High availability is crucial to building and retaining an online listenership. Stream outages quickly leads to user frustration and reduced traffic to a live stream. Fallback input can help prevent or reduce these outages.

Stations can now push a redundant copy of their live-stream into our platform, allowing transparent switching if the primary input fails.

Why is fallback input necessary ?

Automated monitoring and alerts for live-streams plays a very important role in reducing failure windows, but mostly helps when the problem can be fixed by the station's operational team.

The most frequent cause of outages for our clients are transient networking failures on their ISP, over which the station has no control. These short outages typically resolves within tens of minutes, or sometimes even seconds - yet they still cause large inconvenience for listeners. Frequent short outages can be just as bad for listener retention as long infrequent ones.

How does fallback input help ?

Adding redundancy is the best way to increase reliability for a process. If a second input is available our platform can transparently switch to it when the primary input fails - keeping listeners connected and happy.

This redundant setup can be used at increasing levels of effectiveness:

  1. Capture hardware seldom fails, but when it does it can cause hours or even days of outage on a live-stream until replacement hardware is installed. Having redundant hardware in place caters for these rare but high impact scenarios.
  2. Using a different ISP for the redundant hardware avoids routing and networking issues specific to the primary ISP - a very frequent source of short outages.
  3. For the highest level of reliability, redundant hardware can be configured to use not just a different ISP but a completely different physical connection. For example a primary fibre connection and ADSL or LTE-A for fallback input.

It is up to each station to determine their required level of redundancy. To prevent the massive impact of failed hardware we recommend all commercial, regional or online-only stations to at minimum have a second set of hardware active.

How do i use fallback input ?

Fallback inputs are available for free and by default on all packages:

  • Customers can setup their own software or hardware to push audio into the secondary input - our support team can provide the connection details to use. See also our support article for fallback input.
  • Customers can order an additional set of our stream capture hardware, pre-configured for delivering audio into the fallback input. The second set of fallback  hardware is available at a discounted monthly rate, see our pricing page.

Visit our Radio Streaming page to find out more about our streaming solution.