AI-programmed radio (HD) launches in Nashville, powered by Super Hi-Fi

Radio innovation company Super Hi-Fi is promoting the launch of new technology which uses AI to create radio station programming, and has launched its first examples in HD. It is called HLS+.

Partners in this technological adventure are Xperi and Cumulus Media. Two new radio stations in Nashville are powered by a combination of human-produced programming elements and AI-produced targeting and assembly. The new stations — “The Hill” and “Nashville Songwriter Radio” — are testing on 104.5FM HD2 and HD3. (“The Hill” is designed for high school students.) 

Humans are partners in this. Radio pros record song introductions and curate the music, assembling a large repertoire collection. Then AI steps in to select the songs and intros, and broadcast the show. This interesting arrangement retains “talent” for music selection and voice work — the essential roles in a traditional station. There’s just nobody sitting at the board.

Zack Zalon, CEO of Super Hi-Fi, asserts that this AI-constructed station won’t eliminate jobs, as the role of people is made more efficient, but not eliminated. “The best way to think about it is it’s like a power tool for the human to supplement what they’re doing,” he said.

The Super Hi-Fi promotional language includes phrases “Designed to help power the future of radio” and “A watershed moment for broadcast radio companies.”

At least one broadcast company is onboard: Radio and audio giant Audacy is the launch partner and will upgrade its 700 streaming stations (which Audacy calls Exclusive Stations) with the new system.

“Audacy is focused on delivering best-in-class audio experiences to our consumers, and HLS+ is a perfect technology to help enable that promise,” said John Pacino, Executive Vice President of Product at Audacy. “The seamless blend of HLS+ interactivity combined with our premium audio content takes the quality of our exclusive station portfolio to another level.”

Super Hi-Fi’s formal announcement is HERE.

Brad Hill