The author is founder and CEO of Radio Free Entertainment Network Ltd.
Radio Free Entertainment Network Ltd. is a broadcast and internet streaming radio network playing the music of renowned and independent artists as well as local talk shows. We are dedicated to empowering our communities to promote educational, civic and cultural development by amplifying the voices of the traditionally underrepresented.
Its origins date to my tenure as general manager of grassroots radio station WMVU(FM), Radio Free Akron. When we decided to start broadcasting WMVU online in 2019, we chose StreamGuys as our streaming service provider at the recommendation of our engineer Blake Thompson.
With our success in streaming WMVU and my desire to bring more community to the world through music, I wanted to expand our efforts into a full-service radio network to help more people get their content out. I approached the principals at WMVU with my idea, and launched RFEN in March 2021 with co-founders Warner Mendenhall and Shuaib Meacham.
RFEN now hosts and aggregates live content from a growing roster of stations beyond the Akron area including Youth Artist Network Radio from Waterloo, Iowa; hip-hop station WJJN(FM) in Dothan, Ala.; and urban gospel station WINW(AM) in Canton, Ohio.
We use a broad range of StreamGuys solutions. In addition to delivering streams over its CDN, we use the SGplayer HTML5-based multimedia player and rely on analytics tools such as SGreports and SGmon to monitor and measure our operations and audience traffic. StreamGuys created an Alexa skill for WMVU to allow the station to be accessed easily on smart speakers.
We also used StreamGuys partner SoCast to create our website and mobile app, and products such as encoders from StreamGuys partners including Videon and Telos.
While at first we focused on live streaming, we added podcast hosting and distribution at the request of our clients, starting with a podcast series for Ted “The Man with the Golden Voice” Williams. StreamGuys once again made it easy for us to expand our offerings, and we use SGrecast for podcast management and publishing.
In addition to audio, we are starting to use StreamGuys services for video. We are using SGrecast to manage video podcasts and delivering them over StreamGuys’ CDN, and we plan to add live video streaming from our recently renovated studio soon.
I love the reliability, great sound and functionality that we get from StreamGuys’ streaming tools and SGrecast, but the number one thing I like about StreamGuys is its customer service. I can call them at any time, and they treat me like I’m a multimillion-dollar client.
I am not an engineer, so having StreamGuys provide managed services is worth every penny in taking the technical load off me and my team. They’re also proactive in sending out information about industry and technology updates. StreamGuys gives us a platform we can grow on, and is a great partner in helping us achieve our goals.
Info: Contact Jason Osburn at StreamGuys at 1-707-667-9479 or visit www.streamguys.com.
Radio World User Reports are testimonial articles intended to help readers understand why a colleague chose a particular product to solve a technical situation.