Townsquare chooses Sparemin Headliner for audio-to-video across entire station group

With the nettlesome lack of native audio in major social platforms (looking at you, Facebook and Twitter), socializing audio-first content can be difficult. The Headliner app from Sparemin grabs the problem by the throat and presents a solution for posting audio content quickly in an attractive video package.

Townsquare Media, which encompasses 320 radio stations with websites in 67 markets, has chosen Headliner for enterprise-wide rollout. The network adoption is a big get for Sparemin, whose product enjoys partial use in many other radio groups. Townsquare’s hope is to encourage local stations to create social videos at scale.

“SpareMin’s Headliner has allowed us to rapidly scale up video production centered around our on-air talent. By not having to worry about time-intensive training, our DJs, hosts, and reporters are able to focus their time and energy where it’s most important – creating quality local content that their audience can’t get anywhere else,” said Tom McCarthy, Townsquare’s Senior Director of Local Content.

The Headliner app is an online video editor whose clean and self-explanatory interface can keep things very simple with a single background image and waveform, or build a somewhat more sophisticated effort with multiple images and video clips for visual background. Audio is the star — the audio gets loaded in first, and everything else is placed alongside a graphical waveform.

A Headliner video edit window before exporting, downloading, and placing in social media.

For spoken-word audio, a transcription tool generates a flow of voice-to-text words on the video atop whatever imagery is placed in the frame. That’s a nice feature for radio and podcasting. We have seen it in use by Marc Maron, and even CNN in its audio distributions of TV segments. (See headliner examples here.) There is a 10-minute length limit in Headliner; most of the examples we’ve seen are well under one minute, catering to the fast-moving social audience.

The entire thing is cloud-based, and our fairly extensive testing did not reveal any bugs. We think there is room for continued development of this very effective and much-needed web app, and Sparemin tells us that the product is under continual iteration. For users who come through the front door, the app is free to use.


Brad Hill