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Harris, Geo-Broadcast Solutions Plan First Commercial Test of ZoneCasting

Harris, Geo-Broadcast Solutions Plan First Commercial Test of ZoneCasting

Sep 12, 2012 12:10 PM

Melbourne, FL, and Denver – Sep 12, 2012 – Harris and Geo-Broadcast Solutions (GBS) have broken ground on the first commercial test for ZoneCasting – technology that enables targeted, over-the-air radio content transmission to local neighborhoods. The initiative unleashes new revenue opportunities for broadcasters, advertising agencies and local businesses by using the “available everywhere” technology of broadcast radio to bring a neighborhood-focus to local airwaves. This essentially builds closer, community-driven engagement between radio stations and their listeners; as well as local businesses and consumers.

Peter Handy, CEO of Geo-Broadcast Systems, estimates the return on investment for broadcasters at three years or less – while noting that ad agencies will benefit by bringing new localized advertising opportunities to their clients. “Radio has always been a target medium for advertisers,” said Handy. “ZoneCasting signals an opportunity to be even more hyper-focused. It dives from the greater community to specific neighborhoods, leveraging the localism that makes radio appealing.”

Harris is the exclusive transmission supplier for GBS ZoneCasting Systems, providing the technology and design/installation expertise for all ZoneCasting deployments. WRMF-FM, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, will launch the first commercial test system in the fall of 2012 with an eye toward official deployment.

“ZoneCasting leverages proven technology to help radio broadcasters transform and monetize their business,” said Richard Redmond, vice president of product management and strategy, transmission systems, Harris Broadcast Communications. “This is not about investing in a new studio or transmitter with the hopes it will improve ratings or revenue. This is about helping broadcasters become more competitive against a fractured marketplace.”

The message that ZoneCasting is about more than features and functionality of a box or software program is one that resonates with Dean Goodman, CEO of Palm Beach Broadcasting, which owns and operates WRMF. “There are local businesses and organizations that have not used radio advertising because it has traditionally been focused across an entire market,” said Goodman. “The localization of advertising to specific neighborhoods makes radio advertising both sensible and affordable for these companies, while delivering renewed attention from consumers. It is easy to visualize how the advertising success of one neighborhood business would result in competing businesses quickly coming on board.”

The Harris system deploys multiple corresponding Flexiva low-power FM transmitters within the GBS ZoneCasting network architecture, adding Intraplex SynchroCast simulcasting equipment for synchronous delivery of localized content across defined zones. The architecture features proven technology at its core that is used globally today – and ensures that the ZoneCasting platform is viable for analog FM and digital radio standards worldwide.

“We have submitted tests that prove the validity of the ZoneCasting concept, and have now joined hands with one of the largest and most reliable broadcast equipment suppliers in the world,” said Handy. “We think this will be beneficial for the radio broadcast industry – and as beneficial for listeners as the local advertisers and stations.”

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