business

Digital Ads Might Finally End Radio's Analog Days

Much of the radio industry hopped onto the digital bandwagon years ago. Rather than spin "stacks of wax," disk jockeys queue up shiny compact disks. The one area where analog sound still reigns in the radio studio, though, is the tape cartridges, or "carts," on which commercials get delivered. But that could be changing in the near future.

Digital Generation Systems Inc. in San Francisco has a setup that will distribute ads to stations faster than mailing carts overnight--and with better-than-CD sound. The DGS Network consists of a minicomputer in the company's headquarters that connects via standard phone lines to the hard disks of personal computers at radio stations. Once a radio ad is produced--for a Presidential candidate, say--it's sent to DGS for digitization and relayed around the nation within hours. DGS says the service will cost about the same as mailing carts via overnight courier service.

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