"At the forefront of an emerging trend" - Pirate FM
Established 23 years ago, Cornwall’s leading commercial radio station Pirate FM has embraced the latest digital technology throughout its lifespan.
Now, superfast broadband is allowing the innovative radio station to take its business to the next level. The studio at Redruth has a ‘Fibre to the Premises’ connection, which is bringing them superfast download speeds of around 75 Mbps.
Matt Bunt, Head of Digital Content at Pirate FM, says: “The whole environment for radio is very different from five years ago. It is not just about radio any longer: Radio has become a multimedia platform.
“The arrival of superfast broadband has allowed us to accelerate the number of digital products that we can offer our listeners, online visitors and clients.”
Matt continues: “Our flagship digital product is a daily video news bulletin, which we launched in October 2014. This is a highly professional video of up to 90 seconds, which edits together the latest news coverage. It goes out on our website and social media channels, attracting on average over 10,000 views a week, some of which are not regular radio listeners. In this way, we are extending our reach to new customers and opening new revenue streams through advertising. Superfast broadband has allowed us to make the most of this exciting new opportunity. The High Definition videos are very large files indeed, but with our superfast broadband connection, we can upload the videos to the web in seconds.
“Because we have the superfast infrastructure as well as the skills and expertise, we now also produce video news for two other radio stations in the UK that are part of our group and do not have the benefit of this winning combination. Superfast broadband is allowing us to be at the forefront of this emerging trend.
“Another important way in which superfast broadband helps us is that it speeds up the receipt of news from our journalists in the field. Our journalists will send their stories, videos and photos to us from their iPhones and now that we have superfast broadband at this end in the studio, we can download it instantly. It means that our news coverage is always right on the pulse.”
Matt adds: “Superfast broadband also makes it easier to take our shows out to the communities we serve. In the past, we would have to arrive somewhere to broadcast a show with a whole load of kit, relying on old technology. Now, we can broadcast entire shows from anywhere, thanks to superfast broadband. The strength of the signal is such that we can operate controls in the studio from a remote location. We can use the superfast connection to hit the ‘play’ button and activate the next song. This adds to our flexibility and productivity.”
Matt concludes: “Superfast broadband is opening up all kinds of fabulous new opportunities for our radio station, making more use of video and using social media more effectively. In future, we also plan to investigate replacing our telephone system with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and this should open up significant cost savings for the business too.”