How Marketron Brought Radio Into the Cloud Era

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-09-01 Print this article Print

REAL-WORLD USE CASE: Cloud-service users now can do anything from turning sprinklers and lights on or off at home, to farm analytics, to running a data center. What you might not have known is that you now can run a radio or television station via cloud service.

Most IT people already know that the sky's the limit in the cloud and that subscription services are getting more specialized all the time. At first, functions such as human resource management, health care services, accounting, sales applications, and other business use cases were the pioneers in enterprise clouds, and they remain standard use cases.

Now users can do anything from turning sprinklers and lights on or off at home, to farm analytics, to running a data center. What you might not have known is that you now can run a radio or television station via cloud service.

For generations, all functionality in a radio station, for example, happened in the same physical office. The traffic department moved its information to the on-air staff, and that all was separated from the account executives. Connecting the dots could often be a daunting task, especially if ad copy and art was late or simply out of sync.

Running a Radio Station from Poolside?

Imagine a radio or television program director sitting out at the pool, checking the ad and program lineup on an iPad and making changes as needed on the fly via the Web. Of course, program directors wouldn't be caught dead doing their work in this manner, but in theory it's possible. This is now made real through a company called Marketron.

Marketron is a veteran of the communications business, consisting of a rollup of previous companies totaling about 40 years in operation. For years, broadcast media companies relied on client-based software to handle ad traffic: where and when the ads ran, what they cost, at what frequency, and so on.

Marketron's Mediascape platform is a SaaS solution in the cloud -- or on-premises, whichever a client prefers -- that allows media organizations to operate their stations' processes easier and more efficiently.

"Marketron has moved over the last two or three years to a more open platform -- a business-intelligence business where we are moving that data seamlessly through the organization," CEO Jeff Haley told eWEEK. "We've become more of a business information provider, versus a traditional trafficker."

Radio: Still an $18 Billion Business

Even though the Internet has become the de facto go-to source for media in the second decade of the 21st century, enterprises still spend more than $18 billion on radio advertisements in the U.S. An amazing 80 percent of that ad spend -- approximate $15 billion -- flows through Marketron's systems, which clearly makes it the No. 1 ad-traffic software provider in an industry that is typically perceived as antiquated.

"Mediascape is a cloud platform to plug in multiple products going back to 2010. About a third of our customer base of 1,400 media companies has migrated onto that platform," Haley said.

"If you're going to move all this data seamlessly through the organization from the traffic department to the C-suite and all the way down to the account executive, we think it has to be Web-based and accessible anywhere, anytime," Haley said.

This is the dashboard of the C-level executive-level version of Mediascape, which company and sales specialists can use to see real-time numbers.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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