What to Expect in 2019

2018 was a wonderful year for SoniXCast (SX), but 2019 could possibly be the most exciting and innovative year yet for customers…

2018 in Retrospect…

In 2018 we explored a completely new technological strategy, initiated forward looking partnerships and completely decentralized our infrastructure. Here are the Highlights…

1st Quarter: We expanded our partnerships with Amazon and iHeartRadio to provide radio content on their platforms raising our average listener base from roughly 2 million to an estimated 42 million daily listeners.

2nd Quarter: We acquired 4 stream hosting providers (2 in Europe, 1 in Asia, 1 in North America) which grew our retail client base from roughly 800 to over 1500. Also we introduced the updated SoniXFM popularization platform to retail customers on BoomBox which allowed their radios to be heard on the Amazon/iHeartRadio platforms.

3rd Quarter: After loads of pressure from retail customers, we introduced CentovaCast hosting for Hobbyists and small Webcasters. We also rolled out our new cloud infrastructure into 24 geographically diverse data centers.

4th Quarter: We capped the year with the final release of BoomBox 3.3 which showcases our Liquidsoap transcoder strategy. And we expanded our partnerships with Sony, Microsoft and Apple to provide even more media content on their platforms.

Relationships are a lot…

Strategic partnerships are the cornerstone to our business and the clue to our longevity. Not only does it raise our company integrity, but more importantly, customers are better protected from the turbulences in the industry.

We are constantly exploring new partnerships, but some are on the short list for 2019 like: Expanding our footprint on Roku, Exploring partnerships with monetization platforms like TargetSpot and becoming more prevalent on devices like car radios, social media platforms and AI devices.

But Technology is everything…

Being a technology and platform provider give us the unique ability to set standards, forge relationships, better communication and shape the future of the industry. Here are some of the Highlights planned for 2019…

Public API: We are in the process of normalizing and securing our platform to make it accessible via a set of HTTP API’s that will allow 3rd party providers and resellers (Yes. We will be introducing a Reseller program) access to our extensive line of services, media and libraries.

WebDJ: Imagine you’re out in public and come across a unique news opportunity. With WebDJ you can whip out your smartphone and comment on news or conduct an interview directly to your listeners in real time. You can also broadcast directly from your computer eliminating the need to fork out cash for 3rd party broadcast client software. Already tested and in limited use with commercial customers, we will be introducing the WebDJ platform to retail customers in 2019.

BoomBox: In 2019, program management will become even more powerful and intuitive as we introduce a calendar like interface in which users can schedule individual tracks, ads, spots or even whole playlists with a simple drag and drop. Edit track titles in place, set crossfades and even leave notes for other broadcasters. All from simple easy to use interface.

SoniXFM Media Center: Is our new radio platform based upon SoniXFM™ and AnyCastIP™ which will allow listeners to tune in to thousands of terrestrial and web radios from all over the world. In testing now is our own embeddable operating system based upon android open source that will be targeted towards hardware media devices like car radios. Also in testing right now are: Alexa Skills, Google Home Actions and Android/iTune Apps.

And there is much more…

Video broadcasting (WebVJ), tighter integration with social networking platforms and developing technology guidelines and standards are all on the drawing board as well as working out more direct relationships with performance rights organizations and working with licensing providers to help end pirating and intellectual property theft. Our goal is to ensure radio broadcasting remains a staple for all well into the future.

We wish all our Friends, Partners and Customers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

SoniXFM.com Released

SoniXFM.com is here…

SoniXFM™ has long been known as the radio aggregation and populization platform driving music services like Amazon, iTunes and Microsoft and more recently on devices like Roku, Playstation and XBox. But now music lovers can listen to their favorite radio at a click of a button on any device, anywhere in the world. Just visit SoniXFM.com! Developed and tested to work with every browser on almost every device, the new SoniXFM.com is the straightforward and intuitive way to find and tunein to high quality radio broadcasting.

Blazing Fast Search Engine

Search for any type of media content by keyword, genre, format even country at speeds found nowhere else. Our highly optimized search engine will scan through over 2 million unique content providers to find the content you want right now! See why the SoniXFM platform is so popular with music service providers and listeners alike.

Tunein in an Instant!

All streaming is proxied through AnyCastIP, the broadcasting network used by millions to listen to radio regardless of device or location at the same speed and high quality as listening at home. SoniXCast Broadcast Network (SBN) and BoomBox customers already use AnyCastIP, but now third party streaming content providers benefit from faster startup times and higher quality for their listeners worldwide as well.

Want to learn more?

SoniXFM has been around for a long time, but not always as a consumer product. Only recently has there been demand for a central website for listeners to go to and SoniXFM.com now answers that call. SoniXFM, like all SoniXCast products is under constant development in order to offer consumers and providers the best possible content and latest technologies. If you are interested in whitelabeling the SoniXFM aggregation services, contact support@sonixcast.com. If you are interested in reading more about SoniXFM and underlying technologies, visit the SoniXFM About page.

SoniXCast Licensing FAQ

Here at SoniXCast we try to take the headache out of broadcasting. Many who come on board have questions and concerns that we will try to answer here. However, if you need further clarification or have a special request, we beg you to contact our friendly support department and they will gladly help you any way they can.

Let’s start by going over what we do for you…

On paper, SoniXCast LLC is the legal owner of all internet radio stations hosted within our network in Canada which falls under the jurisdiction of the collection society SOCAN. We submit all the reports to SOCAN and make sure that they stay warm and fuzzy. This saves you the headache of dealing with the ever changing legal climate and ensures your station is properly registered and licensed at all times. In other words: You worry about broadcasting and we help keep you legal.

But there are some limitations and restrictions…

Our umbrella license with SOCAN, like any other license, is limited to the music streamed from our network only. It doesn’t protect you if you use a third party streaming service or share songs with others. Each country has its own laws when it comes to file sharing and they apply to wherever you currently prop your feet. The same applies to what you say during your broadcast. Local liability laws apply, meaning you could find yourself in front of an angry mob if you go off on a rant or play music that is not allowed or is offensive.

Remember that your radio station is hosted in Canada and is legally Canadian. You should state this in any public venue (on your website, in blogs, on social media, at concerts) otherwise your local royalty collection society might feel neglected and cause a legal mess for you. We don’t require that you say your radio is Canadian, but it would be a safe bet if anyone asks. Besides: Canada is a cool multi-lingual country where you can broadcast in any language you like (Wookies are Welcome!)

Play what you want…

If you can find it on iTunes, then you can play it! We, through our partnerships, have affiliate agreements with almost every collection society worldwide which covers the royalty collection of just about every song ever recorded. Creative Commons/Open Source licensing is also supported and we have a waiver system in place for unregistered titles. We also have automatic Creative Commons licensing in place for all speech content which goes into effect each time you re-broadcast. This is useful for syndication of your show, but additional licensing may be required for any music you include. We can help you with that too.

Is SoniXCast legal everywhere?

Yup! Since SoniXCast owns the radio station and it is located in Canada, it falls under the jurisdiction of the collection agency SOCAN which has affiliate agreements with collection agencies in every country. There are no Canadian laws to restrict in which country our broadcast can be heard and we know of no country currently blocking our broadcasts, so SoniXCast can be heard everywhere! SOCAN is pretty good with their record keeping and they put out regular annual reports. Want to see if the collection society in your country is a partner? Check it out here: http://www.socanannualreport.ca/overview/

Can I advertise my radio any way I like?

Yup! Pretty much. The only recommendations are that you make it understood that your radio is hosted in Canada. It wouldn’t hurt to put the SOCAN logo on your website, just to let everyone know you are properly licensed and it would make us super happy if you would put our logo on your site :-). You might also want to check into our affiliate program.

Are there any song restrictions?

Nope. Some countries have music blacklists (Germany for example). Titles that are not allowed over the local airwaves. That doesn’t apply to us. We generally don’t care what you play as long as you understand that if you anger the local citizens, they might come after you with pitchforks. There are no song repetition restrictions either. If you want to setup a stream repeating the word “Duh” all day long, you can do that. Perfect for Musicians who want to showcase their music non-stop.

Can I make money with my radio?

Yup! Knock yourself out. We are only concerned with the music you play. But keep in mind that some local collection societies may require you pay additional fees or that you register if you make radio your business. And you have to pay your local taxes on any income that you make. Best is to contact our legal department before you go hog wild.

What is AnyCastIP?

AnyCastIP is our patented network which sits on top of the Internet and ensures that your broadcast is heard with the same audio/video quality regardless of where the listener is located on this earth (or in space). Developed together with Sony in 2006, AnyCastIP uses variable bitrate (vbr), compression and existing media routing technologies to convert media streams for optimized delivery to cell phones, computers, set-top boxes, gaming consoles…essentially anything that connects to the internet and can playback media streams. In 2011 Samsung, Microsoft, General Motors (Bose), Roku and Rock-Ola began using white label implementations of AnyCastIP, so if you listen to the radio in your car, on your Xbox or Playstation, chances are you’re listening through AnyCastIP.

Do I need a Dial-up Stream?

No. AnyCastIP compresses and distributes the output of your stream server to 24 globally located network nodes simultaneously at variable bitrates (vbr). Listeners connect to the nearest node and receive audio data optimized for their connection. Variable, read ahead buffering ensures that the stream starts with little or no delay and media optimized routing ensures quick ping backs to your stream queue. Way to technical? Essentially AnyCastIP ensures your stream sounds the same regardless of where you are on the world and regardless of connection speed. So, no Dial-up stream needed.

What is SoniXFM.com?

SoniXFM is a radio directory service developed by request from partners Microsoft, Sony and Samsung. It sports a modern browser interface and has many built-in features for radio broadcasters including seamless social networking integration, integration with 3rd party aggregators like iTunes, Tunein or Dirble, Radio Station profile webpages much like facebook with vanity domain support. And the list goes on… Currently in alpha, a working proof of concept was released in 2014 and we hope to have a beta version completed by August 2016.

What is ShoutBox/BoomBox?

These are our homegrown stream server control panels. ShoutBox, obviously, for managing ShoutCast servers only, BoomBox replaces ShoutBox with additional support for IceCast, Flash Media Servers like Wowza and Windows Media Servers. Both support stream Server and Transcoder (Auto-DJ) management, User (DJ) management and scheduling, full featured music library management, playlist management and scheduling and, of course, AnyCastIP. BoomBox is currently in beta and you can follow development at: http://boombox.sonixcast.com/

How is SoniXCast better than other Stream Hosters?

Well I wouldn’t say we’re better, just better informed. We, like every other Hoster, are limited by the Software (ShoutCast, IceCast WMS, Wowza), Hardware and Network we use. We’ve been in business since 2006 and have watched the legal climate change quite a bit, so we made it our job to understand the legalities of broadcasting.

We are a family business. Not some vulture capital funded corporation geared towards over marketing a mediocre product. Which has its advantages and disadvantages. What we have most is experience. We’ve seen pink elephants dance and pigs grow wings and fly. There is hardly a technical or legal problem we haven’t banged our heads on the table about. More importantly, we understand that each customer is individual and each radio different. We encourage feedback and that you talk to us. It will help keep you from shooting yourself in head in the ever changing legal climate of broadcasting.

Click here to read the full list of affiliate partnership agreements we have with other nations and collection societies: SOCAN Affiliattion Agreements List

Radionomy Flounders, Sonixcast Grows

Radionomy is currently suffering extreme network issues according to their facebook page.

Ever wonder why Sonixcast customers never experience such problems? In a word AnyCastIP. Never heard of it huh. Well AnyCastIP is Sonixcast’s patented digital content distribution network which serves as a backbone for all Sonixcast services and works diligently behind the scenes ensuring that broadcasts have the same high quality regardless of where in the world one listens in from. Continue reading “Radionomy Flounders, Sonixcast Grows”