A bespoke radio platform to transform Reform Radio

Reform Radio is a Manchester-based radio station aimed at young adults across greater Manchester. The station was form in 2013 and since has gone on to win multiple awards and has helped to support young people into employment.

As the station continued to expand, they needed to embrace radio-station software. Unfortunately, the existing options on the marketing were all either too limiting or impossible to integrate with, meaning they would need to build the entire end-to-end broadcasting, scheduling and asset-management infrastructure from scratch.

In addition to the underlying infrastructure, they needed a robust management interface for both administrators and DJs. The existing process for DJs was manual so the suite of features this build introduced was welcomed by the team at Reform.

To improve audience participation we also better connected DJs with their listeners by allowing them to participate in live chat on the website from their console.

Reform Radio are now in a position where they can engage users on-site and start to build up profiles which we can use to further customise the experience in the future. They have also been freed from their dependency on sites such as SoundCloud and Airtime, enabling them to take full control of their technology.

Reform have big plans for growth over the next few years and with this platform, they are better placed than ever to take Manchester by storm.


AWS Services Leveraged

  • Built and delivered 2 applications, one for the public and one for Reform's back office in node.js and containerized them in Docker
  • Used AWS ECS to run these applications in the cloud
  • Leveraged EC2 Launch Configurations, EC2 Auto Scaling Groups, EC2 instances, ECR to host Docker images
  • Custom-built two additional containers, one for an Icecast server to deliver streams to clients and one for LiquidSoap, which was able to manage incoming streams from S3 + CloudFront or the Reform Radio studio
  • Hosted containers on ECS as individual services to enable them to independently scale depending on traffic requirements
  • Used EC2 Application Load Balancers and Route53 to route traffic to the various ECS Services, which self-registered as Target Groups as they started new tasks
  • Utilised EC2 to host MongoDB databases on
  • Created a CloudFront distribution which enabled more rapid delivery of previous shows and other content to consumers

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