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StreamGuys selected for Australian Radio Network

StreamGuys selected for Australian Radio Network
ARN's technology director, Joe Sexton

StreamGuys selected for Australian Radio Network

Australia:

ARN (Australian Radio Network) has turned to solutions provided by StreamGuys to simplify its streaming operations and prepare for growth.

The broadcaster and on-demand audio company has ownership or investment in 12 radio stations nationwide, as well as digital entertainment platform iHeartRadio and the iHeartPodcast Network. It was the first broadcaster in Australia to offer dynamic addressable content with interactive inventory, and had worked with several major streaming and cloud vendors, but found their day-to-day operations becoming too cumbersome.

“While we learnt a lot in the process, the most obvious lesson was the challenge of managing our own public-facing production platform,” explained Joe Sexton, technology director, ARN. “It wasn’t as simple as ‘set it and forget it.’ The server farm required constant maintenance.”

ARN decided to migrate its services to a hybrid hosting environment and wanted to explore using a managed service that had previous experience with dynamic audio. “We had multiple vendors and legacy systems supporting our live streams, making the existing infrastructure overly complicated and difficult to scale,” added Sexton. “We also wanted to increase our streaming capacity to accommodate an expanding number of audio channels and ensure suitable headroom for the forecasted listener growth. Finally, we wanted to improve our reporting and analytics, as our management, commercial, and content teams had limited visibility of real-time or historical data.”

ARN’s iHeartRadio partners in New Zealand, NZME, had transitioned to a managed service one year earlier with StreamGuys as their provider. StreamGuys now manages live streaming with midstream ad replacement for ARN’s Australian brands KIIS, Pure Gold and The Edge, which are integrated into the iHeartRadio Platform. StreamGuys handles the broadcaster’s full audio payload, including radio simulcasts, DAB+ simulcasts, iHeartRadio stations and an expanding array of audio partnerships. Audio streams are hosted through StreamGuys’ Australian data centre, giving 100% uptime to ARN’s listeners.

StreamGuys’ SaaS (software-as-a-service) suite also provides ARN with tools to monitor operations. SGmetadata monitors what ARN is encoding from its studio complex to ensure that ad break replacement is being properly triggered. StreamGuys also created custom alerts in its SGalerts monitoring system to notify staff of changes to ARN’s load balancing or other system outages.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in streaming traffic across all ARN and iHeartRadio audiences,” said Sexton. “In a relatively short time, StreamGuys have delivered multiple significant benefits – doubling our streaming capacity, adding new commercial inventory opportunities, and overcoming our data visualisation issues. The operational stress of managing the server farms and day-to-day operation ourselves has not been missed, and StreamGuys have proven to be a valuable technology partner. They have an approachable, can-do attitude that always fills our teams with confidence, and they are a pleasure to work with.”



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