RCS and the Absolute Radio group has been awarded the 2014 TechCon Technical Excellence award at the UK Radio Festival in Manchester, England.
The award, sponsored by Arqiva, recognizes the world’s first fully-synchronized split music service whereby the presenter is heard live across multiple different format radio stations, but the music is separate and relevant to each genre in every case.
Since 2008, the breakfast show on the seven Absolute group radio stations has been common (the award-winning Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show) and, until earlier this year, so was the music.
However, after the breakfast show was over, each service resumed its musical format: Absolute Radio 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, Classic Rock or the main radio station. What Absolute wanted to achieve was the avoidance of format confusion, so while they still wanted Christian O’Connell to be the breakfast presenter for all services, they wanted to music to be format-specific.
Working closely with the Absolute Radio project team, RCS UK’s Chris Voce, RCS developed a clever utility that takes the schedule of the main station and requests matching songs of the other six services, taking all GSelector rules and of course the length into account. The end result is a service where the music played on Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show is different depending on whether listeners are tuned into Absolute Radio 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, Classic Rock or its main station – but the live Christian O’Connell bits in between the music are the same on all services.
Writing in media.info, Radio Futurologist James Cridland said the innovation, « …paves the way for more interactive services that help redefine radio for a new audience. »