We’re glad to have been working with Kiss FM since October 2020. We caught up with them to see how the workings of their business had changed since they started using Reportal. Here’s what Julian, their Director of Communication, told us.
How did you find out about us?
We’d been looking for someone to do what you do for quite some time. When our Director of Finance, Ignacio, contacted you it was through a common professional friend, who spoke highly of you. We’ve been satisfied ever since.
Cool. Could you tell us a little about how you use the platform and the data that we provide?
Sure. So, to give some background, we have broadcast software which we use for the series of playlists we sequence and play. That system is then fed in turn from a radio programming system. BMAT software – all these monitoring reports of what music we play, how we play it, whether there are words and so on – allows us to be able to check what’s sent from Music Master to VIVA is really what comes out on the antenna.
“BMAT provides us with the certainty that what we put together on the programme really airs.”
We’re the only music station in Spain that has radio hosts 24 hours a day. The announcer is the one who does the live performance of the station at KISS FM. We’re also the only broadcaster in Spain which has information services running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Because of this human aspect that we prefer – of having 100% of the programme played manually – your platform comes in handy to help us check that what’s broadcast is always faithful to exactly what was designed in the programme.
“There’s no room for human error.”
Wow, so you program manually 100%.
Yeah, 100%. It’s true that most stations have a host on for up to 1 hour and then from, say, 9pm or 10pm, they start broadcasting the automatic stuff. That’s a machine that’s programmed to reproduce automatically. Not here – there’s an announcer here every day, 24 hours a day. This means there’s someone playing songs and someone announcing the news, even if someone tunes in at 2am on a Sunday.
So it makes sense that you use us to automatically identify and confirm that what is played is what should have been played.
Exactly, it works well for us, so we can check that what’s designed in the planned programme is really what’s coming out on the antenna. There’s no room for human error.
“With Reportal, we can detect any inconsistencies – a programming error or a rule that isn’t working – and it’s very accurate.”
And it’s like that for all the channels you have?
For KISS, our main station, yes. We have HIT FM too, which is a younger music station – 6 years old today in fact. KISS is 19 years old by the way. HIT FM is more current music, international news, that kind of thing. The programme is directed at a younger audience, and it’s more similar to other stations. There are radio announcers up to a specific time, but at night it’s automatic.
Nice. Are there any other changes you’ve seen in your business since you started working with us?
Well, it helps to detect any inconsistencies. It allows us to see when there’s a programming error, or when there’s a Music Master rule that isn’t working – like if there’s a song that shouldn’t go after a particular theme. BMAT software detects all these elements, and is very accurate.
“There’s no catch. It doesn’t fail. What is stated is what has sounded.”
There’s no catch, it doesn’t fail. What is stated is what has sounded. And that’s the main change for our business – having a tool that effectively and accurately helps us check what is broadcast.
Before using Reportal, we had to do these verifications through additional software, which only shows which song was played with a specific license. Even then, this more technical process only said which theme has been played, without the evidence that we have now.
The VIVA for example tells you that the song has been broadcasted, but after that you have no way to check if it’s really what was played or not. Your tool proves it really has been played, so it’s great for us because it does not fail. What we see is exactly what has been played.
“The tool also helps us to reliably and easily settle our rights obligations with our collecting society.”
Imagine, for example, that we have a song with a name and a license, but it has terrible audio. The audio is from another piece and another artist. Of course, without your software, we can’t detect it because the launch software tells us a certain artist is played and a certain song is played. If that piece has a different artist’s music, we can’t differentiate it unless we go to the copy or file – a process which is much more tedious than with the help of Reportal.
The tool also helps us to reliably and easily settle our rights obligations with our collecting society, SGAE.
Do you find many errors of this type?
There aren’t many, but, of course, it’s crucial to find them because they’re critical. All processes like programming the music, editing the audios, and uploading files to the system go through a final manual phase where a human hand always intervenes. So it’s impossible to be infallible. Everything that involves anything manual has room for error. We have to detect it.
We also certify the amount of music broadcast in a given time. How do you use that?
Well, it helps to see interruptions. In recent years, there is an absolute obsession with differentiating one radio station from another. In the end, we play music just like they play on many other stations.
“We can fine-tune by clearly seeing where we should adjust. By seeing our speech to music ratio, we see where we should have more speech or more music.”
Our way of determining ourselves is by offering a product that is as clean as possible, in the sense that we broadcast more music per hour than anyone. We have radio announcers, we have information, and we have some advertising – it’s our livelihood. But we keep all that to a minimum in order to differentiate ourselves so whoever listens to KISS knows that you will listen to as much music as possible on one station.
We like that.
Yeah. So your software helps us clearly see and fine-tune that. It helps us know where we are strong, where we should adjust, and where, perhaps, we should have more speech – this can happen. So the quantification of our speech to music ratio is one of the most useful things for us too.
What value does working with BMAT bring you?
Well, what we were talking about. It gives us, above all, certainty.
Radio music is a science. It has become a very established business, with very standard market protocols. And maybe all these standards are about the programming or the elaboration of the product. Still, perhaps there aren’t so many elements or so many companies dedicated to certifying that all this implementation is done correctly. What BMAT provides us is the certainty that what we put together on the programme really airs. It makes sure the programmers’ intention eventually reaches the listener’s ear.
“It gives us, above all, certainty.”
That certainty is critical to us. And we have the certainty that we are doing it the way we want. And that’s thanks to you.
Find out more about how Reportal is helping Radio broadcasters around the world simplify their music reporting and get the music usage insights they need.
Written by Kelly, Head of Content Strategy
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