Previously, we shared with you how to start an internet radio station. We outlined the basics of what you need to get it up and running, but didn't go into the specifics of cost. If you're trying the internet radio station thing for the first time or are a person who travels frequently, you're going to need a cheap-yet-effective internet radio station setup. You don't want to break the bank on equipment that can easily get damaged while you're on the road, or expensive gear that will make you lose more money than you bargained for if deciding to quit the broadcasting life.
Figuring out what equipment to get while keeping an eye on your bank account can be difficult, but we're here to help make the load lighter. Here are some tips and recommendations to help you create a great radio station setup on a budget.
Break It Down
First, decide how much you're willing to spend on equipment. The most expensive setups can cost anywhere between $1,000-$5,000, but we think all you really need to start creating a quality setup is around $250. Of course, as you continue on in your broadcasting career, you can always upgrade to pricier gear.
Here's a list of items you'll most likely have to spend money on if you want to get your internet radio station started...
- A laptop or computer
- A microphone
- A stream host
Besides your computer of choice, a microphone is the item you'll probably have to spend the most money on when creating a good internet radio station setup. We suggest sticking to a USB microphone if you don't have too much cash to burn. While they are considered to be of lesser quality than XLR microphones, typically you'll have to spend more on XLR mics because they require dropping some cash on an audio interface as well. You can get studio-quality sound through a USB mic...you just have to do some research, first.
You can find some XLR mics for cheap, but they are few and far between. If you're just starting out, we say go with a good USB first. You can never go wrong with Blue Yeti, Rode, or Blue mics. Check out Live365's 5 Top-Rated Microphones for Internet Radio list for some ideas on affordable microphones.
Headphones are an item you don't have to drop too much money on. Some cheap-yet-quality ones sell for around $30-$40 (for example, the LyxPro HAS-10 Closed Back Over-Ear Headphones or most Behringer headphones). If you've got a bit more money to spend, we already have two lists featuring great headphones - some under $100. Check them out below:
When choosing your internet radio station host, you should keep two things in mind when it comes to budget. First, focus on the cost of the service provider. How much do you need to spend per month/year in order to get your station running? Is it within your budget range? Second, does the host offer monetization with ads for radio stations? If so, you may be able to lower your bills on your service provider through ad revenue. Fortunately, Live365 offers a number of different packages at various price points, includes monetization opportunities, and provides built-in music licensing coverage to lower the cost of running a legal radio station. You can learn more about Live365's packages and features here.
Buying Used Equipment
If you're on a tight budget, it may be a wise idea to purchase or collect some equipment second-hand. Below is a list of reputable online hubs where you can find some good second-hand gear if you do some searching...
If buying used equipment, we highly recommend making sure the seller is reputable first. Check their ratings and reviews, and read the full description of the product they are selling before buying. You don't want to end up scammed!
Looking for more tips on creating an awesome radio station setup on a budget? Maybe you have a bit more than $250 to spend and are looking for some fancier products? Check out James Mulvany's resourceful YouTube video on different setups for various price ranges. He recommends some terrific products.
That's about it for our budget-friendly tips! We hope this helps you create the internet radio station of your dreams. Happy broadcasting!
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