How To Setup An Internet Radio Station
I am often asked for advice on how to setup an Internet Radio station. I plan to write a series of posts on how to go about it so this is a general introduction to the topic which will cover some of the approaches you can take to setup an Internet Radio station yourself.
My Best Advice
First let me give you my primary piece of advice. This advice might just save you a lot of effort, pain and perhaps cost and I’m giving it away for free!
The first thing I usually say when I am asked how to setup an Internet Radio station is don’t do it. Once you setup an Internet Radio station there will be a lot of hard work to run and develop it and having your own station is very unlikely to bring much in the way of rewards.
If you decide not to set up your own station then there are two good options to get yourself online.
- Join an existing Internet Radio station
- Use one of the many streaming platforms
If you are a DJ or radio presenter looking for a platform to broadcast your live or recorded shows over the Internet then there are many existing online radio stations that you can choose from.
Those who wish to go it alone can start very simply by using a streaming platform as a broadcasting medium.
Joining An Internet Radio Station
There are literally hundreds of Internet Radio stations broadcasting music and speech of all kinds. Some have live DJs twenty-four hours per day while others are mostly automated and play just pre-recorded sets or playlists of songs. Perhaps the biggest group of stations falls somewhere in between these two extremes and will have live DJs playing during their peak hours and broadcast pre-recorded material outside of these times.
It is difficult to recommend particular stations because the best fit for you will depend on a number of factors including genre, broadcast times and costs.
Of course I have to mention IdealClubworld and their sister channel IdealBootcamp here as that is where I got my own start broadcasting online. This was a great example of a station mixing live DJ shows, pre-recorded sets and automated playlists. Unfortunately the station closed down in 2016.
Using a Streaming Platform
If you are looking to present occasional or regular live shows, rather than looking to have your own Internet Radio station or joining an existing station, then it is possible to get started very simply using one of the many streaming platforms that are available.
Some of the most popular streaming platforms for Internet Radio currently include Spreaker, Mixlr and Chew.
Once you have created an account on one of these streaming platforms you can broadcast live whenever you wish. Of course it is important that you investigate and understand any licensing requirements you may require, particularly if you plan to include music in the shows you broadcast.
In future posts I will write about the equipment and software you will need for your Internet Radio setup. It is possible to get started with just some free software and a microphone attached to your laptop.
Starting Your Own Station
Okay, let’s assume you still want to setup an Internet Radio station on your own or perhaps with a group of friends. It is certainly an interesting exercise and you are likely to a lot about broadcasting, music, licensing and business along the way.
You can start with server-based software such as Shoutcast and then consider one of the hosted solutions, each with their own particular functions and services. Some of the most popular include Radionomy and Live365 or you can use more complete solutions such as Airtime Pro or Sam Vibe. Your choice is likely to depend on the level of functionality and automation you require.
In upcoming posts in this series I will talk about selecting the best equipment, software and services you will need to setup an Internet Radio station and some of the costs involved in each of the options.
The Internet Radio market is evolving rapidly with new services being released frequently and existing software and solutions changing just as quickly.
Finally a reminder that the legal position of broadcasting over the Internet varies from country to country and can also change. It is vital you investigate how any legal issues might affect you before you get your Internet Radio setup online.