Getting Started, Broadcasting, Guide

How to Start an Internet Radio Station

If you’ve always dreamt of starting an Internet radio station but didn’t know where or how to start, look no further! Below you’ll learn everything you need to know about setting up a station online.

The Gear

At the very least, you’ll need a computer, an Internet connection, and content (like music or pre-recorded talk shows). If you’re planning on broadcasting sports shows, talk radio, or interjecting comments between music, it helps to have a good microphone and a digital recording program, like Audacity.

Service Provider

With the above gear in place, it’s time to focus on finding a service provider. A stream hosting provider will give you a platform to upload your automated playlists and/or broadcast your content live using an encoder, such as Altacast.

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as a quick Google search to find a provider who will meet all your needs. You’ll need to figure out what you want to get out of your online station, research a few providers, and pick the one that best meets your needs.

Some things to think about:

  • Spend – Just as you’d pay for your website hosting, there’s (usually) a cost associated with hosting an Internet radio station.
  • Monetization with ads – Did you know you could lower your bill with your provider from commercial ads playing on your station? If you’d prefer to have no ads, or even bring your own ads, you’ll need to find a provider who can accommodate that.
  • TLH (total listening hours) – Many providers cap your number of total listening hours based on your paid plan. If you have 32 listeners, and on average they each listen for 45 minutes, your TLH would be 24. ([Number of Listeners x Average Minutes Listened] ÷ Minutes in an Hour = Total Listening Hours.) Most providers have different levels of TLH for you to choose from (or use some other metric for restricting your account).
  • Automated vs. live broadcasting – Do you want to set up a playlist, hit “broadcast,” and then go about your day? Would you prefer to broadcast live? How about a mix of both? Make sure your provider is capable of whatever you choose.
  • Licensing – Depending on the type of content you’re broadcasting (music, talk, sports, etc.), you may need a license to cover copyrighted materials.
  • Distribution – How will your station’s great content get noticed? Do you want to promote the station yourself, or would you benefit from the service provider pushing your content out to appropriate audiences?

The Solution

Live365’s goal is to make Internet radio as easy as possible for broadcasters like you. With minimal cost and effort, your station could be live on Live365! We handle monetization, distribution, and licensing, and have broadcaster plans to meet all kinds of needs. Questions? Email sales@live365.com.

Start your station now with Live365!

As always, don’t just take our word for it. See how many stations have already joined the Radio Revolution at https://live365.com/listen.

Article image: Little Visuals via Pexels.

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About Sarah Osborne

  • Pennsylvania