RADIO COMPANY is the first Radio in Veneto region and cover the Friuli Venezia Giulia region as well. RADIO COMPANY and Axel Technology work together since 2010  the radio uses VJPro Visual Radio Automation since 2015.

Interview by Claudio Astorri

From Left Andrea Rossini (Project Manager), Mauro Tonello (Art Director), Anacleto Comin (CEO) e Devis Comin (Administrator).

As soon as you step into Radio Company offices you can breath Radio waves. You feel it in the way you are welcomed and in the people behavior: great professionalism in a creative environment. You feel it in the deep knowledge necessary to serve the audience and advertisers. Plenty of spaces, plenty of studios and plenty of challenges, you are getting the feeling of being in a workshop where ideas and minor details are kept into consideration with the same attitude and accuracy.

I meet Radio Company after having long examined its pleasant Visual Radio, developed with the help of Axel Technology, available on WEB but also on channel 116 and 119 of digital terrestrial television in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Trentino Alto-Adige and Veneto. Perfect synchronization with Radio 24/7, impressive effects, video mixing techniques, personalized advertisements for Visual Radio. And even more … what’s the secret?

The company key word is “group”. An industrial group. Radio Company is part of Gruppo Sphera Holding, which has its is strategic core in Trend Comunicazione, source of incomes for Radio Company and 5 other big broadcasters in the north-east area of Italy. Radio Company is connected to TeamRadio shareholding, national advertising concessionary co-owned also by other local radio broadcasters with a significant territorial presence in this regions. Industrial activities.

Radio Company is a Group made of people, a feature which is measurable starting from its audience: 1,400,000 listeners weekly, 457,000 listeners daily. Each listener can count on Radio Company employees and collaborators. I meet its management in Noventa Padovana (PD), in the heart of  Veneto region, where the radio rules and is a leader in the ratings, Anacleto Comin, Devis Comin, Mauro Tonello and Andrea Rossini.

Q: Which are Visual Radio objectives according to your plans?

A – Anacleto Comin (President): Usually, when our Group plans for the future we have a 360° perspective, taking care of all aspects. We are driven by passion, enthusiasm and obviously we keep into great consideration the financial aspect too, with the aim of recouping the investments and remunerate those who took part in it. This is how we behaved with Visual Radio, our Television, created according to our plans, because this is a Radio which can be seen on television; we created a  special project for commercial selling and the results are already visible.

B – Andrea Rossini (Visual Radio Project Manager): The media scene has changed. Apart from Internet arrival, there is a new content enjoyment. Radios sale has decreased enormously and business customers have shown an increasing interest in the television use and animation both in the malls in little shops. Visual Radio allows us to be available ad usable in this network too, which is of great interest for us.

DJPro Classic – Broadcast Radio Automation

Q – Which are the main areas of investments?

A – Devis Comin (Financial Director): One of the most interesting areas consist in the purchase of television channels. This will take more time, differently from Radio. Specialized personals and high quality hardware follow as priority. However, the most important investment lies in people, whereas the purchase of hardware can be amortized. People must carry out continuously researches and cope with changes, in order to be updated with innovation.

A – Anacleto Comin: We started with the help of Axel Technology, Giuseppe Vaccari’s enterprise, and we purchased their software for making television. Their knowledge enabled us to develop Visual Radio and today we are particularly satisfied with its functioning.

Q – In the past you were one of the first to use SMS in Radio, followed by audio contributions from WhatsApp. Andrea, today you are Visual Radio Project Manager. Could you tell us something about your work?

A – Andrea Rossini: I decided to start fresh in developing the Radio Company project. I listed my priorities. First of all I began working on the musical archive, made by approximately 23,000 tracks. My aim was not to verify o create all videos before the broadcast, because it would have been impossible. I simply decided to keep up with Radio logs and to update my playlist day by day. Everybody talks about Visual Radios but the actual ones are just a handful; often they are simply musical television channels because of the difficulty in reaching a perfect synchronization. Once reached the number of 2,500 video-clips I took care of the jingles and of the station image in order to use videos in accordance with it. This took some months time, but In the end I was able to collect all editorial elements in order to synchronize Radio and television and Axel Technology enabled us to implement the whole mosaic. The entire job was up-loaded and after having verified the actual workflow we pushed the start button. Now Radio and Television are as one, inextricably linked. Finally, I’m handling some programming initiatives such as the 40 most dancing tracks chart, prepared for audio and video and broadcasted at midnight every Saturday night.

Q –  Are you able to summarize some of the technical functions of Visual Radio?

A – Andrea Rossini: Yes, of course, but let me say first that I wanted to personalize Visual Radio. We use Axel Technology system but we added some applications, we developed internally. One of our commandments is that everything has to be automated. Who works at the Radio booth has to broadcast with no other bothers. We were able to develop interesting activities such as mixing videos, like no other in this field; “90 is Back” proves it since it’s about 42 daily bands, already assembled in video and audio, perfectly synchronized. The Visual Radio challenge has just begun and there are plenty of minor challenges still to be discovered and solved; mixing videos is one of the these. From a pure technical point of view we still work with a HD format internally in television. Signal is sent by 2 converters, from which goes to our provider and to those who digitally repeat our content. This is sent in SD format. It would be too difficult to send the signal in HD, event though all inner processing has an HD standard.

Q – Have you ever thought of sending your Visual Radio signal beyond your Tri-Veneto boundaries?

A – Anacleto Comin: We took it into consideration, but it’s better to maintain Radio and TV in the actual territorial area. Television must be complementary to Radio. Distribution throughout Italy would be a job half way.

Q – From an editorial and artistic point of view, which are Visual Radio implications?

A – Mauro Tonello (Artistic Director) – Visual Radio was born after having noted a significant reduction in the number of radios at home and that people prefer using television sets and other devices. Television  appliances are becoming always more digital. Moreover in public areas, shops, during the shopping or at lunch-time television is accompanying customers’ activity. Since Radio Company is a musical radio station with light entertainment contents and strong interactivity, Visual Radio experience empowers the link between the audience and the speakers. My priority is to maintain the same pace in television as well. This is a great opportunity, which implies a lot of work, qualified people, this is the reason why I decided to select new technical recruitment with both television and radio skills.

Q – How was using speakers in Visual Radio?

A – Mauro Tonello: That was far from being easy; having radio speaker on television seemed as blasphemy to the most. Radio is based on imagination, on magic, a philosophy apparently clash with Visual Radio. After an adjustment period though, the advantage of being visible was appreciated by all speakers. Nowadays they are popular everywhere and their commitment has willingly increased. However, I highly recommended always to act as natural as possible on Radio. The radio setup is the same. Let’s say, Big Brother is only one. We only had some problems with the new studio to be used both for radio and television, this is more spacious and the booth technician is too far and there is no glass separation as it was in the past. This new setting implied an environment adjustment which took some time, but nothing serious. Visual Radio, to us, has mostly positive effects, I would say even excellent aspects.

Q – And… what about Social Networks inside Visual Radio?

A – Andrea Rossini: Our favourite Social is WhatsApp, which inherited SMS tradition and advantages. The difference lies that people send not only text messages but also real audios. The other Socials are used backwards, they become our windows to publish posts, communications we are interested in. Our audience is driving, working cannot open computers or use smartphones; the immediacy of audio message has no competitors.

 – Which other benefits come from Visual Radio operation towards advertising clients?

A – Anacleto Comin: Some years ago we developed a new way of addressing to clients. We have been working as counselors for several years, that is the reason why we know that we need specific reasons to meet our clients and that we have to be able to solve their marketing problems. Visual Radio gave us new strength in presenting us and in supporting our clients’ interests; nowadays you have to be everywhere, in the streets, at the events, in Facebook, in all Socials. Moreover our way to approach clients is pro-active, so our proposal for new spots is both audio and video, working on both versions.