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Flash Powers Clear Channel Radio Streaming - Broadcasting & Cable

Flash Powers Clear Channel Radio Streaming

Radio behemoth taps Adobe tech for audio, video
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Clear Channel Radio is moving to Adobe's wildly popular Flash streaming technology to deliver both audio and video from its Web sites.

The company, which has over 850 radio station Web sites reaching over 22 million unique visitors and delivering nearly 40 million on-demand plays of music videos, artist performances, celebrity interviews and station-created comedy bits each month, will use the Flash technology to support both streaming audio simulcasts of some 350 stations as well as on-demand audio and video clips.

A beta version of the Flash implementation is now up and running at Clear Channel portal iheartradio.com, which aggregates its streaming stations and offers thousands of songs and videos on demand, photo galleries, artist interviews, ringtones, and song lyrics. The Flash technology will begin rolling out to individual station Web sites over the next month. Clear Channel, which says that simulcast streaming adds up to 15% of its on-air audience, notes that adopting Flash will allow listeners to tune in to its stations on the Web without having to download additional software.

Clear Channel will eventually use the Adobe Flash Media Server software to deliver 1.5 petabytes of high-quality live audio content per month in the High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC) format, as well as streaming on-demand video such as music videos and live performances.

"We switched to the Adobe Flash Platform to bring the highest-quality experience to our listeners and advertising partners," said Paul Miraldi, SVP of programming and marketing for Clear Channel Radio's Digital Division, in a statement. "Flash technology allows us to present hundreds of stations and literally thousands of pieces of on-demand content, from songs and music videos to exclusive performances and news footage in the most ubiquitous and easy-to-use format."

Flash, which competes with Microsoft's Silverlight streaming technology, is already used by major broadcasters and media companies including the BBC, Disney, Hulu, PBS, MLB.com, DirecTV, YouTube and MySpace. While Flash is mostly thought of as a video streaming technology, Adobe product manager Jennifer Taylor says it is also used broadly for audio streaming by major radio broadcasters such as NPR.

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