Sprint’s Radio Deal: Some Context

More details have emerged about Sprint’s deal with broadcasters to include FM receiver functionality in some of its mobile devices. In simple terms, broadcasters have cobbled together a package of subsidies to the nation’s #3 wireless carrier in order to buy access to that market.

Sprint will enable FM radio reception capability in at least 30 million phones over the next three years, using Emmis Communication’s NextRadio app as the interface.

In exchange, broadcasters will pay Sprint 30% of any "interactive" advertising revenue generated via the app on those phones. Emmis sweetened the deal by pledging Sprint $45 million in advertising inventory over three years ($15 million per year, allocated quarterly). Read More

ZoneCasting: Commercial Test in 2013

GeoBroadcast Solutions, developer of the "ZoneCasting" FM transmission system, will conduct a full-scale commercial test in Florida next spring or summer. The test-station will be WRMF, an independently-owned adult-contemporary music outlet in West Palm Beach.

Although the FCC has yet to grant experimental authorization for this test, GeoBroadcast and Palm Beach Broadcasting have already secured FM booster-transmitters and a simulcast coordination system from Harris and are negotiating tower leases for the boosters. Read More

ZoneCasting Prepares Further Field Trials, Eyes Official Launch

Radio World reports that GeoBroadcast Solutions, the company behind “ZoneCasting” technology, will commence long-term field trials on a station in southeast Florida this fall and is preparing for a “commercial launch” as of now left undefined.

[For those just tuning in, ZoneCasting uses FM booster stations to break up a full-power station’s primary coverage area into “zones,” each one covered by its own booster. This allows the parent station to program each zone separately, offering geo-targeted advertisements, news, community information, and emergency messages.] Read More

Dearth of Broadcast Engineers Felt Beyond Station-Level

Radio World has followed up on a report released this spring by the Society of Broadcast Engineers that examined the aging nature of the profession.

The article explores several explanations for why young folks aren’t going into the technical side of radio and television: in addition to consolidation and automation, employment-competition from industries such as information technology and wireless telecommunications has also had an impact. Especially when jobs in those fields generally pay (much) better and offer a stronger sense of job security. Read More