Abacast exec explains live radio song skipping technology

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 1:10pm

Last month in RAIN (here) we reported Federated Media stations were participating in the beta release of a new Abacast technology designed to enable "song skipping" on live radio streams. The technology, called "Hammer," streams another song from the station's playlist when a listener hits the "skip" button during a live broadcast. Abacast says "individualized buffering and insertion functionality" will allow subsequent programming (music, ads, breaks, etc.) pick up seamlessly.

Abacast SVP/Products and Marketing Jim Kott penned a guest column for RadioInfo.com to explain the system further.

Apparently, the system can be "dayparted," meaning a station might want to allow listeners to skip music only during certain segments of the day. Specific songs can be made "non-skippable." And, naturally, "skips" will be tracked and recorded. To minimize royalties, Kott says the system will limit skips, either per-session or per-hour.

Read more from Kott on Abacast's "Hammer" in RadioInfo here.

ESPN Digital Audio launch partner for new Abacast cloud-based ad-insertion

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 11:55am

ESPN Digital Audio is launching Abascast-powered "cloud-based ad-insertion," to target listeners of national broadcasts by device, location, age, and gender in real time.

An article in AdWeek reads, "Essentially, this means that during large radio broadcast events like last month's BCS Championship game, during which ESPN Radio hosted nearly 110,000 mobile audio streams, ESPN will be able to serve individual ads to each one of those listeners during live breaks."

The cloud-based ad-insertion can send different in-stream audio ads to different groups of listeners, like "all smartphone listeners," "all listeners in the top 20 DMAs that are on iPhones," "all male listeners in the 25-34 age range in a group of zip codes," "all listeners listening on the TuneIn player," and more.

ESPN Digital Audio senior manager Blair Cullen told Adweek: "It didn't make sense that we were targeting women with a lot of the ads that were running. Now, hundreds of thousands of people are going to get different ad breaks. You could be in the same car as your friend wearing different headsets, and you'll still be served a different ad than that person."

Last November (in RAIN here) Abacast announced it had been granted a "patent allowance" for "ad and song insertion." Earlier this month (in RAIN here) the company unveiled its "live stream song-skipping" technology.

Read more from AdWeek here. Abacast's press release is here.

Abacast beta tests song-skipping on live streams

Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 1:15pm

Broadcaster Federated Media is participating in the beta release of a new Abacast technology designed to enable "song skipping" on live radio streams.

Internet-only webcasters that offer a personalized stream to a single listener can easily offer song skipping. Now, Abacast says their new technology enables the same function with live content (many listeners hearing the same content simultaneously). With the new Abacast system (codenamed "Hammer"), when a listener clicks the "skip" on a song playing "live," they're immediately streamed a different song from the station's playlist. The song is played in its entirety, and Abacast says, "Hammer’s individualized buffering and insertion functionality ensures that the rest of the stream, including songs, DJ’s, and commercials, is played seamlessly and in its entirety as well."

Abacast plans to release detailed metrics regarding average listening time and audience growth shortly after the skip feature is released in Q2 2013.

Abacast granted "patent allowance" for "ad and song insertion"

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 1:35pm

Online audio tech company Abacast has announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded it a "patent allowance" for its method of replacing content in online broadcast simulcasts with other content.

While there are several technology companies with "ad-insertion" technology, Abacast says other patents "cover only one-for-one ad replacement," and its system "is unique in that it covers the replacement of ads with ads and additional content types such as songs."

The Abacast press release explains, "The patent for the invention titled 'Content Injection System and Methodology," allows for the broadcast ad to be replaced with ads, songs, and other Internet-specific content and is inclusive of mobile devices and tablets, in addition to PCs."

A notice of patent allowance means that the Patent Office has deemed the invention "genuinely new" and intends to award the patent when necessary fees have been paid.

Saga's streaming move prompts more feedback from Radio Ink's Ed Ryan, Abacast's Rob Green

Monday, August 27, 2012 - 1:10pm

Radio InkLast week Saga announced it would no longer substitute "online only" content for the on-air ads on its station's web streams (RAIN coverage here). The move sparked criticism from Fred Jacobs, Ken Dardis and Bob Maccini among others (more here).

SagaNow Rob Green, CEO of Abacast (which offers ad-replacement technology for broadcasters among other services) has penned a guest editorial for Radio Ink (here). Green argues that "the radio industry today has, at best, a muddy message about its digital future, and the choice to simulcast looks like a step backward."

Meanwhile, Radio Ink editor Ed Ryan tried listening to a few random radio stations' simulcasts online. He posted the results of his experiment here. "Is the [online] product comparable to what goes out over the air?" The answer is easy, writes Ryan: "The products are not even close."

New developments for Internet radio announced in lead-up to NAB Show

Friday, April 13, 2012 - 11:55am

As you know, RAIN Summit West is this Sunday, once again a "co-located event" of what looks to be an eventful NAB Show. And as always, there are lots of big announcements made in the days before and at the convention. Here are a few RAIN readers should find interesting:

  • BRS Media Inc., which administers the ".fm" and ".am" top-level domains (TLDs), has submitted "an extensive, comprehensive and detailed" application to administer a new ".radio" TLD (in other words, web addresses like "ClevelandRocks.radio"). Read more here.

    BRS Media Chairman & CEO George Bundy will make a Pecha Kucha presentation about existing "industry specific" domains and ".radio" at RAIN Summit West (see today's lead story).

  • Triton Digital has updated its Advertising Platform, featuring the ability to target for pre-roll and instream ads by listeners' specific mobile device or country (or many other pre-specified custom criteria). Clients can also more easily forecast delivery to mobile-only listeners and see real-time campaign results. Read more here.

    Triton Media Group President/CEO Neal Schore will make a POV presentation at RAIN Summit West, and Triton's Robert Favre and Michael Becker will be panelists.

  • Liquid Compass and AdsWizz will unveil new features for Liquid Compass' LC Pro 2.0 streaming player (here), designed to increase both ad opportunities and interactivity. The new features include a "portable" "Now Playing" widget, custom couponing ("daily deals"), custom polls (surveys), on-the-fly advertiser "takeovers" of the player, and client controls to more quickly customize the look of the player. Read more here.

    Liquid Compass CEO and founder Zackary Lewis will make a POV presentation at RAIN Summit West.

  • Abacast has announced its "Personalized Live Radio" service, combining broadcast radio's "live and local" content with music-personalization features found on Net-only radio services (e.g. Pandora). The new PLR integrates Abacast's "Cloud-Based Insertion" to insert custom content and ads; ad campaign management; and a "song personalization engine." Abacast plans to make PLR in Q3 of this year. Read more here.
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