(Excerpted and edited from MediaUK.com article)
In many of my speaking engagements, I talk about the opportunities that digital offers radio stations – particularly in terms of brand extensions. One of the examples I give is the Radio Academy Award-winning Absolute Radio, which, apart from the main Absolute Radio service, has a selection of additional stations based on decades: Absolute Radio 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s; and Classic Rock.
Since 2008, the breakfast show on all Absolute Radio stations has been a simulcast of the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show (itself a Radio Academy Award-winner). Absolute have always wished to offer the kind of engagement and entertainment that radio listeners expect at breakfast time, and this simulcast also offers a larger opportunity in terms of breakfast sponsorship and promotions, one of the largest money-spinners for the station.
But now, the station uses the individual playout systems to play different songs on different stations too, keeping Christian’s show, but tailoring the music to the tastes of the different stations’ listeners. And it’s all done automatically.
This is achieved by using some special software written for Golden Square by RCS – the folks behind the music scheduling program GSelector.
This bespoke software:
- automatically takes the main Absolute Radio music schedule from G Selector,
- extracts the song durations,
- imports the song durations into the digital stations in GSelector,
- creates appropriate song schedules for each digital station, based on the duration.
What’s neat is that it uses the rules – such as tempo, mood and artist separation – set in each stations’ program clock. It’s clever enough, too, to insert two short songs if it needs to (probably most likely to be the case for Absolute Radio 60s).
Once the schedule is run for each digital stations, and they’ve been checked by a human being, the schedules get imported into the playout machine for each station, and when Christian wants to kick off another song, he just presses the ‘next’ button as he would normally. All the clever stuff happens behind the scenes.
See complete article here.