Spring 2015 Newsletter

Net Neutrality:

Regulating the Internet

The wild west days of the internet have officially come to an end with the February 26th  announcement from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulating the internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. The proposed changes will reclassify the internet as a telecommunication rather than an unregulated information service.

While in college I studied communications and part of that course of study centered around The Communications Act of 1934,  the legislation that created the FCC. The FCC was charged with regulating the telephone monopoly as well as the new radio broadcasting industry. At the time, it was believed that the radio spectrum was so limited that it required government over sight to address licensure, equal access and fairness of content.  This, when AM radio was the dominant source of entertainment and emergency information. FM radio and television, while under development, had yet to be introduced to the public.

Today the internet has far surpassed what the broadcast media or telephone monopoly could ever have achieved. We enjoy the freest, most democratic flow of information ever conceived and more people receive their news, information and entertainment online than from any other source.  Access to and the dissemination of news and information requires only a cell phone. As recently as 2007, Title II regulations for wireless providers were waived and since then we have experienced an explosion of investment in wireless leading to the capabilities we enjoy today. So does the internet need to be regulated?

The principle behind Net Neutrality is to insure consumers access to all legal content on an equal basis. Whether its streaming video, audio or other material, according to the reports out about the ruling, all content will be treated equally by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  Another goal of net neutrality is to give start-ups and entrepreneurs access to broadband networks without undue influence from the ISPs. An ISP will be prohibited from slowing the delivery of a TV show simply because it’s streamed by a video company that competes with a subsidiary of the ISP. This does not mean everyone gets the same level of Internet service. Customers already pay for different speeds.

After the FCC’s announcement, Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute “ I have a strong opinion that the best way to have net neutrality is competition. Similar to the comments Telecom President Theodore Newton Vail wrote in the 1910 AT&T Annual report Effective, aggressive competition and regulation and control are inconsistent with each other, and cannot be had at the same time.

Ultimately, how net neutrality effects the internet, our industry and the introduction of new services in the future,  we’ll just have to wait and see.

Meet The Voices of Audio Concepts:  Denise Austin
When it comes to original music, jingles and music parodies
one voice stands out in northeast Ohio

Audio Concepts Jingle session

For 20 years Denise Austin has proven to be one of our most versatile talents. Regardless of style Denise always shows up prepared with ideas that can take the creative to the next level.
She has appeared on numerous jingles and parodies for Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority, Reiter Dairy, and  the Go Wash Go In Store Radio Campaign.
Hear more at hearaudioconcepts.com/artist/denise-austin


Sound Design for Video:  Dialog Replacement



What do you do when you present a great television commercial to a client only to have a them make a few change after the fact.

In television, this is a challenge when a talents is on- camera, on location and the setting is not available for a retake. Even if the location is available, changes in season can completely alter the ambient environment, making a match nearly impossible.

That’s the scenario we were asked to fix for High Point Regional Medical. The solution: rerecord the entire on camera talent’s voice track, in studio using both lavalier and shotgun microphones and once the main take was captured, we concentrated on the specific on camera dialog,  mixed an ambient loop from the original location shoot and sent the track to post.

Produced by Mike Hudock
Knox Marketing

audio TRENDS:
Internet Radio Finds its Voice.

There’s a unique phenomenon going on in radio. Some consider it a radio renaissance, others refer to it as a revolution.  Community and streaming radio stations are appearing nationwide serving specific communities and demographics. In northeast Ohio 4 new stations have launched in Wadsworth, Cuyahoga Falls, Kent  and Cleveland. The opposite of broadcasting, the appeal of community radio is that it can focus on the needs of a much smaller audience. And while the business model has yet to be defined,  as an industry some see this trend as a rebirth of radio. Much like the 1920s which saw all kinds of formats and business models experimented until the current model of spot commercial advertising emerged.

“ The art of radio is not dead but the platform has changed”  John Gorman former Operations Manager of WMMS and Chief Content Officer at the new oWOW Now Cleveland. While internet radio has been around since the early 2000s,  John Gorman sees now as the perfect time to launch a local internet radio station. In our conversation, John compared the current streaming radio phenomenon to the 1970s when FM radio became the dominant radio frequency.  Each week more listeners are discovering streaming radio and they tend to listen longer. For oWOW Now Cleveland, which accepts commercial advertising, John said “Client advertising on internet radio has a better chance to be heard”.

Nationally streaming services include Pandora, Spotify, Beats Music and iTunes, to name just a few, and most use a listener’s musical tastes to design a unique playlist but offer no local content other than commercials.. While oWOW Cleveland is aiming to serve the Cleveland, Akron Canton markets other streaming stations are working to serve specific demographics or communities.  Tim Davisson with Wadsworth Community Radio says, “ Professional broadcasters are becoming involved in Low Power FM’s or streaming only radio stations to micro target a specific geographical area.”  Wadsworth Community Radio does not accept commercial advertising but is funded through business underwriting.   With content that is specific to the local audience, “were an audio version of the local community newspaper”. Davisson said.

 Recent Productions:

Metro RTA Parody ” All About That Bus”
Featuring Denise Austin
Produced by the Marketing Communication Department at Metro RTA

Caldwell Memorial: Radio

Written & Produced by Mike Hudock

Personally Speaking:

Spring has finally arrived in northeast Ohio. As I write this, the Ides of March have past, most of our brackets are in ruins, and the buzzards and blue herons have returned after a long brutal  winter.  Since January, snowfall in Ohio, while not at the records levels seen elsewhere, was still so plentiful that a few weeks ago everyone collectively said, “ Enough”  Suddenly the snow stopped.

I have always enjoyed spring in northeast Ohio. Its a time to clean the grill, sharpen the old mower and plan landscaping projects. With the sun and warmer weather returning you can just feel the excitement everywhere.
Spring’s also a great time for sports fans.  The Indians have performed well in spring training and look poised to be a contender this year;  LeBron, Kyrie and the Cavs have the best record since the All-Star break and are expected to go far in the playoffs;  as for the Browns, they continue to make news in the off season as they put together the team that will get them into the post season. Win, place or show its always fun to watch Cleveland’s sports franchises

Just another spring in Ohio.

So keep the scripts coming and we’ll keep casting and sound designing your commercials, web videos and corporate soundtracks.

Hope you find the time to get out there and enjoy the spring.