YFM has joined forces with digital development studio immedia to launch YTV; a ground breaking, real-time, low bandwidth visual feed.
The pilot YTV project is based on new technology developed by immedia over the past three years in association with the University of Cape Town, and the CSIR. Known as Adaptive Real Time Internet Streaming Technology (ARTIST), this South African born-and-bred innovation does away with the buffering associated with slow download speeds, by monitoring an Internet connection and adapting the quality of the video stream accordingly. This effectively fills the gap between bandwidth supply and content demand.
YFM Music & Digital Manager, Mervyn Sigamoney, says he is extremely excited about the YTV pilot project, given that it’s the first of its kind in Africa. “Until now, local radio stations have only been able to offer a video picture that refreshes every few minutes. In comparison, YTV is live, real time coverage or more simply – TV broadcasting on the Internet. “I must stress, however, that YTV is not meant to be a high definition offering but rather caters to the bandwidth needs of our audience and in so doing, adds a highly-personal touch by putting our listeners in studio with the DJ in real time.”
immedia Director, Bevan Andries, says the benefit of ARTIST within the radio environment is that it adds eyes to ears, faces to voices, and the visual to the audible.
“Traditional radio has been able to offer an audio and more recently, online environment but YTV adds real-time, video streaming to the mix which adds a whole new dimension to listeners’ radio experience. We have effectively closed the loop for true integration of media incorporating radio, online, web, TV, mobile and print.”
Sigamoney says that YTV also serves as an additional means of generating non-traditional revenue (NTR) as it creates a host of new advertising opportunities. Besides the obvious banner ad spots available around the YTV screen, it offers advertisers unique endorsement opportunities, for example a DJ consuming a sponsored beverage or wearing sponsored clothing.
He cites a good example of an existing client who could use the technology to market their brand as a data provider and the synergy between the ‘connection’ provided by the YTV platform and the connection offered by the client’s data product.
Looking ahead, Sigamoney says the advent of YTV, underpinned by the home grown ARTIST technology has allowed YFM to rapidly advance its digital vision.
“In association with immedia, our future plans include taking the ARTIST technology on to our mobile platform including iOS; and also to MacOS devices. This will further enhance our audience’s experience of the YFM brand and will further position us as a pioneer within the local media space.”