WWOZ Gets Its Groove Online

NEW ORLEANS — WWOZ(FM), known as The Guardians of the Groove, is an independent, volunteer-powered community radio station located in New Orleans, broadcasting 100 kW of analog at 90.7 FM, and WWOZ(HD2), an HD Radio channel. The station’s programming is 100 percent music-based, featuring the music of New Orleans, American roots music and related genres.

Most of our volunteer hosts broadcast one two- or three-hour show each week, for a total of about 70 programs. We also do a fair amount of live broadcasting, including extensive broadcasts from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival every spring, as well as other local, national and international festivals and events.

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As a small station, we rely on alternate platforms like the Internet and streaming music clips to expand our audience. As an early adopter of streaming technology, starting in the late ’90s, we have experienced a lot of growth outside our terrestrial broadcast footprint. Today, approximately half of our listeners come from outside Louisiana.

Since our funding comes mostly from small donations from listeners, reliable and high-quality streams open up potential worldwide revenue sources. It has to be done right, and we rely exclusively on the CDN services of StreamGuys to deliver our programming reliably to the public over multiple streaming platforms.

We started working with StreamGuys in late 2011, and have continued to grow our audience and expand our services. StreamGuys bundles many services into one single, cost-efficient package that’s easy for us to understand and best apply them to our internal business and external audience needs. This includes two simultaneous streams, our mobile apps and a new two-week “On Demand” archive we’re implementing across all of our shows.

The latter is being accomplished with SGrecast, a new software-as-a-service from StreamGuys that significantly reduces the technology infrastructure and associated costs previously required to create online side channels. SGrecast delivers a way to create and publish any number of linear radio channels and custom streams, including podcasts and other on-demand content. This is an excellent example of how StreamGuys’ service offering continues to evolve with our online business model, and enables a significant amount of additional live and on-demand service launches down the road, as desired.

StreamGuys excels in two other important areas that help us deliver a comprehensive streaming model as a radio broadcaster. First, over the years they have supported occasional live video streams associated with musical performances and productions. Their robust and reliable delivery infrastructure provides the bandwidth we need to delivery a high-quality video service alongside audio channels on the same delivery platform — while also supporting multiple consumer formats for playout on many devices.

StreamGuys also provides a rich business software portfolio that helps us monitor and understand our business needs both short and long term. From a quality of service perspective, SGalerts quickly signals our staff regarding network performance and other quality issues via immediate email alerts, which can be sent to the devices of our choosing. Furthermore, SGreports is a detailed log processing service that offers in-depth information about content usage from any consumer device. In addition, there is the SGmon service which offers a detailed view of historical statistics, including peak listeners and viewers over a period of time, concurrent audio numbers, and the devices and locations of each visitor.

We like to focus our efforts on programming, as well as generating the necessary funding we need to operate our station to its highest potential. We are happy we have the experts at StreamGuys to help us manage the distribution of our online channels. StreamGuys has proven a reliable partner that has been key to our success. And while technical issues have been very rare, the company’s technical engineers have been helpful and supportive, ensuring our listeners worldwide have the highest quality of experience.

For information, contact Jonathan Speaker at StreamGuys in California at (707) 667-9479 or visit www.streamguys.com.



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