User:Rfreeman779/Carolina Classic Hits
|Branding||Carolina Classic Hits|
|Affiliations||Streamicensing, Abovecast, AdsWizz, Airtime Media Traffic|
|Owner||Rick Freeman, Carolina Media Marketing|
|K-True Christian Hits KTRU|
|Class||Title 47 CFR Part 15|
Carolina Classic Hits (CCH) is a unique radio station online; this one-man operation has taken a new and innovative approach to radio automation, and created a product that has gained an audience of over 14,000 unique listeners per month in over 240 countries and 88,000 listeners per year (according to direct server reports from Abovecast and TuneIn.com), yet is operated in a home studio in a North Carolina town of just 14,520. The station is continually one of the most highly-ranked stations in its format worldwide on the Internet as listed by TuneIn.com's list of Classic Hits category selections.
With most traditional over-the-air radio stations' programming developed to attract the 18 to 34 year old demographic due to the Targeted advertising strategy, [Classic hits] music formats on radio are more likely to be found online on [Internet radio]. For listeners between 45 and 70 years old, the over-the-air choices for radio entertainment are diminishing. Yet online, the number of stations for entertainment seems limitless to the typical Internet user who grew up when there were only land line telephones, three channels on television and your source for music was the local radio station. While many music outlets providing online streams focus on a jukebox approach to playing music, there is a growing number of online radio stations that are using the personality of announcers to set themselves apart from the rest. Once such station is Carolina Classic Hits which began streaming worldwide in 2012 from Reidsville, North Carolina. Their blend of Soul, R&B and Classic rock is sent around the world via the facilities of iCastCenter, Streamlicensing and Abovecast. Music licensing is administered by Streamlicensing.
Industry Positioning and Innovation
In February 2017, the industry trade magazine, "Radio – The Radio Technology Leader," described Carolina Classic Hits as "an extreme example of clever automation. A complex set of rules and careful thought when the station was set up helps keep the station fresh — quite a challenge for an oldies-based radio station." The writer of the article, James Cridland, went on to say that the station follows the "crunch and roll" format familiar to many listeners of tightly-formatted radio. Carolina Classic Hits plays an uptempo blend of 70s, 80s and 90s Top 40 Hits, Motown, R&B, Classic Rock and Carolina Beach Music. Twice daily, the 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00 hours (Eastern) become The 60s At 6, The 70s At 7, and The 80s At 8. Saturday nights, the station plays disco and dance music while Sunday nights feature soft rock and smooth soul programming. Each Monday, the station features songs by Motown artists like the Four Tops, The Temptations, Diana Ross, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, Lionel Richie, the Jackson Five and the legendary artists who recorded at Hitsville U.S.A.
Format Execution and Efficiency of Program Formatics
With regards to the automation of the programming, everything is voice tracked and the tracks are "evergreen" in that they do not expire. Every song in the station's 2000 active songs library has at least 3 basic intros: a simple artist intro, a quick intro which also cross-promotes one of the specialty decade hours (60s at 6, etc.) or the website/apps, and finally a full personality intro that includes more of the song or artist info or general humor. Most songs also have two or three more intros that are exclusive to the specialty hour or special features. Over 4000 voice-tracking files are in the system giving the station the impression that the air personality (disc jockey) is always "live and direct from the studios." Although at most times the station is fully automated, Carolina Classic Hits is also equipped to allow the air personality to go live on the microphone in the studio at the push of one button.
Technically, everything runs out of StationPlaylist audio automation system on two refurbished computers (one on-air and one backup) running Windows 10 Pro and each with two hard drives. The online machine schedules the music daily, backs itself up to the second drive on that computer as well as both drives on the backup computer. The backup computer is located at another geographic location in Reidsville, North Carolina and also uses a different Internet service provider. If problems arise with the main computer or its Internet connection, the backup is online within 10 seconds and can also resume the music scheduling process if needed. The on-air system also has WiFi capability and in the event of a major Internet outage, the streaming can be diverted to an LTE Broadband connection.
US Royalty Controversy
January 2016, the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009 expired, ending a 10-year period in which online radio stations such at [CCH] could pay reduced royalties to labels. On January 31, 2016, webcasters who are governed by rules adopted by the Copyright Royalty Board were required to pay to SoundExchange an annual, nonrefundable minimum fee of $500 for each channel and station. the fee for services with greater than 100 stations or channels being $50,000 annual. This subject is given further discussion on the [Internet radio] page.
In January 2016, Carolina Classic Hits blocked their webcast streams in the United States due to a ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board that increased the rates small webcasters and broadcasters must pay for rights to play recorded music. The station's streaming provider, Abovecast, placed the station's programming behind a Geo-fence which allowed them to continue operating but making their music programming receivable only by computer IP address locations outside of the United States. The impact of the Copyright Royalty Board decision to the 'Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009' to expire forced many Internet radio operators to cease operation or block its listeners in the United States. Webcasters operating under the rules adopted by the Copyright Royalty Board, under the new 2016 rate structure, would now have to pay to SoundExchange fees of $0.0017 per song per listener. While $0.0017 per song sounds like a small amount, a small webcaster averaging 50 listeners each hour, operating 24/7 and playing 12 songs per hour would have a yearly expense of over $8,800, compared to what was as low as $25.00 per month for many webcasters.
Impact of Expiration of Webcaster Settlement Act
According to Marvin Glass, former owner and manager of StreamLicensing, a platform for small and mid-size webcasting, "I’ve watched them (webcasters) close their stations by the hundreds over the last two weeks. I’m talking about watching disabled vets shut down their stations. Retirees on small pensions, those on disabilities, others visually handicapped, as well as ordinary working men and women who just want to play a few songs over the Internet for their friends." One of the largest webcast companies, Live365, was forced to close its doors but has since reopened under a new business model as of July 2016.
Critical Response and Reaction
Carolina Classic Hits joined with other critics as a participant with SaveNetRadio.org, "a coalition of listeners, artists, labels and webcasters" that opposed the proposed royalty rates. To focus attention on the consequences of the impending rate hike, many US Internet broadcasters participated in a "Day of Silence" on June 26, 2007. On that day, they shut off their audio streams or streamed ambient sound, sometimes interspersed with brief public service announcements voiced, written and produced by popular voiceover artist Dave Solomon.
Return To United States Streaming Availability
Carolina Classic Hits returned to broadcasting worldwide in August 2016 as a client of Streamlicensing who manages all of the reporting and payments of royalties under one of their new webcast/advertising/royalty-payment packages.
Programming Mission and Unique Positioning for 21st Century
Mission and Influences
The mission of Carolina Classic Hits, according to their Facebook page, is to relive the music and memories of Top 40 radio from the 60s, 70s and 80s on the Internet in the flair, personality and style of some of the great contemporary radio stations in the South. Heritage Top 40 radio stations that were an influence on CCH Carolina Classic Hits include: WKIX Raleigh NC, BIG WAYS (now WFNZ) Charlotte NC, WQXI Atlanta GA, WAPE Jacksonville, FL, WLS Chicago, WABC New York and WNOX Knoxville, TN.
Carolina Classic Hits is featured on TuneIn and iTunes. The station is also available on their website, which in keeping with the station's tight budget constraints, was designed by the station and launched via the free website program from Wix.com.
Format Production Contributors
The custom "Carolina" sing, shout and sonovox jingles for CCH Carolina Classic Hits were created by JAM Creative Productions, and the full jingle library was produced in-house using packages provided by Ben Freedman Productions and Ben's "Jingle Guy Productions." This was one of the last projects Ben Freedman consulted before died at the age of 64 on January 9, 2013 after having a heart attack.
- WABC. ""The Day The Music Died"".
- James Cridland. "Radio – The Radio Technology Leader".
- James Cridland. "Radio – The Radio Technology Leader".
- Sean Ross. ""Where To Hear The '60s Online"".
- Carolina Classic Hits. "CCH Online Website "Special Programming"".
- Carolina Classic Hits. "CCH Online Website "About Us"".
- "2016 Broadcasters Calendar" (PDF). wbklaw.com. Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "commercial webcaster 2016 rates". soundexchange.com. soundexchange. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- San Francisco Chronicle. ""New Royalty Rates Endanger Online Radio Stations"".
- Paul Resnikoff. "Dear United States Government: Please Don't Kill the Small Webcasters".
- Brad Hill. ""Small webcasters enter the unknown of 2016"".
- Radio World. ""CRB Ruling Is 'Crushingly Bad News' for Microcasters"".
- Brad Hill. ""Live365 returns, one year after going silent"".
- Militante, Carlos (April 26, 2007). "Stagnant royalty rates may bring end to Internet radio". Spartan Daily. San Jose State University. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2010 – via The Daily Collegian.
- Official SaveNetRadio PSAs & Day Of Silence Network Audio.
- Stream Licensing. ""U.S. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC & SoundExchange Internet Radio Stream Licensing "".
- Carolina Classic Hits. "CCH Online Facebook "About Us"".
- "TuneIn Radio".
- Creative Productions Marketing Group. "Jingle Guy Productions".
- Media Confidential. "R.I.P.: Radio's Jingle Guy Ben Freedman Was 64".