Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Waymark Offers AI Video Services to Radio Stations

Allows local advertisers to "generate high-quality commercials with professional voice-over in five minutes or less"

Recently, Waymark signed an agreement with Beasley Media Group to roll out its generative AI technology across 29 Beasley-owned radio stations.

Waymark’s AI-powered video platform enables local businesses to “generate high-quality commercials with professional voice-over in five minutes or less,” according to the company. The AI-generated technology is currently being used at Beasley-owned radio stations in Augusta, Ga., Charlotte and Fayetteville, N.C., Detroit, Mich. and Las Vegas, Nev. The pact with Beasley Media Group is Waymark’s first major step into radio, following recent national video deals with Spectrum Reach and Gray Television Stations.

To learn more about Waymark and its offerings, Radio World asked Waymark CEO Alex Persky-Stern our questions via email.

Radio World: Can you give us a brief overview of Waymark, its founding? What needs is your company meeting in the broadcast world?

Alex Persky-Stern

Alex Persky-Stern: The simplest way to explain Waymark’s platform is that it is an AI-based video generator. It allows users to create a complete, ready-to-air commercial in minutes. Here’s a very brief (under 3 minute) demo to show you how it works. We formally introduced the video creator in 2017, when we won a Google Demo Day award. At that point, it didn’t leverage any AI to operate. We started incorporating AI in 2020/2021, which is when we really started to see major acceleration in what we could offer in terms of creative power.

Media providers such as broadcasters, cable, streaming services and now radio are using Waymark to open TV advertising to small businesses. Until now, TV advertising has been dominated by large brands because, historically, only large companies with deep pockets could afford to make TV commercials. A single 30-second commercial can take days or weeks to produce, and can easily cost thousands of dollars. That’s time and money that many, many businesses in the U.S. just don’t have. With Waymark, media providers can offer this affordable, high-quality video creative to their clients as part of an advertising package. They’ve found that this is a major value add for local businesses, and also generates more advertising spend — it’s a win-win for both parties.

Our partners seem to agree: We’ve signed deals with Gray Television, Spectrum Reach, Gamut and now Beasley Media Group. We’re also in the creative directories for both Hulu and Roku, who point to us as a resource for their self-serve ad platforms. We have a few more partnerships that we’ll be announcing down the line. It’s a very energizing time for us as these innovators leverage our technology to democratize video production across their markets.

RW: Tell us about Waymark’s interest in radio. What inspired the expansion from solely video applications?

Persky-Stern: We’re really well positioned to help radio navigate the explosion of CTV and OTT. The radio industry is constantly innovating and seizing new opportunities to amplify local business marketing — that’s why it’s been an advertising staple for so long. Many radio stations have longstanding relationships with local advertisers. They have that trust and that history, and they also have the expertise and knowledge to see streaming as a powerful new opportunity. Waymark is a natural fit to help them bridge the creative gap that helps them introduce their clients to video advertising in a way they simply couldn’t before.

RW: What are some of the top features of your AI technology?

Persky-Stern: We’ve evolved to a point where we’re using multiple AI models in the platform, and many parts of the experience are AI-driven. Our partners love the AI scriptwriting, where we generate an entire script for a commercial in seconds; the automatic branding that pulls images and creative from a business’ web presence and matches brand colors; and the latest addition — AI voice-over that adds that extra layer of polish to a commercial. All of these have been major differentiators, while still offering an unprecedented level of ease, speed and affordability to any user.

RW: What has interest been like from radio stations?

Persky-Stern: We’ve seen a really positive response from the radio industry, especially with regards to selling OTT and CTV advertising.

In fact, the radio industry invented one of Waymark’s most popular uses: as a spec spot creator. In radio, it was a common practice to approach advertising clients with “spec” creative to give them a preview of what their ad could look like. They found this really helped prospects get enthusiastic about the marketing potential there. There was no way to use that “creative-first” sales approach at scale before Waymark entered the picture. Now there is, and the account executives that use it report very powerful results.

RW: How would you address the concerns that many broadcasters share about the implementation of AI into everyday work life (and the potential disruption to jobs/trusted content)?

Persky-Stern: There’s no question that AI will impact the media world. At Waymark, we anticipate that we’ll see a lot of AI content — but the winners in media will be the ones who learn that it’s AI-supported content, not AI-generated content, that’s the most interesting and powerful.

We have a theory called “Humans at the Helm,” which we’ve developed after working a lot with AI ourselves. After a great deal of experimentation, we’ve consistently found that you can use AI to create things very quickly. But when you use a human creative expert to guide and elevate those results, that’s when the most interesting and compelling content comes out.

As more and more businesses adopt AI to create content, they’re going to need to find new ways to differentiate themselves from the sea of other AI content out there; and the answer will lie where it always has: in humans. We expect that what we’ll see with AI will follow the same pattern as every other technological advancement in history — that the humans who learn how to use it to amplify their own skill set will come out on top.

[Read More Radio World Stories About Artificial Intelligence]