Southfield, MI, September 29, 2015 – Dash Radio, a human-curated streaming service delivering 65 radio stations to listeners worldwide, is automating its entire playout network using ENCO DAD automation. The customized DAD platform allows Dash Radio to drive up to 12 ad-free stations from a single workstation, dramatically reducing operational costs while enabling the same automated workflow power of a terrestrial radio network. Additionally, advanced features such as remote voice tracking and Dropbox-based file transfer eliminate the challenges of working with DJs broadcasting around the world.
Launched by terrestrial radio veterans DJ Skee and John Halterman, Dash Radio brings traditional radio curation of yesteryear to modern internet and mobile app-based streaming. DJs build playlists without corporate interference or algorithm-based song choices, and the majority of formats are built around popular genres underserved by traditional AM/FM outlets. Popular shows include Cadillac Music, hosted by Snoop Dogg.
Halterman, Dash Radio’s President of Operations, says the cost concerns of running an ad-free streaming service with the technical infrastructure of a terrestrial radio network initially seemed an impossible hurdle. Upon evaluating automation systems on the market, he was dismayed that many leading vendors were unwilling to break out of the “single machine, single license” model – essentially requiring a dedicated automation workflow for each station.
“ENCO allows us to encode and monitor 12 stations on each DAD workstation, and stream content to our CDN for delivery to the web and mobile devices,” said Halterman. “Their flexible model allowed us to launch with 50 stations – more than twice our intention of 20 – and quickly scale to 65 at a very reasonable cost. The reliability has been off the charts, considering how we run multiple live playbacks from each machine. We are pushing this system very hard, and DAD really delivers. This is a rock-solid platform.”
DAD’s cutting-edge remote voice tracking software has been a huge benefit to the operation, given that many DJs are based outside of Los Angeles (home of Dash Radio headquarters); or are touring musicians broadcasting live from the road.
“The remote voice tracking application in DAD is game-changing in the world of radio automation,” said Halterman. “Our DJs can open any web browser to achieve voice tracking for broadcasts. We’re streaming 250 to 300 live shows a week across these 65 channels, and our DJs are doing live and voice tracked shows from all over the world. ENCO is bringing a lot of value by helping us operate a truly worldwide platform, instead of forcing DJs into the studio.”
The automated workflow is further empowered through ENCO’s integration with MusicMaster scheduling software, which at once streamlines and accelerates playlist creation for playback from DAD; and ENCO’s Dropbox feature, which enables drag-and-drop file transfers of complete shows, separate songs and voice tracks, imagery and more into dedicated program folders.
Halterman notes that the Dropbox capability has become the Dash Radio production team’s favorite feature, with “hundreds” of file transfers happening each day.
“A regular radio station takes months to launch; we went on the air with 50 stations in three months because of the organizational structure of features like the Dropbox application,” he said. “It’s been a real time saver for both new station launches and ongoing content management for existing stations.”
DJs add content to their Dropbox folders, and everything is organized and ready to go. The Dash Radio production staff can then export those libraries using DAD’s Cut File application directly into MusicMaster, which automatically adds song, title and other identifying data.
“Because ENCO is so user-friendly and automates so many tasks, we have had new stations up and running within 12 hours,” added Halterman.
Moving forward, Halterman expects that Dash Radio will add more DAD systems as new stations are added to the network. Other popular shows include Beat Junkie Radio and Odd Future Radio. A complete list of shows and DJs (along with live streams) can be found at www.dashradio.com; or via the Dash Radio app for iOS and Android in applicable App Stores.