News & Press Releases

JAZZFM 91 Toronto is now humming with SDS Symphony

Toronto, Ontario – April 21, 2019 – More than just a radio station, JAZZ.FM91 is an organization that is dedicated to enriching the culture, education and community experience of their audience. When the station reviewed their current software applications they realized that a change was required that would allow them to not only continue their mandate but expand it. Their search led them to Specialty Data Systems (SDS). With its intuitive design and scalable model, SDS Symphony was the best solution to help bring the sweet sounds of jazz to the listeners throughout the GTA, Canada and around the world.

“We needed a system that could be tailored to our needs and SDS Symphony fit the bill. Our employees had used SDS in the past and I was constantly being told that we needed SDS” explains Lorie Russell, Managing Director of JAZZFM.91. “There was too much duplication of work and with SDS that is eliminated, and we can work with greater efficiency. The industry is changing and we need to be able to change with it. SDS allows us to do that. The fact that they are located in Toronto and are 100% Canadian makes us proud of this partnership.”

SDS’s streamlined workflow and flexible design makes it the perfect solution for the experimentation and agility required by broadcasters to compete in today’s dynamic environment. “Whether broadcasters have a single radio station, television station, or a multiple of each across the country, SDS Symphony provides broadcasters with the tools to operate more efficiently, manage their data, reduce redundancies and easily adapt to changes challenging our industry.” said Jim Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of SDS.

“We are honoured that JAZZ.FM91 selected SDS Symphony and that the desire to upgrade was enthusiastically supported by the users. We take pride in our support and we’ve always believed that in today’s fragmented world, support is the cornerstone of success. From Traffic, CRM, Sales, Creative Production, and Finance, SDS Symphony enables all staff to work together in concert to an unprecedented degree, enabling the maximization of every avail and every dollar, every day.”

About JAZZFM.91
The station began life more than 60 years ago as CJRT-FM, Ryerson’s university radio station, broadcasting an eclectic mix of educational programming, classics and jazz. Then in 1996, it was transformed when the Ontario Government reduced its annual operating stipend from $1,300,000 to zero, leaving the radio station to find its niche in one of North America’s most crowded radio marketplaces.
In the years since then, JAZZ.FM91 has executed a very different and expanded mission, which is to enrich the cultural, educational and community experience of our listening audience.

About SDS Inc.
Established in 1993, SDS is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to broadcast sales, traffic, creative, operations and accounting. The components that comprise SDS Symphony include Traffic, Sales, CRM, Creative, Reports, and A/R. Each of the components features an advanced workflow design, instantly sharing need-to-know information among all departments. A mid-sized company with more than 500 television and radio station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenues, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains an agile and customer-focused company. For more information, visit www.sds.ca.

First Peoples Radio Inc. partners with SDS

Toronto, Ontario – January 1, 2019 – When First Peoples Radio Inc. launched ELMNT FM, their urban radio stations devoted to Indigenous Peoples, they partnered with Specialty Data Systems (SDS). With its intuitive design and scalable model, SDS Symphony was the right solution to help bring The New Beat of Radio to listeners throughout the Toronto and Ottawa markets.

FPR has embarked on an impressive journey to fill the gap for Indigenous Peoples who feel that existing urban radio stations do not reflect their presence in the community, and SDS is proud to be part of this endeavor. SDS’s streamlined workflow and flexible design made it the perfect solution for the experimentation and agility required by new stations. SDS Symphony provides broadcasters with the ability to instantaneously share information across markets and departments – from CRM, Sales, Creative, and Traffic to Operations and Accounting – eliminating the need for data re-entry and cross-verification.

“We are proud to partner with First Peoples Radio Inc. in their mission to bring Indigenous content to urban audiences. SDS has a long history of supporting new Canadian stations, but we are particularly delighted to work with ELMNT FM as they honour the immense range of Indigenous talent. SDS knows how important resource management is to the health of a new media undertaking. This is why SDS Symphony enables all staff to work together in concert to an unprecedented degree, enabling the maximization of every avail and every dollar, every day.” said Dave Cole, President of SDS.

About First Peoples Radio Inc.
First Peoples Radio Inc. (FPR) is a non-profit corporation established by APTN. In 2017, the Canadian and Radio-Television Commission awarded FPR licences to operate English and Indigenous-language Type B Native FM radio stations serving Indigenous communities in Ottawa and Toronto. The launch of ELMNT FM in both markets on October 24, 2018, marked an initial step toward building a national presence in urban radio for Indigenous Peoples. FPR’s guiding principles are to provide news and information programming that is distinctive and to highlight the growing pool of exceptional Indigenous musical talent, which otherwise receives little to no airplay.

About SDS Inc.
Established in 1993, SDS is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to broadcast sales, traffic, creative, operations and accounting. The components that comprise SDS Symphony include Traffic, Sales, CRM, Creative, and A/R. Each of the components features an advanced workflow design, instantly sharing need-to-know information among all departments. A mid-sized company with more than 500 television and radio station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenues, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains an agile and customer-focused company. For more information, visit www.sds.ca.

SDS Symphony’s Programming Module Updated for new CRTC TV logging requirements

SDS, the leading Canadian supplier of Broadcast software in the Canadian marketplace, continues to expand its software to meet and exceed the needs of their Canadian clients.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) has revised how Canadian Television Stations are to submit their monthly program logs. Licensees are required to submit, in a form acceptable to the Commission, a machine readable record of programming, which is collectively known as a program log.

“The CRTC changes were effective as of September 1, 2018”, said Jim Anderson, COO of SDS “We modified SDS Symphony’s Programming module to ensure that the changes required by the CRTC would not result in extra hours of work for our users. If every TV program started as of September 1st, the changes would have been simple. However most programs existed prior to September 1, so we had to ensure that our users could resubmit earlier logs under the previous set of rules without having to extra work. Prior to joining SDS, as a broadcaster I submitted program logs to the CRTC so I understand their complexity and the importance of ensuring that they are correct.”

The changes to SDS Symphony didn’t end with simply updating the rules. SDS designed a beautiful new software interface for the users that interactively displays each and every program code logging error. The module also keeps track of the users’ Conditions of License to ensure that there are no surprises when the Licensee appears before the Commission.

SDS Symphony is a uniquely unified suite of enterprise software for Radio, TV, and Internet Broadcasters. Built atop a centralized database, SDS Symphony delivers Clarity, Control, and Results by focusing on efficiency and giving all departments instant, easy access to information across all markets, stations, and media properties.

Established in 1993, SDS is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to media management. With more than 500 television, radio and digital station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenue, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains a responsive, agile, and customer-focused company.

SDS Introduces SDS Creative

Toronto, Ontario – September 2017 –Specialty Data Systems (SDS) today announced the release of SDS Creative, an advanced media production module. SDS Creative joins the existing components of SDS Symphony: SDS Sales, SDS Traffic, SDS CRM, SDS Programming, SDS Reports, and SDS A/R, in providing media companies with a complete media management system.

SDS Creative works across radio, television, and digital platforms in any environment, from large multi-market broadcast groups to locally-operated stations. As a unified component of SDS Symphony, SDS Creative is uniquely able to integrate the commercial production process with other media departments including Traffic, Sales, and Management. SDS Creative is fully scalable, with customized workflows and multi-tiered security.

“SDS Creative is the latest offering in SDS’s mission to anticipate and deliver the most powerful tools possible. Based largely on input from our current and prospective client base, SDS Creative was built to be dynamic enough to suit any media environment,” said Dave Cole, President of SDS. “SDS Creative closes the loop, fully integrating the activities of production personnel with their colleagues in Traffic, Sales, and Management.”

With SDS Creative, everyone is on the same page, eliminating the need for 3rd party solutions. Deadlines are flagged and tasks are managed for everyone: writers, producers, talent, traffic, and sales. Electronic approval routing allows creative to get to air faster, while automated email notifications and transparent workflow tracking encourages departmental accountability. SDS Creative features a rich script editor and every revision of a script is stored for a truly paper-less experience.

SDS Symphony is a uniquely unified suite of enterprise software for Radio, TV, and Internet Broadcasters. Built around a centralized database, SDS Symphony delivers Clarity, Control, and Results by focussing on efficiency and giving all departments instant, easy access to information across markets, stations, and media properties. Established in 1993, SDS is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to media management. With more than 500 television, radio and digital station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenues, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains a responsive, agile, and customer-focused company.

SDS Sales Introduces Seamless, Real-Time Access to Nielsen Respondent-Level Data for Radio

Toronto, Ontario – January 2017 – Specialty Data Systems (SDS) announced the release of SDS Sales’ fully integrated access to Nielsen respondent-level data. SDS Sales now has a direct link to the Nielsen data engine, enabling real-time updating of sales proposals and bookings with Nielsen audience data.

Now, when building an order in SDS Sales, line-level edits directly query the Nielsen data to automatically update rating, audience, CPM, CPP, and reach/frequency numbers. As days and hours are customized and spot times are adjusted, the audience data reflects these revisions in real-time. The introduction of this feature establishes SDS Sales as a one-stop solution for building pitches, estimating audience reach, and entering buys, eliminating the need for multiple systems or redundant data entry.

Harnessing the power of Nielsen’s data engine is yet another example of SDS’s dedication to help clients save time and make more money by maximizing every spot and every dollar. “SDS strives to consistently deliver the tools broadcasters need to stay one step ahead in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. We are committed to continuously enhancing our products with time-saving features to optimize the user experience,” said Dave Cole, SDS President. “SDS’s integration with Nielsen speaks directly to our ongoing commitment to providing effective, powerful business software to our clients.”

Established in 1993, SDS is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to media management. SDS Symphony includes SDS Sales, SDS Traffic, SDS CRM, SDS Creative, SDS Programming, SDS Reports, and SDS A/R, all thoughtfully designed to work together seamlessly across your entire enterprise. With more than 500 television, radio and digital station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenues, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains a responsive, agile, and customer-focused company. For more information, visit www.sds.ca

Group Attraction Radio Inc. partners with SDS

Toronto, Ontario – April 11, 2016 – Centralized radio station operations was what leading Canadian broadcaster Group Attraction Radio, was looking for to increase the efficiency of its operations. The Quebec based company found the solution in an innovative, unified broadcast management system provided by Specialty Data Systems (SDS).

Group Attraction Radio has installed SDS’s flagship broadcast management software, SDS Symphony, at all of its radio stations. The software centralizes information, across all departments and all markets.

“We had been working in a semi-manual system previously which made it very difficult to work efficiently”, explained Marc Thibault, Director of Finances, Radio Division. “Redundancy of data entry and effort was commonplace, so we needed a better way.” Thibault said.

SDS Symphony provides broadcasters with the ability to instantaneously share information between various markets, stations and departments – from CRM, sales, traffic and programming to operations and accounting – eliminating the need for data re-entry and cross-verification.

“Now with Group Attraction joining SDS, over 425 stations across North. America have partnered with SDS and we are proud to have the team from Group Attraction as a customer. With our bilingual support team, the users at Group Attraction have been able to learn SDS in their language. This is another commitment that SDS has to our partners in French Canada. I am confident that our SDS Symphony product will yield better clarity and control of their business,” said Dave Cole, President of SDS, explaining that the result is a more efficient and streamlined operation.

“Now, with SDS, we have streamlined administration, simple and efficient enterprise reporting and rapid process improvement,” Thibault said.

Established in 1993, SDS is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to broadcast sales, traffic, programming, operations and accounting. A mid-sized company with more than 425 television and radio station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenues, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains an agile and customer-focused company. For more information, visit www.sds.ca.

2015 was a year of Growth for SDS Symphony

Toronto, Ontario – April 18, 2016 – Specialty Data Systems (SDS) Inc., a leading North American provider of innovative broadcast management software, continues to extend its market presence with the announcement of additional station launches in both television and radio throughout North America

“I’m pleased to announce the following additions to the SDS family,” said Dave Cole, president of Toronto, Ont.-based SDS, adding that the company is on target to increase its installed base to more than 500 radio and television stations across North America by fourth quarter 2016.

The new accounts include:
Corus Entertainment Inc. (3 stations) and the launch of Disney, Disney XD, and La Chaine Disney in November 2015. Corus Entertainment has been using SDS since 1993. Proving that SDS understands the Canadian marketplace better than anyone else.

Accessible Media Inc. and the launch of AMI-Tele in January 2015 in Quebec. Launch in January 2015, AMI serves more than five million Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing, mobility or print restricted. AMI has been part of the SDS family since 2008.

Roundhouse Radio launched in January 2015. After reviewing all the choices available in the marketplace, Roundhouse Radio selected SDS Symphony to assist in reaching its mandate of hyperlocal content and urban presence.

American General Media (6 stations), Summit Media LLC (8 stations), Results Radio (2), Harvard Broadcastings (2) also expanded with ease” Cole noted. “The process is not intrusive to the users at all and stations can be added and launched within a matter of weeks with no additional costs!”

In addition to station launches, SDS also has expanded its VOD offering to Canadian television clients. “As the BDU offer more options to the viewer, this has required additional features within the VOD spectrum, often at a moment’s notice. We have been able to deliver these modifications to our clients with ease” said Sarah Smithies, SDS’s Project Director. “That’s why they chose SDS. We have been there for them every step of the way. From changes in the reporting system at the CRTC to the Numeris Program Names Collection Solution. We add these features at no charge to the system so our clients are not using Excel or manual reports.”

“Over the past year, SDS has been working on a new feature we call SDS IM or Inventory Management,” commented Jim Anderson, COO of SDS. “As the industry changes, so too does our software and the ability to see as much or little information as the user demands. SDS IM allows them to do that. It allows them to see as far into the future as they dare to look and manage the inventory as they want.”

Sherri Clark, the Corporate Traffic Director from Summit Media says this about SDS IM. “I’m able to handle the logs for 15 stations across the country from wherever I am. I travel from site to site, we have 6 in total, and everyone thinks I’m sitting in their location doing the logs, moving spots, etc. I couldn’t live without it!”

Equipped with a common database to integrate sales, traffic, programming, finance and operations data, SDS Symphony gives broadcasters the ability to instantaneously share information between stations and across departments, regardless of location. Its automated approach eliminates the need for re-entry and cross-verification of data, and formats information according to specific user needs, whether they’re programming airtime, booking orders, scheduling promos or producing sales and commission reports.

About Specialty Data Systems
SDS, established in 1993, is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software. More than 450 television and radio station clients have unified sales, traffic, programming, operations and accounting with the SDS Symphony suite of products. It is independent of broadcaster ownership. For more information, visit www.sds.ca .

SDS Sales Introduces Fully Integrated, Real-Time Access to Numeris Diary and PPM Level Data for Radio

Toronto, Ontario – November 2015 –Specialty Data Systems (SDS) announced today the release of SDS Sales’ fully integrated access to Numeris audience data in Canada. The latest version of SDS Sales taps directly in to the Numeris data engine to dynamically update sales proposals and bookings with Numeris audience data.

Now, when building an order in SDS Sales, line-level edits directly query the Numeris data to automatically update rating, audience, CPM, CPP, and reach/frequency numbers. As hours and days are narrowed and spot times are adjusted, the audience data reflects the changes in real-time. This version of SDS Sales also includes a comprehensive and fully customizable Ranker, which allows the inclusion of spill markets, the creation of station groupings, and dynamic printing options. The introduction of these features makes SDS Sales a one-stop solution for building pitches, estimating audience reach, and entering buys, eliminating redundant data-entry and the need for multiple systems. Harnessing the power of Numeris’ data engine is yet another example of SDS’s dedication to help clients save time and make more money by maximizing every spot and every dollar.

“SDS is committed to continuously enhancing our products with time-saving features to streamline the user experience. We strive to constantly deliver the tools broadcasters need to stay one step ahead in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace,” says Dave Cole, SDS President. “SDS’s decision to integrate the power of the Numeris data engine speaks directly to our commitment to providing effective, powerful business software to our clients.”

Established in 1993, SDS is a leading North American provider of broadcast management software, specializing in the development of a proven, unified approach to broadcast sales, traffic, programming, operations and accounting. A mid-sized company with more than 400 television and radio station clients representing a billion dollars in advertising revenues, SDS is independent of broadcaster ownership and remains an agile and customer-focused company. For more information, visit www.sds.ca.