You don’t have to be a DJ or musician to be able to start your own Internet radio station. There are tens of millions of people who frequently listen to their favorite online radio stations, via apps or an actual Internet radio. If you have the gift of gab and the right equipment and software, you’ll be surprised at how many are willing to tune in.
Here we will walk you through the basic things you need to have an Internet radio station of your own.
Equipment You Will Need
Before going on-air, you must soothe and heal a raspy throat and a dry mouth. Your voice is all you have in creating engagement with the subscribers. Record how you sound with an Android app and keep practicing till you can speak without the “uhs” and “umms.”
Invest in the following equipment and software once you’re ready.
- Laptop configurations: you should set up your laptop with an external microphone. We have detailed tutorials that show exactly how you can configure the audio settings for Windows or Mac systems.
- Microphones: while there are alternatives, Blue Snowball iCE Condenser is extremely reliable and one of the most popular microphones due to its simplicity and lower cost. Even if you don’t have a rich natural voice, this microphone will give you the “edge” you need for broadcasting.
- Noise-canceling headphones: the cost of owning a sound-proof studio can be very expensive. Even seasoned professionals prefer to use noise-canceling headphones, as they help you broadcast from anywhere. While there are many online options, go for a model that has a deep bass and is comfortable on your ear lobes.
- Broadcasting software: as an amateur, you don’t need original music or your own website to start a radio station. There are plenty of radio automation tools that do a fine job in helping you broadcast quickly. They are also cheaper on a monthly basis. The following section goes over the details.
Find the Right Software for Broadcasting
If you are just starting out, you can go with the eponymous Internet-Radio.com which is one of the easiest tools online. The advantage of this platform is that you don’t have to hunt for active listeners, as there will be many. It directly helps radio station owners pick up engagement from Facebook, iTunes and Google Play users.
As a broadcaster, you can try their radio servers for free. After, it will only cost $5 for 100 listeners and up to 120 GB bandwidth. You can upload royalty-free music using FTP or a web-based tool. This is more than enough for a beginner, although there are premium plans which cost more.
To create your own radio station from scratch, you will have to log in with their free plan and go to the Admin area of your server. The platform uses Shoutcast and Icecast servers in Europe and the U.S. They will feature you in their radio directory. You can either go for a worldwide audience or, if you have niche content, utilize a geo-blocking feature to attract an audience from only certain countries or cities.
Shoutcast is one of the more popular examples and a pioneer in online radio streaming. Whether you are a newcomer or an advanced radio station popular with millions, there is something for everyone. After a seven-day free trial, the starting plans are $14.90 per month for up to 2500 total listening hours. With a weekly radio broadcast, you can easily reach up to 100 active listeners.
Shoutcast helps you directly connect with advertisers in different countries so that you can monetize your platform. They have tie-ins with Google Play, iTunes, Roku, and Samsung Smart TV among many others.
Another popular software is Airtime Pro, although its features are pricier, but it is worth a look after your station picks up traffic.
Despite what many would imagine, the radio is making a strong comeback, even in the Internet age. Not everyone gets to be famous, but even if you can find ten to fifteen regular listeners tuning in to a niche subject, it is a great hobby in your spare time.
Will you be interested in starting your own radio station? Do let us know in the comments.