A frequent question we get asked a lot here at Radio.co is “How do I start my own radio station?”. For many, such a question can seem grander than it is like you’re trying to scale a ten ft wall in a single jump, but the reality can’t be further from the truth. Running your own radio station is easier than it’s ever been and we will show you how to get started in no time.
Thanks to advances in technology and a love for all things radio, we’ve designed a quick 5 Step Guide on how you can setup and get broadcasting in minutes. Our all-in-one platform gives you the tools to manage your music, collaborate with fellow DJs, and get heard by potentially millions of listeners online. If you’re eager to get your station up and running, then you can right now! Activate your 7-day free trial by clicking the button below to start your station today.
However, we recommend running through these steps first, so you know just exactly what to do. Get to know the equipment you need, how to set up your station, configure your software, and broadcast online. Plus at the end, we will also show you ways to make money from your station with tried and tested methods from the industry.
STEP 1: Get Equipment
Traditionally professional radio studio setups are filled with high-end equipment like mixing desks and microphones, but that’s not the case for today’s current broadcasters. Contrary to what most people believe you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get going. What you do need is a computer or laptop, internet connection, and microphone.
Your computer, for example, will need to run relatively quickly to handle your shows when broadcasting live, so if it’s 5 to 10 years old, then it will get the job done. For the most part, Radio.co does all the hard work, for example when you’re not live on air from your computer the system will take over. Shows are managed and automated in the cloud, so you can do things like creating and schedule playlists to broadcast at any time.
Your radio setup wouldn’t be complete without a microphone. Luckily there are a lot of different ones to choose from, such as the cost effective Behringer B1 or industry standard Neumann TLM 103. If you’re not quite sure which one is right for you, then we recommend getting some ideas by looking at Best Microphones for Online Radio.
STEP 2: Setup Your Online Radio Station
Before you start broadcasting online, you first need to setup a server. Radio stations live on servers over the internet which acts as a sort of hub for your stream, but they can be difficult to run and maintain by yourself. Radio.co serves as an all-in-one solution that sets everything up, so you don’t need to worry about the technical side. Just choose a server and plan that’s right for you here.
Details are sent to your email address, so once you’re ready to get started, you can log in to your dashboard. James, the founder of Radio.co, talks you through a short 2-minute overview of the system and how everything works below.
As demonstrated it’s straightforward to manage everything from your dashboard. Set your station online by uploading files as shown here, then select the “OFF AIR” button to switch your station on. Uploaded music will begin playing, tune in to hear your stream live by clicking the play button in your sidebar controls.
Amazingly that’s all it takes to broadcast online. Random music will be selected and played 24/7. However, you can organize tracks into playlists and schedule them throughout the day, week, or even month to add some structure to your station.
STEP 3: Configure Your Broadcasting Software
Now that your station is broadcasting you can take over anytime by going live. Connect from your computer using what’s known as “broadcasting software”. It’s a way for you to take whatever you’re playing on your computer and broadcast it live to your station online. Either if that’s talk or music, you can manage media and mix shows together out to your listeners.
There are different levels of broadcasting software available. Some are just encoders like BUTT and Altacast which just push your computer’s audio out to your station. While others like RadioDJ and Mixxx allow you to organize music to have greater control over your shows with features like playlist creation, EQ controls, faders, and DJ decks.
For newcomers, we recommend using BUTT as it’s straightforward and easy to set up. However, you can try Mixxx for a more advanced way to handle your shows. Follow either guide to setup your chosen broadcasting software, once done you’re ready to stream live from your computer.
STEP 4: Play Music & Talk Live to Your Listeners
Your station is set up to handle music for when you’re not around. However, you can take over anytime to play tracks or talk live using broadcasting software. Whichever way you choose, your listeners need to be able to find your station. Unfortunately, chances of that happening are slim unless you run your own radio website and they’re searching for your station name in particular.
A good way to increase your station’s visibility is by getting listed on Internet radio directories. Well established places like TuneIn and Streema have millions of active listeners, so they’re a great place to get discovered. Most directories have mobile apps so listeners can tune in on the move through iOS and Android devices. Alternatively, you can build your own custom apps with Radio.co.
STEP 5: Make Money Doing What You Love
Running your own radio station can be a fun hobby, you can even turn it into a full-time business to start earning money. Now there’s no get rich quick or super easy way to cash in on your station as it takes hard work and dedication. We do however have some helpful tips on the different business models you can follow and showcase successful radio stations to take inspiration from here.
There are much more ways you can earn money, take our in-depth course Internet Radio Cash. Split over six weeks; it demonstrates 20 proven methods you can use to help generate revenue for your radio station.
The course works for all types of broadcasters, whether you’re a new station or a significant independent broadcaster, there’s something for everyone here. See how Internet Radio Cash can help you and get 50% OFF TODAY by heading here.
BONUS: Where to Find Music
As a broadcaster, you need places where you can discover music. It’s vital for your station to be up-to-date with what’s out there and to offer listeners new and fresh tracks. Luckily there are loads of places where you can find free to use and paid music.
Free to use for example means you can play tracks on your station as they fall under Creative Commons, so places like Jamendo Music and ccMixter are popular places to start. On the flip side classic tracks from bands like Queen and The Doors aren’t going to be on free to use sites, so you will need to pay for the music. Places like Amazon and Bandcamp are great to discover a broad range of old and new artists. Broadcasting paid for music like this requires some form of licensing or coverage for royalties depending on your country. You should know what you can to protect yourself and the licenses available to you here.
Check out ten more places where you can discover both old classics and new music here.
How Do I Start My Own Radio Station Today?
With Radio.co you can put all of these steps into action today. But don’t take our word for it, see how we’ve helped different types of broadcasters from hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and veterans get on the air here. You too can get up and broadcast in a matter of minutes by starting your 7-day free trial. Click the button below to get your station on the air.