The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Creates R&D Lab
LAS VEGAS – The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) and media technology innovator Futuri Media have announced a unique partnership on an unprecedented research and development lab.
The announcement was made during a presentation titled “Millennials, Gen Z'ers, and the Future of Media” at the Broadcast Education Association's event during the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.
In January, 35 selected students launched GHQ, a new, dynamic multi-platform "radio" station using mobile, social and digital audience engagement technology designed by Futuri. With help from professional staff at UFCJC and Futuri, the "G-Team" is implementing audio-based app features and testing engagement, acceptance and likability through digital and social platforms in UF's 50,000+ student community.
Students occupy every position at GHQ, including station manager. A team of students under the direction of Professor Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, a highly regarded consumer media researcher, is also conducting market research that will be shared with the industry.
"GHQ shines an entirely new light on our ability to work with industry to create real solutions," says Randy Wright, executive director of the College's Division of Media Properties. "Our theory is that intelligent use of multimedia engagement tools can directly impact growth of a station's audience and help maintain and boost terrestrial radio's relevance in the long run."
GHQ, a contemporary hit-radio formatted product, is available over the air on 95.3 MHZ in addition to transmitting on the College's WUFT-FM HD3 signal to the Gainesville-Ocala, FL market. Audio and entertainment content is available nationwide through the GHQ app, which incorporates the entire suite of mobile audience engagement features designed by Futuri.
"It's clear that Millennial and Gen Z audiences are eager to engage, but broadcasters have to meet them where they're at," says Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig. "Innovation is key to engaging these critical audiences, and the R&D lab that Futuri Media has created with the University of Florida can ultimately help broadcasters everywhere stay ahead of the curve."
The partnership with UFCJC is Futuri's first engagement with a higher-education institution.
UFCJC operates seven television, radio and digital properties, including the local PBS, NPR and ESPN affiliates, serving the 19-county North Central Florida market.
"Partnering with a world-class organization like Futuri is an incredible opportunity for us," Wright says. "Broadcast is ripe for experimentation to engage millennials and I am confident this collaboration will lead to insights that can help the industry increase its market share."
About the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications
The UF College of Journalism and Communications is driving innovation and engagement across the disciplines of advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication. The college's strength is drawn from both academic rigor and experiential learning. CJC students have the opportunity to gain immersive experiences producing content across our seven broadcast and digital media properties and working in our strategic communication agency. For more information, visit www.jou.ufl.edu.
About Futuri Media
Launched in 2009 with its award-winning Listener Driven Radio (LDR) audience engagement platform, Futuri Media now holds 11 published or pending patents in 151 countries and has been named to the Inc. 5000 List of America's fastest-growing private companies for three consecutive years. Futuri Media platforms are in use by programming, content and sales teams at more than 1,000 TV and radio stations in 20 countries, reaching more than 100 million consumers monthly. For more information, visit www.futurimedia.com.