Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Radio History: Alexandre Saboundjian



At 20, he created a free radio. Today, in Paris, he introduces AudioValley, his company specializing in digital audio, on the Brussels Stock Exchange. Special day for Alexandre Saboundjian. This morning, at the stroke of 9 a.m., the Brussels entrepreneur will ring the bell to kick off the listing of his company, AudioValley, on Euronext Brussels, almost seven months after the same transaction on Euronext Growth Paris. Objective: to strengthen the visibility and facilitate operations for private and institutional investors in Belgium, the historical cradle and headquarters of the company of which it is the majority shareholder. More broadly, the operation is part of the company's desire to strengthen the attractiveness and liquidity of the stock. And then, it is also a matter of completing the repayment of the buyback in 2017 of the shares of Vivendi, which for two years was the majority shareholder of the company. Radio boss at 20,

 For Alexandre Saboundjian, 54, this is a new step in his long professional and entrepreneurial journey focused on the development of audio technologies of which he has tasted all the components. While he intends to become a chartered accountant - he did an internship in a fiduciary - this grandson of an Armenian immigrant who had fled the genocide is very quickly caught by the microphone. We are at the beginning of the 80s. "Free" radios abound. Like many others, the young Alexandre created his own radio station in Nivelles, called… W & C: "A joke of crazy young people, he remembers. And then, at the time, all the US radio stations, including free radios were inspired, had a name beginning with W. " 

The profile 54 years old, married, one child Creates a private radio station at 20 Variety manager at Bel RTL and RTL France Created in 1993 Punch, production studio for advertising spots Launches Magic Phone in 1995 (interactive telephone services) Creation in 2004 of MusicMatic which broadcasts musical programs in chain stores MusicMatic becomes AudioValley and enters Euronext Paris in 2018 and then Euronext Brussels on February 20, 2019. RFM, the Rossel group's radio network, will then acquire 50% of the shares to make it its branch in Nivelles, before it is fully integrated into the Bel RTL network launched in 1991. Enough to open the doors of the station with the logo to Alexandre Saboundjian Red and white. He became head of variety at both Bel RTL and the big sister RTL, taking care of programming, musical compilations, etc. But the entrepreneurship bug is taking him back. With a flair for catching up with the times, as he had done with his radio before. He created Punch, a production studio for radio commercials. Well seen. At the time, Bel RTL emerged, private radio networks became more professional, advertising came to RTBF radio. Ditto then with Magic Phone, created in 1995 when telephony was liberalized, becoming interactive and marketing tool. Magic Phone offers automatic applications by telephone: games, phone banking, catalog orders, etc. It resells it in 2000 to Tell Me, a voice recognition specialist which will be taken over by Microsoft. Alexandre Saboundjian then allows himself a sabbatical year to breathe, travel, and think about new entrepreneurial adventures: "I wanted to dive back into radio, it seemed to me that there was a niche to exploit in musical animation outlets, which was quite poor until then. " In 2004, he created MusicMatic, which he defines as "a platform for the automation of music flows in points of sale". In short: turnkey radio programs adapted to the profile of each commercial network. This activity will be the basis of the current AudioValley, now active in three activities: • Storever (the original MusicMatic business) • Jamendo (rights management) • Radionomy, renamed Targetspot (monetization of web radios), all in 9 countries, including the United States and China. 

 Yves Baudechon, boss of the SocialLab agency dedicated to social media marketing and with whom Alexandre Saboundjian launched Radionomy, says he is impressed by this journey. "He has never deviated from his line of conduct, he believes. He has always believed in the development of digital radio, the facts prove him right, we can therefore qualify him as a visionary. He must serve as an example to entrepreneurs. "

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