Music Choice, the largest music content provider in the United States, sought to grow its business and become the music channel for the millennial generation of music fans. The result is SWRV, the first completely automated interactive network. It produces music video content 24 hours a day based on viewer interaction. To achieve this, Music Choice implemented a team approach with partners and their respective technology, including Harris NEXIO video servers and IconMaster, and never.no’s Interactivity Suite and Dynamic Content Scheduler (DCS).
SWRV gives viewers direct control over music videos being played by the network. For example, the voting results of certain shows select the next video played within seconds before airtime. Viewers submit photos and comments that can appear on-air in seconds. This constantly changing schedule of video and on-air graphics amounts to thousands of content decisions. SWRV is a multiscreen experience for viewers. The SWRV broadcast and website operates in sync with one another. The live scheduling system drives both to maintain a harmonious experience for viewers.
One of the most challenging aspects of SWRV comes from the fact that music videos can be as short as three minutes and as long as seven. Coupled with last-minute selections from the audience, hundreds of production decisions are made for a single show and thousands throughout the day. Music Choice built a sophisticated live scheduling system that directs never.no’s on-air video and graphics control software, which in turn performs real-time control of the Harris broadcast systems. It continuously adjusts the schedule to the audience’s desire in real-time. It selects every broadcast and broadband content element, as well as adds and drops show segments and commercial breaks while maintaining the show’s scheduled airtime.
SWRV operates without the traditional on-air broadcast control center and staff. It’s the interactive component that makes SWRV’s automation technology a nontraditional linear network and thus unique. At the direction of SWRV’s live scheduling system, never.no’s DCS controls video, graphics and text screen elements that appear on-screen. It does this by effecting control of the NEXIO AMP video servers and their G-series RTX graphics systems. Never.no engineers used the SWRV’s native software as the platform foundation and then deployed customized modules as building blocks to deliver intelligent show/concept switching. One result was the development of DCS 2.0, which incorporates a powerful custom jukebox module to control the Harris IconMaster, enabling squeezeback and volume control for the video server signal.
For viewers, it’s that dynamic, user-determined data that makes SWRV engaging. Changes are constantly happening based on voting and/or user-generated videos. SWRV has 10 programs for which viewers submit their own content, vote for and rate videos, or take over a programming block. The launch of SWRV represents the advent of a promising era for Music Choice and fully automated interactive networks. With SWRV, Music Choice has taken dynamic scheduling and playout based on user interaction to a new level.
Submitted by never.no
DSI: Don Niehoff, sr. proj. mgr.; Tom Sullivan, sr. eng.
Harris Creative Services: Brian App, David McEwen, David Goodfellow
Music Choice: Angelica Casey, Joe Cotellese, Rob Decker, Stuart Farber, Ivan Fokin, Dow Lam, Bryan LeBlanc, Qingrui Liu, Steve Malaby, Siva Mateti, Randall Rivera, Nayan Sheth, Fei Wan
never.no: Rune Bjerke, Andreas Dahl, Johan Fredrik Juell, Åse Lill Stenvik Jakobsen, Torgeir Hansen
Technology at work
Harris: Connectus, IconMaster, Inscriber G-Series, NEXIO, Videotek T&M
never.no: Interactivity Suite