User Report: WABE Evolves With StreamGuys
— Streaming media has long been viewed as an opportunity to
diversify programming and build audience numbers, as well as loyalty.
However, streaming media in our industry represents the evolution of
radio as a signal platform. And as public radio stations like
WABE(FM) seek to draw in new members through this evolving platform,
it has become clear that there are opportunities to generate revenue
through emerging technologies.
is the NPR member station for Atlanta, reaching about 500,000
listeners per week over the air, along with a rapidly expanding
online audience. As a dual-format station that offers news/talk and
classical music, our Web presence gives us the opportunity to
maximize that approach. Today, we offer three streams: a live stream
of the terrestrial signal, and separate streams offering classical
music and news/talk/information 24 hours a day. We also offer a
mobile app that is a mashup of our radio streams and online news.
limited in-house resources devoted to our digital media efforts
today, reliability in streaming is crucial in order to focus our
attention on generating content and strategizing new digital media
initiatives. StreamGuys have come through for us to serve as our
content delivery network.
first began working with StreamGuys several years ago after being
introduced at the annual iMA public media event, which brings
together public broadcasters and supporting vendors and partners from
around the country. StreamGuys’ strong track record in the radio
industry, including a loyal group of public radio broadcasters,
seemed to be an ideal match for our station.
has helped to evolve our online strategy since launching our initial
streams. This includes a transition from MP3 streaming to the
higher-quality aacPlus format, which provides our online listeners
with a more pleasant listening experience.
job as digital media strategist is to explore new opportunities that
evolve how the station presents itself online. Collectively, we refer
to it as “digital storytelling,” but the initiative comprises
several key advances that address the burning question: How do we
make digital a more robust and revenue-generating channel for our
a robust perspective, StreamGuys provides a stable streaming
architecture at its core that provides a consistent online
experience. Furthermore, its use of one-to-many server technology
ensures that we can support many formats at reasonable costs —
expanding our reach to iOS and Android mobile devices. Mobile
audience growth is of major significance to our continuing strategy,
and StreamGuys’ support allows us to better serve listeners on the
most notable recent development is our integration of AdsWizz digital
ad insertion technology, which StreamGuys offers as a service within
its architecture. It’s our belief that this technology provides us
and other public media broadcasters with a good opportunity to
generate revenue through online properties.
currently use the AdsWizz technology to support pre-roll
advertisements. Our underwriting department — the department
closest to the content — manages the AdsWizz operation, handling
creative insertions, timing and all associated activities. The
software offers an intuitive, easy to use interface for uploading and
managing ads, as well as for monitoring performance.
the latter point, AdsWizz offers 15 targeted reports that allow us to
set specific parameters to measure the success of our online
advertising initiatives and forecast future opportunities. This
includes a planned extension into mid-rolls, which we see as the next
growth opportunity revenue-wise.
of reports, StreamGuys offers several of its own to measure and
monitor online audience statistics. To date, we have only used the
very basics, notably leveraging SGReports software to generate and
analyze raw audience numbers. We study the trends and leverage the
numbers for quarterly reports to NPR. In the near future we expect to
explore more of the audience measurement capabilities in the
software, drilling down to more specific audience statistics that
cover geography, time spent listening and other figures.
forward, we also expect to explore opportunities that StreamGuys
offer for on-demand audio as well as streaming video. We understand
that online radio listeners relate to video, and when packaged
intelligently it enhances the overall user experience.
final point to highlight is the superior customer service that
StreamGuys provides. Whenever a technical issue arises — and it’s
rare — StreamGuys is quick to respond and offer a solution. This
past Labor Day weekend, I arrived home at 7 p.m. following a
five-hour road trip and was immediately greeted by emails signaling a
technical problem. We sent an email to StreamGuys and received an
rely on this level of customer service and troubleshooting given our
limited digital media resources. It was comforting to receive such
quick attention in the evening hours of a holiday weekend —
StreamGuys’ assistance helped us pinpoint the problem in this case
as a hardware issue on our end, which we were able to resolve
information, contact Jonathan Speaker at StreamGuys in California at
(707) 667-9479 or visit www.streamguys.com.