IBC 2018: On-Hertz to make IBC debut with new virtual radio studio solution
Making its IBC debut is On-Hertz (booth 10.F42, Flanders Investment & Trade Pavilion), who will be showcasing LUMO, an innovative virtual radio studio solution designed to bring exciting new possibilities to radio stations. As well as demonstrating LUMO to representatives of live radio stations of all sizes and other visitors, On-Hertz is looking to identify potential agents for its solution in order to bring LUMO to the worldwide market.
On-Hertz launched as a company in May 2018. It was co-founded by Renaud Schoonbroodt, a passionate software developer since the age of 12, and Benjamin Lardinoit, a seasoned broadcast industry professional. Schoonbroodt has 15 years’ experience in the radio industry – from product development to large project integration – while Lardinoit brings a highly successful track record of international sales to the world’s largest events and broadcasters.
“LUMO is intended to be a complementary solution that can offer broadcasters new and exciting ways of reaching their audience that would otherwise not be feasible,” said Schoonbroodt. “It provides an excellent alternative to solutions whose bulk and weight can make them difficult or impossible to deploy in every location from which a producer might want to broadcast – and, in comparison with those solutions, LUMO is also extremely budget-friendly.”
LUMO has already proven itself with Belgium’s VRT Radio 2, where it enabled an outside broadcast from a hot air balloon. Its light weight and easy portability – it is a software-based solution, leveraging the power of the latest COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware – was ideal, given the constraints of the environment in which it was being deployed.
The broadcast was a complete success and fulfilled VRT’s goal of enhancing listener engagement with, and growing awareness of, VRT Radio 2. VRT noted at the time that such a broadcast would not previously have been practicable, given the planning and logistical complexity – and a limited budget.
“The challenges faced by VRT Radio 2 are challenges that are being faced by all media today,” said Lardinoit. “Creating sustainable differentiation from streaming music services has become imperative. Everyone is looking to find new ways of engaging the audience, keeping output fresh, and delivering new and exciting experiences just as VRT did – and creating brand loyalty. LUMO helps make that possible, transforming the creative options that are available to radio broadcasters by providing a tool that can add a new dimension to their output.”
On-Hertz is part of the VRT Sandbox initiative, which collaborates with inventors and creative entrepreneurial minds working at VRT as well as external organisations and companies working in media innovation. Selected companies receive the opportunity to scale and/or develop their products, with access to VRT’s infrastructure and technology resources.
The Sandbox Hub replicates the VRT Sandbox model for other European broadcasters. Its main goal is to create a network of Sandboxes, enable local startups to scale within Europe, and exchange experiences and expertise. Organisations currently leveraging the Sandbox Hub include ARD, the BBC, France TV and Sverige Radio.