Barix is exclusively providing IP audio decoding solutions to RFC Media for its private-label, retail radio network for Spec’s Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods — growing to nearly 90 store locations across Texas. The project underscores Barix’s expertise in Audio over IP solutions for both radio broadcast and in-store media applications.
RFC Media, managed by longtime radio broadcast professionals, creates custom-produced, Internet-delivered radio stations for private enterprises, supplying music with live breaks to create a true broadcast experience. The company uses Barix Exstreamer 100 IP audio devices to receive and decode its professionally-produced program streams at client locations, citing ease of use and setup, stability, low cost and audio quality as key differentiators from competitive solutions.
“Barix gives us the power we need to ensure our clients have continuous, uninterrupted service of a living, breathing radio station,” said Pat Fant, co-founder and chief operating officer, RFC Media. “Plug in the Exstreamer, and it’s ready to make radio. I’m not sure we could deliver the same quality broadcast experience at the same price without Barix.”
RFC Media differentiates itself from background music services by offering a true hosted radio station experience. “Host presenters” make announcements — live or on delay — related to the business during music breaks. All clients receive customized music programs updated every 24 hours, including Spec’s Radio, the private-label radio station created for the Texas retail chain.
“We’re not a playlist company – we’re radio people,” said Fant. “We have a professional production studio with the equipment and software to put together and stream a full presentation. This stems from our background as broadcasters. We approach this differently from interruption-style media common in background music systems. We talk to the customer instead of advertising to them.”
Fant adds that Barix makes it simple to add locations. The RFC Media staff handles device configuration (five minutes or less per device) and adds new IP addresses to the network. The devices are shipped to client locations along with instructions for two simple connections.
“The fact that these are simple to use and configure makes it easier for us and our clients,” said Fant. “We minimize our costs by not sending installers to each store with a toolkit and spools of wire. The locations just need a high-speed internet connection and the ability to plug an Exstreamer into a sound system, and they are ready to go.”
“Broadcasters approach in-store media with a different twist,” said Johannes Rietschel, CEO and founder of Barix. “Playlist-based elevator music is often boring, and the personal touch RFC Media adds with individual programming and live announcements makes full use of Barix capabilities: reliable, real-time streaming with system-wide ease of use.”
Spec’s Radio can also be heard online at http://www.radiofreecruze.com/SpecsPlayer.html and via a custom mobile iPhone app. RFC Media is building a similar network for NASA, although at this time the private radio station, “Third Rock, America’s Space Station,” is online only at http://www.nasa.gov.