Federated Media

Social Radio develops online "side channels" for South Bend rock station

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 11:35am

Federated Media's WRBR/South Bend, IN ("103.9 The Bear") has launched a series of customizable online music streams powered by Social Radio, called "My Bear."

The service enables listeners to choose from seven different niches of rock music, and personalize their listening by skipping, banning, and voting on the songs they hear. Federated chief strategy officer James Derby told Inside Radio he thinks the "My Bear" service could potentially convert "P3 and P4 listeners" into "P1s" by way of more individually-tailored listening experiences.

Federated Media plans to add liners from the jocks as well as "interactive commercials" (the streams are just music and general sweepers now), according to the news source. The station says it will soon launch mobile apps and a social media presence. And should Federated deem the project a success, look for personalized versions of the company's other stations.

Social Radio powers the new Balut Radio, launched by TV5 New Media in the Philippines (RAIN coverage here).

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.

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.

Federated Media re-launches Indiana hip-hop station as online-only stream

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 11:10am

Power, Michian's Hits & Hip-Hop stationFederated Media re-launched its "Power 95.7" South Bend, IN hip-hop station Friday as an online-only stream. The webcast is dubbed "Power, Michiana's Hits & Hip-Hop." The FM station was switched over to news/talk three years ago.

The new web-only station (found here) is currently programmed from Pittsburgh and features only music and imaging, though voices will reportedly be added later. It resembles an over-the-air station stream, in that users can't skip songs or customize the music.

Inside Radio reports Federated Media is "bullish on streaming" and says the company is "billing three times the amount it pays out to run the streams -- even at an inventory sell rate of 45-50%."

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