The Tech behind the Cumia Show

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by nearly.normal, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. nearly.normal

    nearly.normal Well-Known Member

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    http://www.streamingmedia.com/Artic...-Rules-Its-The-Anthony-Cumia-Show-100940.aspx

    Online With No Bosses and No Rules: It’s The Anthony Cumia Show

    Equipped with a green screen, a NewTek TriCaster, and a love of technology, Anthony Cumia has made the transition from Sirius XM shock jock to online video star.

    By Troy Dreier
    Posted on December 3, 2014

    Anthony Cumia has said goodbye to radio. Fans can now hear him—and see him—online.

    Cumia enjoyed a 20-year career in talk radio as part of The Opie and Anthony Show, but he and his fans knew it had to end sometime. Cumia and partner Gregg “Opie” Hughes had a knack for getting fired and a talent for attracting negative press. Before finding a home on SiriusXM satellite radio, they’d been let go from stations in Boston and New York City.

    The end of The Opie and Anthony Show came this July. While shooting pictures late one night in Times Square, Cumia got into an argument with a woman who didn’t want to be photographed. The outspoken Cumia tweeted some angry messages about the confrontation, which then got reported in the press. Before long, Cumia was out of a job.

    But getting fired has always seemed to work out for Cumia. This time, he’s back with a subscription online video show and he’s doing better than ever. He turned his online video hobby into a job and it’s paying off. What’s more, he launched his show only weeks after his firing from SiriusXM. It’s a move that not many could pull off, but Cumia makes it look easy.

    The Video Studio in the Basement

    The reason The Anthony Cumia Show was able to go online so quickly is because Cumia had been streaming online video for years. A technology fan, Cumia created a professional video studio in the basement of his Long Island home years ago and occasionally streamed live shows.

    “Like the guy that built the bomb shelter back during the Cold War, I had been building a studio in my house for the past 4 or 5 years, kind of knowing at some point I’d probably use it fulltime,” Cumia says. “I’ve always been interested in broadcasting and wanted to do my own thing even though I had the radio show with Opie. I would always go out on my own and do something at night or on the weekends that I would call Live From the Compound and do a show from that studio.”

    While Cumia had invested a substantial amount of money in his basement studio, it turned out to be a wise decision.

    “Thank God I did because when I got the boot from SiriusXM I was able to just get servers and be able to feed that show out to the public without having to start from scratch and build an entire studio,” Cumia says. “I already had it built. It was kind of hobby thing and I’d been interested in broadcasting for so many years that I wanted to have some type of home studio. It’s a good thing I did because I was able to get it up and running in record time, as they say.”

    [​IMG]

    Cumia makes his basement look like a full broadcast studio with the help of chroma key and virtual sets from NewTek.

    Anyone else in the same position would have to build a home studio from scratch, then learn how to operate it. Cumia had spent years growing and learning about his studio. At the heart of it is a NewTek TriCaster.

    “It was a trial-and-error kind of thing over the course of years. I would buy a few things, see what worked. A lot of stuff ended up in my garage,” Cumia says. “I got more educated and realized what I needed, and was able to streamline things a lot more without all of the other stuff laying around and having 10 miles of wires and everything else. I learned a lot about the type of cameras that I would need. And, of course, the TriCaster obviously was the key to the whole thing after I did a lot of research on video switching devices. That was the one that really just was perfect for what I was looking for.”

    One TriCaster feature Cumia makes heavy use of is the ability to create virtual sets. Thanks to NewTek, Cumia seems to be sitting in a network studio when he’s only in his basement.

    “Initially I had wanted to work with green screen and with some kind of virtual set behind me. I went out to B&H and got a green screen and really didn’t know much about green screening and the lighting that’s involved. It’s an art more than science in a lot of cases. Over the course of a few years I realized, ‘Oh let me paint the wall some kind of pea green instead of having a screen,’” Cumia says. “The keying with the NewTek TriCaster is amazing. You really can get a great key with minimal effort. To be able to add to the show by putting myself in any location—it could be pretty funny popping yourself into places, have a video running behind you and put yourself in the scene. Or have a professional-looking news set and be sitting there having a few beers. It looks so professional that people watching go, ‘Why does this guy have this incredible set sitting there spouting off about something and drinking beer?’”

    “Anthony is using TriCaster 455 for his show,” says Philip Nelson, the chief relationship officer at NewTek and a Streaming Media conference regular. “He is in the process of upgrading to a TriCaster 460.”

    Being tech-savvy, Cumia started working with a TriCaster without any assistance from the company. Nelson found out Cumia was using NewTek equipment when Cumia began publicly praising it in 2012. After that, Nelson reached out to him over Twitter.

    “Virtual sets are something that can make any small space and green screen look like a million-dollar television studio,” Nelson says. “Before TriCaster they were only available to people with deep pockets. NewTek brought this elite, high-production value technology to anyone who owns a TriCaster. We now have holographic virtual sets which allows you to import a panoramic photo from a smart phone into TriCaster and use it as a 3D virtual set.”

    Cumia has been such a fan of the TriCaster that he’s become an evangelist, winning over at least one other celebrity.

    “Anthony was publicly calling for Charlie Sheen to up his production value on ‘Sheen’s Corner’ and use a TriCaster,” Nelson says. “On the final episode, they did move to a multi-cam TriCaster setup and Anthony tweeted ‘TriCaster is so good that it made Charlie Sheen look sane.’”

    “It’s astounding what’s available to the consumer these days, stuff that just a few years ago was only available to pros,” Cumia says.

    Cumia doesn’t limit himself to his basement studio. On a nice day he’ll talk to guests out by the pool.

    [​IMG]

    Anthony Cumia was able to launch an online show quickly after his firing from SiriusXM in part because he already had a studio set up in his basement

     
  2. nearly.normal

    nearly.normal Well-Known Member

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    “Instead of just having the studio I was able to take the cameras outside. One of the first few shows I did was with Andrew Dice Clay and I popped a couple of cameras outside by the pool and we were up by the table and it was really relaxed,” Cumia says. “It had an old Hugh Hefner feel to it by the pool. I have a bar in my house so you just pop the cameras out there and you’re sitting with a guest at the bar having a few drinks, a little bartender girl behind the bar. The whole house has become pretty much my set.”

    Cumia runs wired connections when filming in different parts of his house, since he has easy access to the TriCaster from any location, but he’s thinking about creating wireless connections in the future—perhaps for shots in the hot tub, he says.

    Creating a Show Worth Paying For

    While Anthony Cumia didn’t have to upgrade his technology to turn his online video hobby into a profession, he did have to improve his show. His early Live From the Compound efforts were casual. If he was going to charge his fans, he needed to offer a professional product.

    “It was more just a hobby, an afterthought. If I was having a party and a bunch of drunks were singing karaoke in my basement I’d fire up the cameras and take requests from the viewers, things like that. Kind of on a whim get some people in the studio and goof around without any real preparation involved,” Cumia says. “Now, it’s a daily show, Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. Eastern. I have the time to prep every day, pull video off of the internet that I want to use on the show and comment on, put it into the TriCaster. There’s a lot more preparation. It’s more structured. I’m able to pre-plan and do a little more preparation for this show which, I think, makes it a lot better.”

    In his 20 years in radio, there’s one thing Cumia hasn’t done before now: work alone. He’s always had someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to keep the show moving from segment to segment. On The Opie and Anthony Show, Cumia was the one doing Ronald Reagan and Charlton Heston impressions, while Hughes steered the show and took callers.

    Now that he’s on his own, Cumia has to provide both the structure and the humor. It’s all been part of the learning process.

    “It felt a little awkward in the beginning,” Cumia says. “Opie had always been the radio guy so when we would be doing the program with Jim Norton it was Opie that pretty much drove us from segment to segment and subject to subject. It was a little awkward for me to even get into how I would change the subject. I could go on for hours rambling about one thing. But I started getting more comfortable with looking into the camera and addressing the audience and talking about things as if they were the other person in the studio. It took some getting used to. And I’m always trying to improve the show and grow, so it’s still a learning process, especially coming from radio with somebody else and going to a visual medium solo for the most part, but I really like it. It gives me the ability to really control the show, every aspect of the show.”

    Learning how to transition topics and keep his energy up without a cohost are challenges Cumia has mastered on his own. More difficult is getting guests to his home studio. For much of his radio career he worked in Manhattan. Getting guests to drop by and promote a project or just hang out wasn’t difficult. Now, he’s working from his Long Island home. Some comedian friends have dropped by the new show, but celebrities are in short supply.

    [​IMG]

    Cumia needed big guests if he was going to charge viewers to watch his show. Here he is with comedian Jim Norton.

    “It’s not as easy as if I was in New York City, that’s for sure. Keith, my producer, he’s been pretty good with getting people out there. We supply transportation and it’s not crazy. It’s not like it’s way upstate New York or out on Montauk. I mean I’m right into Nassau County on Long Island, just past Queens. It’s not that bad,” Cumia says. “We already have been talking about getting some type of space in New York City so that when we do have a guest that can’t make it out to Long Island we can go into the city and get set up pretty quick with a green screen, camera, the TriCaster, and a couple of lights. That’s an option we’re looking into.”

    In the weeks between Cumia’s termination and the debut of The Anthony Cumia Show, fans wondered what the new show would feel like and whether or not they would have to pay for it. Since The Opie and Anthony Show was on SiriusXM, fans were used to paying $14.99 per month for a subscription. Many were hoping the new show would be free and ad-supported. After all, Joe Rogan and Adam Carolla are enjoying success with free ad-supported shows. Fans could see Cumia taking the same path.

    Even so, Cumia decided to charge subscription fees: $6.95 per month, $32.95 for 6 months, or $59.95 per year. It was a gamble, since so much online entertainment is free.

    “Since I had built this studio over the course of the years and invested a lot in it, I wanted it to be subscriber-based but I didn’t want it to be very expensive. It was definitely going to be less expensive than SiriusXM,” Cumia says. “It seemed to me that I was going to be able to break the mold and be successful doing a subscriber-based show because I did have that built-in audience already.

    “That’s another reason why I wanted to get up and running quickly—strike while the iron was hot kind of a thing. And it worked. I think it is a viable model, but not for everybody. I think you do need to come from some place where you already have that built-in audience that’s willing to put up a few bucks.”

    While the show has sponsors, it doesn’t rely on them. Cumia knows advertisers disappear when there’s controversy, and he wants a show free from bosses or corporate masters. He plans to present sponsors in a fun way, and if the talk gets too hot and they need to leave, that won’t impact the show.

    Thanks to his devoted fan base, Cumia was on solid ground financially from the start, making more from his new show than he had at SiriusXM. At the time of this interview he had more than 40,000 paid subscribers. Even after staff salaries and expenses, he’s making a comfortable living. It’s something he’d hoped for but didn’t expect.

    “It was surprising. I don’t think entertainers, for the most part, are the most confident people. It’s scary moving from a sure thing to something that rests on your own shoulders and is very iffy,” Cumia says. “I was excepting much more of an uphill battle. I’m very happy with the way things worked out.”

    This article appears in the November/December 2014 issue of Streaming Media magazine as "Online With No Bosses and No Rules: It’s The Anthony Cumia Show."
     
    I invented that likes this.
  3. Peau de Soie

    Peau de Soie Edit Button? Thanks LaserTilt!

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    With this kind of excruciatingly careful ball lathering whitewashing language I stopped reading here.
     
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  4. Quedee

    Quedee Wise Ass Extraordinaire

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    I still like this home setup a lot better

    tumblr_miw68razsw1rcaovvo1_500.jpg
     
  5. RonHeinzkaboot

    RonHeinzkaboot Adultophile VIP

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    Garrett Andritz wasn't even mentioned.
     
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  6. Anyonenow

    Anyonenow Well-Known Member

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    1. No one listens
    2. No one cares
    3. Why not put this crap in the Cumonya Forum?

    Oh yeah 1, 2 3
     
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  7. Ving

    Ving Well-Known Member

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    He uses that green screen to sing gay Elton John songs while holding a gun, and black women beat the shit out of him while he's packing. He's a laughing stock.
     
    Anyonenow likes this.
  8. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen I don't follow the crowd. Sorry about that. VIP

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    "big guests" like Jim Norton.
     
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  9. Shithead

    Shithead Well-Known Member

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    You have to admire the guy for getting all this shit together and doing what he has to although he wishes he was back on O&A
     
  10. broccoli rob

    broccoli rob thanks for the memories DW3

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    If Artie had Ant's commitment, he'd have a hell of a show going..


    if video podcasting is so affordable and yields such great results, couldn't Howard set up an internet broadcast of his show for a fraction of the cost of Howard TV?
     
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  11. nearly.normal

    nearly.normal Well-Known Member

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    It's not and it doesn't.
     
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  12. I invented that

    I invented that VIP Extreme Gold POTY Politics

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    sounds like you've never seen the show and are talking out your ass again.
     
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  13. Ving

    Ving Well-Known Member

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    No, as usual you know nothing. :backlol2:



     
  14. I invented that

    I invented that VIP Extreme Gold POTY Politics

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    that's not from TACS:secret:

    then again facts have never been your strong suit:umunch:
     
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  15. nearly.normal

    nearly.normal Well-Known Member

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    Is the AC show subscriber based only or does he have advertisers also?
     
  16. Boomer

    Boomer Who is your daddy and what does he do?

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    Is the show any good? Any noteable guests?
     
  17. Beth143nacho

    Beth143nacho Well-Known Member VIP

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    Irony
     
  18. Beth143nacho

    Beth143nacho Well-Known Member VIP

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    More than Howard has had on in ages. I'm happy with it, and he seems to have the same comedian folks as Artie (Jim Morton, rich vos, Colin Quinn, etc)
     
  19. EmperorsNewCaps

    EmperorsNewCaps Member

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    Remind me again, why is it so hard to believe Cumia planned to leave Opie years/months ago anyway and thought up a good "tech savvy" (as he is) promotional "stunt" (as they've done) to generate publicity and maximize awareness for his solo show?
     
  20. Bosch76

    Bosch76 2016 Politics POTY Gold

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