Setting Up an Internet Radio Station: What You Need to Know

Have you got an idea for a station but don’t know where to begin? Setting up an internet radio station doesn’t have to be hard, not if you follow this thorough guide.


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Like anything new we all need a little help from time to time, that’s why our in-house team of experts at Radio.co have put together a short list of things you need to know when setting up an internet radio station.

The following advice is completely free and will hopefully provide you with some insight to head down the right path. You will learn:

  • Fundamentals of Internet Radio: AKA Internet Radio 101 or what to look out for when searching for a provider and terminology you should know.
  • Automated Broadcasting 24/7: What you can achieve with tools at your fingertips to broadcast non-stop to a global audience.
  • Live Broadcasting: Different methods to get your voice and shows live online.
  • Station Branding: How to standout from the crowd and get noticed.

Setting Up an Internet Radio Station

Before we get into what you need know for setting up an internet radio station, let’s first address some concerns you might have about internet radio broadcasting.

Common Questions

These are a bunch of frequently asked common questions that float about which are worth mentioning, so let’s get to it!

“I’m new to internet radio broadcasting and not super technical, is there someone that can help me?”

Certainly! At Radio.co we have a dedicated team of in-house experts who can walk you through the system and answer any questions you might have, plus there’s a support team on standby ready to help look into anything for you if need be, just drop them a message.

“Do I need expensive equipment to broadcast?”

Not really, you just need a standard computer or laptop, an internet connection, and a microphone, you can even get away with a built in mic!

When you’re first starting out it’s better to just get up and running as quickly as possible, so use the equipment you have and upgrade as you go along.

“Can I broadcast live non-stop?”

You can, but that means you have to have a dedicated machine running around the clock streaming your audio. It’s easier to automate your shows using Radio.co’s scheduler, this way you can switch between live and automated tracks.

“FM/AM & DAB require a license to broadcast – Do I need one for my internet radio station?”

Unlike terrestrial radio, you don’t actually need to own a license to broadcast, however if your station is going to be playing commercial music then we have a few suggestions you can check out.

There are quite a lot of common questions broadcasters have when it comes to internet radio, that’s why we’ve compiled a full list of answers to give you a clear idea.

Common Questions Answered

Fundamentals of Internet Radio

Understanding the basics of setting up an internet radio station and how it works can help you know what to look out for and get a clearer picture of how your audio travels from point A to point B and eventually gets to your listeners.

How it Works

There are 3 basic stages when it comes to internet broadcasting:

  1. Source (You): Your computer mixies audio, this can be live voice or music, then it converts it into a stream of data packets when are constantly sent to a server.
  2. Server (Provider): When your stream arrives at the server it’s cleaned up and dispensed to the appropriate channels.
  3. Listener (Everyone): Wherever your broadcast is online, if that’s a direct streaming link to the server or via a player, anyone can connect and hear your output.

Quite straightforward right? Your content is pushed to the internet, managed in the cloud via server providers like Radio.co, and distributed to your audience worldwide.

Now let’s break down what’s on offer with internet radio providers to explain the nitty gritty details.

Server Costs

Providers use data centres to house radio stations on servers, but it costs money to host them, especially on reliable servers as prices vary depending on specifications like memory, storage, and so on.

Providers offering low cost services should be looked at skeptically as they need to cover their own costs and make a profit to run their business, they’re cheap for a reason!

Bandwidth

Content you’re streaming to listeners is known as bandwidth, which costs money depending on the quality of content and how frequently you’re broadcasting – Use Radio Toolbox to determine roughly how much you will use before setting up an internet radio station.

Listener Caps

Servers have limits, without them they fall over when pushed, that’s what listener caps are for, to prevent server loads becoming unmanageable and deteriorating streams.

Media Management

Storage space for your station determines how many tracks you can upload to manage your media, for instance 10GB is enough for around 2,500 tracks and 50GB is 12,500 tracks.

Tuning In

There are multiple ways listeners can tune into your station, either directly on your server and port like streaming.radio.co:80/s7ee52dd88/listen, through internet radio directories, or on an embedded player on your site.

Internet radio providers offer a bunch of different methods you can give listeners to access your stream, but the more they have the better, think player on your website, your own mobile app (iOS and Android), and on as many directories or third-party places you can manage.

Automated Broadcasting 24/7

Running a radio station live throughout the week can sometimes be exhausting, especially in the long run, that’s where automation can help.

Services like Radio.co provide an all in one solution to create round the clock radio shows, not to mention it gives you peace of mind knowing your radio station is running non-stop and managed by professional veterans in the industry.

MCR Live

MCR Live is a radio station built and run by the team at Radio.co for Manchester in the UK

MCR Live Logo

It’s accessible via DAB around Manchester and worldwide online, so using an automated system for when no one’s available is absolutely essential! The station uses playlists to compile awesome shows and then broadcasts them using the scheduler throughout the week.

Radio Station Playlist

Friends & DJ Takeovers

If automating your station is really your thing then you can invite your friends and DJ’s to takeover your broadcasts when you’re not available.

You can set the date, time, and duration of when they can jump on board, you can even repeat slots if you want them to have a regular spot on your station.

You can do a whole bunch of cool things with radio automation, just check out this article which explains absolutely everything!

Live Broadcasting

Radio automation is pretty great, but when it comes to setting up an internet radio station and broadcasting to your listeners then doing it live is still king.

Talk in real-time to your legion of fans about current events, tracks you’re broadcasting, and give shout outs to listeners, everyone loves a special mention about themselves on the radio every now and then!

When it comes to finding something you like in regards to software solutions the real question is: What broadcasting solution should you choose?

Simple vs Complex Broadcasting Software

Whether you’re new to internet radio and need a simple solution or you’re an experienced professional scouting for the next best alternative, there’s plenty of choice – From easy “click and broadcast” to complex “ow my god why are there so many buttons” solutions.

Whatever you’re after it’s best to way up the options, that’s why some of our in-house experts at Radio.co weighed in on the best radio broadcasting solutions you should check out.

Best Radio Broadcasting Software You Should Know

Station Branding

Coca-cola, Apple, and McDonald’s all have something very similar in common, they each have very strong and recognisable brands.

When your station can easily be recognised by it’s logo, slogan, or the type of music you play then you’re doing something right! The reason your station should have a strong brand is the competition and choice available online.

The “WOW” Factor

Owning an internet radio station that’s broadcasting 24/7 isn’t always enough, you need to stand out and be someone worth following to build your audience, especially early on so you have the essentials in place; Take relax and chill station Buzz Beach Radio.

Buzz Beach Radio

They have a consistent brand with tracks they play, the artwork they use for content on their site, and how they position themselves online through advertisements and tone.

Buzz Beach Radio Ad

Your station should be as memorable online when branded properly so you stick in people’s’ minds.


Your Complete Radio Station Guide

Enter your details below and we’ll send you everything you need to get started. Learn all about the exciting opportunity that internet radio presents and launch your station with Radio.co.



Setup Your Internet Radio Station

Now it’s your turn – Use this as a launch pad or reference guide to push you towards the correct path.

You should know some of the essentials of internet radio broadcasting, how automation can help with the sometimes heavy load of running your own station, the different solutions you have access to broadcast live, and how you should brand yourself to stand out from the masses online.

Got questions about setting up an internet radio station? The team here at Radio.co know just how tricky it can be setting up a station for the first time and the hurdles you’re up against, that’s why we pool our resources together to bring you free content to give you advice, give you access to a team of in-house experts to chat with, and have a support team on standby to lend a helping hand – Not to mention you can try Radio.co for free for 7 days!

 

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Comments

comments

4 Comments Setting Up an Internet Radio Station: What You Need to Know

  1. Akin

    Is it possible to receive broadcasts from internet based radio on fm/am radio receivers?
    Is there any need for frequency allocations?

    Reply

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