Friday, January 07, 2011

SPH Union Works goes LIVE & LOCAL in Southeast Asia

As an early SE Asia adopter of remote broadcast IP codec technology, Singapore’s SPH Union Works has been using the Comrex ACCESS system to great advantage over the last few months. We caught up with the broadcaster’s Director of Marketing, Dawn Lee SY, to see how things were going.

Why did SPH Radio invest in Comrex IP codec systems at this time?

SPH:  Needless to say, all broadcasters are interested in fresh programming concepts. At SPH, we decided to add smart, mobile entertainment to our existing mix. We were especially interested in doing remote broadcasts from our many sponsor locations. We sought to liberate our DJs from the studio and get them out into the field. That would put the DJs in direct contact with the listeners and promote viral excitement for the shows while allowing us to target programming and advertising geographically.

To accomplish this, we needed an easy-to-use, totally mobile remote transmitting solution that provided crystal clear audio. After looking at everything available, we found the Comrex ACCESS system to be ideal for our needs.

Can you describe the benefits of this approach for your listeners?

SPH:  This approach and technology brings Radio closer to the listeners allowing them to see our DJs in a cool, fresh, sexy way. Listeners get to see their favorite Radio personalities at work. This creates a terrific rapport between the talent, the listeners and the local advertisers. It’s been a game-changing strategy for us.

Can you give us some examples of your remote broadcasting strategy at work?

SPH:  Sure, let’s begin with our first Comrex remote… A famous SE Asian snack food chain, Old Chang Kee ( wanted to reinforce their brand and build awareness of their latest F&B concept, "The Mushroom Café."  A special weekend was planned for a "Healthy Morning Walk-About" at Mac Ritchie Reservoir where they catered to more than 150 people. Armed with their Comrex ACCESS Portables, our DJs Jianwen, Ah Dong, Xinying and Kemin, were walking with the participants as they did ‘live talk’ sets while allowing walkers to share their actual experience, on air, as it happened.

Next, we were invited by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to do a remote broadcast highlighting the Hong Kong Winter Fest 2010. Two of our DJs, Jianwen and Limei, flew to Hong Kong with an ACCESS Portable to do a special, four-hour remote segment. The DJs toured Hong Kong's iconic attractions while sharing their experiences and comments with our Singapore listeners. In that single effort, live broadcast was actually conducted at The Peak, Lam Kwai Fong, Central and Causeway Bay. Such a time-line was simply not possible with our previous OB equipment. The entire trip was also photographed so listeners could savor the Hong Kong spirit via our website and Facebook page on their computers or mobile devices.

Last month, our Radio 1003 was invited to visit a local museum by Singapore’s National Heritage Board as part of their 'I Love Museums' Campaign. With an objective to let Singaporeans see Museums in a ‘fun and different light,’ they got our DJs to wear a different hat and act as tour guides for that day. We used the ACCESS Portable for this project, where our DJs Kemin and Ah Dong did ‘live talk’ sets as they toured the museum – interacting with visitors and sharing their ‘observations’ to enhance the museum experience with our listeners. The event was also photographed and fed live to Facebook to incorporate listener comments into the program.

One final application I have to share is the broadcast for the Top Korean “boy band” – Super Junior Concert. Our Radio 1003 was the official radio station for the concert and -- as this was a highly popular group -- quite a number of media companies came to cover the event. The organizers for the event were ‘thrilled’ when we introduced a live mobile studio concept via our Comrex ACCESS system. This allowed real time updates to ‘KPOP’ fans instead of a delayed news update the next day. Our DJ, Ken, was also able to share the actual happenings on the ground, such as reporting crazy ticket queues. Comrex ACCESS helped us to stir up real time excitement due to easy, high quality local transmissions.

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