How to Start an internet Radio Station

The three basic stages to internet broadcasting are source, service provider and listener. The source involves setting up your radio station, computer, mixer, microphone and sound card.
The source sends data steams to a server. The steam is then deciphered and dispensed to appropriate channels and the steaming link facilitates connection for listeners.
Things to Consider before Setting up the Internet Radio
Things to consider before setting up your radio station are server costs, broadband connectivity and listening caps. Others include type of technology and method of broadcast.
 The two primary methods are live broadcasting and automated broadcasting 24/7. Other considerations include station branding and setting up the radio station.
You need startup funds, publicity and directory listing. You could start with a standard microphone and computer system or invest in hardware.
Media management involves number of tracks to upload in gigabytes. 50GB can accommodate 12,500 tracks while 10GB 2,500 tracks. Listeners tune in directly via servers, internet radio directories, apps or steaming radio.
man listening to music on smartphone
Branding
Differentiate your station by designing a captivating logo or brand identity. You could hire a graphic designer through freelancers.
The logo should be accompanied by a def slogan and text. The logo should reflect your brad identity, core values, and type of music aired.
License and Registration
Online radio stations are not required to have operational license. However registering the business name with the corporate affairs commission in your country would be beneficial. There are copyright laws and royalties pertaining to airing commercial music.
Broadcasting Methods
There are basically three methods used for broadcast. You have the live steaming and automated methods.
The automated technology provides 24/7 airing once setup. The live method involves having a DJ schedule talking and playing live music.
Live broadcast provides better interaction and listener participation in your programs. You can answer questions take requests and discus topical issues with your avid listeners.
You could combine live and automated broadcast method. This is the best method for a one man radio station.
You schedule live presentations and run automated programs to fill the void. This method provides 24 hrs programs for listeners.
Invest in an App
There are good apps for android, iphones and smartphone’s. Majority of your listeners will tune to your radio through their smartphone’s.
Providing a seamless service for this sector of audience is very important. You could hire a developer to build the app. Another way is buying software or using a popular app builder.
Determine the Sound Quality
You need to determine the sound quality based on bitrate output.  Average internet radio station puts out 128kbps bitrate.
This is sufficient for good reception and CD quality audio.  More options are 32kbps spoken word audio quality, 64kbps FM radio and 192kbps studio quality audio.
Type of Broadcasting Equipment
Due to advancement in technology setting up an internet based radio is relatively easy. You need some basic equipment to get the station up and running.
Basic equipment’s are microphone, headphones and mixer. Others include amplifiers, modem, table top computer or laptop.
Computer System
The most essential equipment is the computer or laptop. The device should have a powerful sound card for better steaming and sound quality.
Headphones
The type of headphone you choose is important. Most mixers have the capacity to accommodate one headphone. You need to setup a hub of mixers, headphones and amplifiers to accommodate guests on your radio station.
Mixer
The mixer you choose should be a multi channel mixer. This type is best for 2-4 microphones at a time.
A good one to consider is the Mackie 12o2 viz3. There are many powerful brands in the marketplace. Make sure the mixer accommodates multiple hosts, telephone interface, live calls and playback requests.
The Microphone
High end microphones are pricey and better than moderate ones. They provide better user experience than cheap phones.
The type of microphone you buy depends on your budget. Top end microphones produce quality sound and better effect for listeners.
Marketing
The radio station needs adequate publicity to reach listeners. You could start the ball rolling by listing the radio station in online directories.
The directory makes your station easier to find and catalogue. Radio directories categorize stations according to the genre.
They also feature apps and provide search engine visibility. Popular radio directories to consider are Tuneln, Streema and iTunes Radio.

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