StreamGuys to Deliver and Monetise Online Radio for Dark Matter Digital Network
Dark Matter Digital Network has selected StreamGuys to provide all content delivery network (CDN) and live streaming services for its programming, including dynamic ad insertion. The appointment of StreamGuys as the network’s exclusive CDN and streaming partner coincides with paranormal radio legend Art Bell’s return to broadcasting.
Keith Rowland, owner of Dark Matter Digital Network and a longtime webmaster and engineer for Art Bell, has gradually built a live talent roster since launching the network in 2013. With the return of Art Bell and the addition of The Other Side of Midnight, a new show from Richard C. Hoagland airing immediately after Midnight in the Desert, Rowland sought to offload the growing responsibilities that come with a busier live streaming schedule – and a quickly growing audience.
A recommendation from TuneIn, the stream aggregator that will carry Midnight in the Desert via its mobile app, brought StreamGuys into the picture. StreamGuys quickly established a robust, cloud-based streaming architecture that can quickly scale up or down to accommodate audience sizes from show to show, along with redundant mp3 and AAC+ streams to accommodate most media players. Rowland also signed on for StreamGuys’ dynamic ad insertion service, ensuring a simple path to stream monetisation without the burden of managing ad schedules and delivery.
“StreamGuys developed a strong combination of hardware and streaming infrastructure that covered everything from dynamic user numbers to ad delivery,” said Rowland. “They built a redundant server backbone to handle thousands of connections seamlessly, with automatic failover to backup systems as needed. It’s an intelligent configuration that can determine which server and data centre location is best equipped to handle each connection. And the ad insertion service happens entirely server-side, which means we simply have to send a tone down the audio chain to trigger ads. They do all the heavy lifting, which removes the headaches of manual ad management from the client side.”
The monetisation angle is especially important for Dark Matter Digital Network. While 22 over-the-air radio stations in North America have signed on to pick up Midnight in the Desert from a relay stream, Rowland emphasises that his operation is primarily an internet streaming network—a vision that he sees quickly gaining momentum.
“Increasingly, broadcasters who leave the corporate market recognise independent internet streaming as the next logical step,” said Rowland. “Even when Art Bell was on terrestrial and later satellite radio, more listeners were switching to a concurrent internet stream with each passing week. This was the next natural step for Art, and it’s exactly where we want to be as Dark Matter Digital Network. We can control everything we do, and streaming is a more exacting technology when it comes to financials. We understand our demographics, we know our audience numbers and we can monetise everything easily compared to the surveys and averages of terrestrial radio. StreamGuys is helping us achieve our monetisation goals.”