The Top of the Hour News bulletin allows you to broadcast a hosted news feed, on the hour, to all your listeners automatically, without the need of manually scheduling in events or replacing files within your library. Example:
- When you set up News for the very first time you may need to restart your station. You can do this by clicking the red 'On Air' button in the sidebar.
- Top of Hour News ('TOHN') is only available on the Silver, Gold, and Pro plans. If you are on a lower plan and wish to use the feature you can upgrade directly on the page.
- Only hosted MP3 files are supported as your news source. TOHN cannot use a live feed or relay from another station within it's bulletin.
- A third party subscription to a news service may be required for this feature. Radio.co does not provide news bulletins. You can find links to third party services at the bottom of this guide.
- If a DJ or Relay is broadcasting on your station, Top of Hour News will not interrupt until the hour after they disconnect.
How do I set it up?
The first step is to head over to Media > News, where you will be able to build your personalised bulletin.
There are two main sections to creating a bulletin. The 'Bulletin Builder,' and the 'Bulletin Settings'.
This is where you form your news bulletin. We recommend completing all sections, which will make your news bulletin sound professional.
You can use almost any file from your media library to form your intro, background and outro.
The maximum file length is 60 seconds. We recommend a short jingle which announces your station name, and the fact the news is starting.
This track will loop for the duration of your news link. An instrumental bed, longer than your news link is recommended. This will play at 30% volume so the news feed is fully audible when overlaid.
Again this is limited to 60 seconds. Another short jingle announcing your station name is recommended.
Choosing your Tracks
To select the Intro, Background Audio and Outro tracks from your media library, just click on the grey box that represents each section then use the search box to find the track you'd like to use. Once happy, click the Choose button next to your chosen track, and the changes will be saved.
Your News Source
A news source must be a hosted MP3 file. Live streams/Relays are NOT supported.
You can choose to subscribe to a news service (such as FSN) or link to your own in house news source, hosted on a server (As long as it's accessible via an http:// or https:// link).
To select the news source, you need to click on the News Source box, then enter the URL of the news source in the field displayed. Once the URL has been entered, you need to click the Test button to confirm it works as expected. If the test is successful, please click Save to apply the changes.
It's important to ensure that you have permission from the news provider before saving the URL in the News Source field.
Most news services charge for use of their feeds.
Radio.co will comply with any removal requests if received from news providers.
Please note, the URL for the news source must be in MP3 format. Unfortunately, we are unable to support any other formats.
In the Bulletin Settings, you can choose the frequency and metadata for the bulletin.
If you want your bulletin to play every hour of the day, choose All Day.
To limit news bulletins between certain times, choose Every Hour. Two more drop down boxes will appear. Here, you can choose between what hours the news bulletin is broadcast.
Just below the drop down, you can select which days the bulletin is broadcast. This is useful if you want to limit news to just Weekdays or just Weekends.
The last section in the Bulletin Settings is Metadata. Here, you can add the title and artist for the bulletin.
For example, in my example bulletin, I have used the following metadata:
Title: The Biggest News
This information is what the listener will see on the Web Players when the bulletin is broadcast.
Once happy, click 'Save and Enable' in the bottom right corner, and this will save the changes.
Remember, if this is the first time you are setting news up, remember to turn your station off then back on again to load the changes. Any further changes do not require a restart.
News Bulletin Sources:
- https://www.featurestorynews.com/ (subscription)