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Custom Channels Turns to StreamGuys

Creating radio without a radio station

Custom Channels is a Colorado-based company that specializes in providing in-store background music — the audio feed that many people think is an actual radio station that plays endless MOR pop tune hits punctuated by the occasional commercial for the store.

Co-Founder and President Dave Rahn spent many years working in radio stations and as a radio industry consultant so he knows how to make his audio sound like a radio station. He calls the feeds “custom radio stations.”

Recently the company switched content delivery network providers, signing up with StreamGuys.

Rahn says: “The difference with StreamGuys is that they are not forcing us into one business model for streaming services. They instead provide us with the streaming services that are right for our model, and deliver the ongoing recommendations, support and troubleshooting we need. That helps us keep costs low and leaves us to focus on program content and customer relationships — which is what we do best.”

The audio feeds are generally 64–96 kbps aacPlus though it uses Ogg Vorbis in some situations. Rahn says it is looking at the new Ogg Opus codec.

Rahn notes that “StreamGuys allows us to use various high-quality, bandwidth-friendly formats so we are comparable to FM quality and usually higher than satellite quality — a sweet spot that our clients can easily handle on their networks.”

Also noted is that StreamGuys accommodates third-party ad insertion software in its streaming architecture, “targeting broadcasters and IP-based music services that want to incorporate promotional content in the form of pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls — and potentially generate new revenue streams,” a release explains. Rahn says, “The ad insertion software in the StreamGuys architecture allows us to manage content at the server side as opposed to just pushing messages to individual players and boxes.”