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Emmis, BE Upgrade iTunes Tagging

Companies say their solution helps stations to monetize tagging

Emmis Interactive and Broadcast Electronics have a new agreement, a solution that they say updates their approach to song tagging.

This relationship is notable in part because of the active role Emmis has taken in developing new data services; Emmis exec Paul Brenner is also president of the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, a group of broadcasters working together to develop new business for radio in this area.

The BE/Emmis arrangement joins BE’s data management studio system with tagging metadata hosted by Emmis Interactive to monetize iTunes songs tagged by listeners of FM RDS and HD Radio receivers. Price was not announced.

The companies say iTunes tagging is one of several new data applications being adopted by stations to increase revenue and listener loyalty.

Under the agreement, Emmis Interactive will make available its iTunes metadata to BE’s The Radio Experience Message Manager customers through TagStation, a web-based application that gives stations a way to manage their iTunes tagging for song matching and reporting.

The companies say that the new system cuts out the need for stations to work directly with Apple or having to develop their own data handling and reporting mechanisms.

BE VP of Studio Systems Ray Miklius said the equipment maker and Emmis expect the development to foster broader adoption of iTunes Tagging “because we’re essentially integrating all the tools and services broadcasters need to make revenue back from the songs that their listeners buy through Apple iTunes.”

BE’s TRE Message Manager customers will also have access to other data services through Emmis Interactive as a result of the strategic agreement, though those were not specified.

Emmis SVP/CTO Paul Brenner said his exposure to radio manufacturers’ future designs indicates the need for stations to embrace song tagging and “similar technologies to enhance the listener’s experience.”

What’s the Outlook for Tagging” (May 2010)