediately getting content that will make her stay (e.g. commercials). Also part of the "Personalized Live Radio tech," the new feature guarantees that all streams start off with music.

PodcastOne to use Abacast software for ad-insertion, audience metrics

Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 11:20am

Podcast network PodcastOne has announced it will use Abacast's Clarity Digital Radio system for ad insertion, managing ad campaigns, audience measurement, and live and on-demand program delivery.

PodcastOne launched earlier this year as a division of Courtside Entertainment Group. It hosts nearly 200 podcasts from Radio Lab, Adam Carolla, 60 Minutes, Freakonomics Radio, Dr. Drew, CBS News, and more.

Abacast to stream Entravision radio stations

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 12:20pm

Abacast announced it will provide streaming and advertising services for Entravision radio stations.

With 49 owned and operated radio stations, Entravision is one of the nation's largest ownership groups of primarily Spanish-language radio.

Entravision will utilize Abacast's Clarity Digital Radio System for streaming solution for most of its radio stations, and the two companies will jointly offer Clarity Digital to Entravision affiliate stations. Entravision Solutions will also partner with the Abacast Digital Ad Sales Network to focus on expanding digital ad sales for the Latino market.

Industry announcements from Livio, Abacast, StreamGuys, Triton Digital, and more

Monday, June 10, 2013 - 12:15pm

Here are some new developments from industry firms (who aren't Apple) we think you may find interesting:

Livio has announced Livio Keys and the FM Traffic Button, two new products they say can generate new revenue for car manufacturers and app developers. Livio Keys is a "communication solution" that links carmakers and software developers with tools and customizable services. The FM Traffic Button uses code added to an embedded app on an in-dash infotainment system to provide up-to-the-minute, on-demand traffic reports for U.S. markets.

Abacast has announced a new partnership with Cue.AD, the first Israeli ad network for digital radio. The deal, says, Abacast, will provide that nation's first solution for digital radio broadcasters and advertisers along with a complete online radio streaming and monetization service.

Industry research firm Reportlinker has a new study out called "Global Internet Radio Industry," which it says provides comprehensive analytics for the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and more, with annual estimates and forecasts for 2010-2018. The report covers 45 companies like Pandora, Clear Channel, Slacker, Rhapsody, SomaFM, Digitally Imported, and AccuRadio. Read more (and purchase the report) here.

StreamGuys will now support the open-source Ogg Opus codec, which it says will give webcasters more options for high-quality, low-latency audio streaming. The Ogg Opus codec is free to use, offers broadcast-quality reproduction, and doesn't lag behind real-time broadcasting (like streaming MP3 can).

Triton Digital announced it's successfully deployed its Advertising Platform including Ad Injector to Sao Paulo, Brazil-based broadcaster Kiss Telecomunicações LTDA.

Marketron has expanded its partnership with Saga Communications. The broadcaster will now use Marketron's Insight reporting product, Proof of Performance, and Network Connect.

Mobile ad sales not lagging, stresses Summit panel, they're coming along nicely

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 1:40pm

The professionals on the RAIN Summit West "Profiting from Mobile" panel all agreed that mobile's ad sales outlook has, and continues to, significantly improve.

Even moderator Michael Theodore (Interactive Advertising Bureau VP) questioned whether the premise of "how do we fix mobile?" was correct. He said, "Those who feel mobile isn’t generating enough dollars are way too impatient." He illustrated his point by comparing the 2010 $1 billion mobile ad spend with television's $105 million in 1950. By 1952, TV's ad revenue had tripled, and Theodore is expecting the same for mobile when the 2012 numbers come out.

Pandora SVP/Ad sales Steven Kritzman quickly summed it up for his company: "Mobile is 65% of our revenue." What's more, mobile revenue growth has caught up to mobile listening growth, and is now outpacing it for the leading webcaster.

Clear Channel Media SVP/Local Digital Sales Michelle Savoy (left) said it's even time to ratchet up CPMs (ad rates). She credits an improved, richer, and more engaging mobile experience. Kritzman said much the same, saying mobile Pandora listeners tend to interact with the app much more than desktop users (for a station created by Pandora for an advertiser, for instance, Pandora sees 10 to 12 times the adoption on mobile). He's looking for the ad industry to improve its "engagement metrics" to better measure that interaction, and for marketers to improve ad creative.

If you're a webcaster or broadcaster, you absolutely need to have a mobile presence, stressed Abacast Director of Sales and Revenue Michael Dalfonzo. Already with 60-70% of his clients' listeners coming in via mobile, you need to get a branded mobile app, and to be available on the large aggregators (TuneIn, iHeartRadio). Oh, and build an alarm clock into it, so you can tune your listeners in the moment they wake up.

One key for the future he suggested will be the ability to target ad to individuals by the device they're using to listen. "you can reach them right when they're ready to make a purchase."

ESPN Audio Senior Director of Distribution & Business Strategy Patrick Polking said his company's main mobile challenge now is in distribution, that is, new partners and platforms to distribute ESPN content beyond SiriusXM, TuneIn, and Slacker. "Scale is going to be very valuable," he said.

Look for more recaps of the panels, presentations, and speeches from Sunday's RAIN Summit West.

RAIN Summit West panel will examine how webcasters can make money from growing mobile listening

Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 12:30pm

Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics report (see today's coverage) includes analysis that indicates growing Internet radio listening is being driven by listening on mobile devices.

Now, there are special concerns and issues when it comes to monetizing this listening (compared to over-the-air or desktop streaming). This Sunday at RAIN Summit West, our panel "Profiting from Mobile" will address the question "What are the critical elements to making money with mobile?"

Contributing to the panel is Michael Dalfonzo, director of sales and revenue for Abacast, a software/services provider for online radio. Abacast recently launched cloud-based ad-insertion with partner ESPN (see RAIN here), and technology that allows song-skipping on live broadcast streams (more here and here). Dalfonzo (pictured right) is a broadcast radio programming vet, and an experienced consultant and researcher. He was also VP/Sales at Spacial Audio Solutions.

Speaking of ESPN, senior director of distribution & business strategy with ESPN Audio Patrick Polking joins us as well. ESPN Radio is the most-listened-to single live stream of any AM/FM broadcaster in the world, and mobile is an increasingly important component to that audience. ESPN SVP of production/pusiness divisions Traug Keller delivered the RAIN Summit West keynote last year (here), and took the occasion to preview the newly-updated ESPNRadio mobile app. Polking (pictured left) is a former financial analyst and led business development at Found, Inc.

Special thanks to Clear Channel SVP/local digital sales Michelle Savoy, pinch-hitting on the panel for Clear Channel's Rick Song. Before joining Clear Channel in November, Savoy spent over twelve years with Gannett Digital, specializing in revenue building, business development, and ad operations. The company announced today iHeartRadio's "Perfect For" feature and alarm clock function (which were added in January) are now available on the iHeartRadio Android app.

Moderating our "Profiting from Mobile" panel will be the IAB's Michael Theodore. Also speaking, Pandora's Steven Kritzman (more details here).

RAIN Summit West is this Sunday at the LVH Hotel in Las Vegas. The annual full-day Internet radio conference is a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet. Keynoting the even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here

) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here

). Very limited space is still available. Links to register are on our RAIN Summit West page.

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