Starting an internet station is not that complicated a process if you have the drive and the passion needed to do it. The tools that you’ll need are available online or can be purchased at a relatively low price.
This still doesn’t mean that setting up your own internet radio station is easy and that it doesn’t require effort. Creating content and finding the audience for it is the main part of the job and one that will be the most difficult.
What Your Station is About?
Before you can create an internet radio station, you’ll need to consider and carefully plan what your concept will be. There are countless themes to cover and chances are there’s an audience for your station regardless of what it is.
It’s best if the station starts as an outlet to talk about something you are interested in and with those who share your interest. Sometimes that’s a small niche but one in which you can set up a close community. Once you know what the station will be about, the rest of the production can grow out of it.
The most expensive part of setting up the station will be the recording itself. That will require you to purchase the recording equipment and set up a recording station at your home. The equipment can be found online and as is the case with most tech, there’s a range in quality and price.
It’s fine to start with a less expensive set of equipment since production quality isn’t what the audience is looking for in a small online radio station. At first, it’s best to focus on the quality of content you’re producing.
Once you’re able to record your radio content, you should try to find a home for it online. There are internet radio web hosting services out there that can make the process simple enough for you. These services are usually subscription-based and they handle all the behind the scene tasks of putting a show online for you.
Make sure you choose your hosting services carefully and with your future plans in mind. The show and its audience can grow over time and you may need to have the hosting capacities ready to take the new traffic on. It’s always a good idea to purchase services and equipment for the shows you plan to have and not just for the ones you have now.
The Right to Use Music
If your radio station plans to play music, you’ll need to sort out the legal side of that arrangement. Artists and production companies have rights when it comes to using their copyrighted materials. There are software solutions out there that will make the process easier and allow you to simply play the songs while dealing with the proper payments behind the stage.
In some cases, this may not be enough and you may need to hire a lawyer who will handle your copyright claims.
Promote Your Radio Station
Once you’ve set up the station and have some content ready to record and broadcast you should make an effort to promote the station. Take the branding seriously and set up a web page and a social media presence that will promote your work.
Take the time and effort needed to do this in an organized and careful way. A business and an internet radio station as well can benefit greatly from having open communication with its audience and customer base. Social media can do that effectively and inexpensively.
Network with Others in The Industry
Small internet radio stations can help each other by promoting the content they produce. You can plug in a show that someone you know produces, during one of your shows or you can be a guest on one of such shows. This is an inexpressive way to grow the audience for everyone involved.
This is also a good way to set up a relationship with other radio enthusiasts. That will help you along the way and allow you to learn from others that have been into this hobby (or a business) for a while).
Broadcasting the news is always a big part of a radio station production. That’s why you should put in the effort into finding reliable news sources that you can use on your shows. There are countless such sources out there. Some of them are subscription-based, and there are free ones as well.
It’s also possible to produce and create your news content. That’s a more difficult way of doing the news, but it also means that you’re putting your knowledge and experience into the content. It can result in a better and more engaging news show if it’s done right.
Live shows are the most important part of an online radio station. They allow you to cover the event in real-time and sometimes on the scene itself. That’s where small stations have an advantage compared to big and more elaborate ones and you should take that advantage. That’s how you can expand your audience base.
Live shows can be broadcasted with less polish in terms of production which also helps smaller stations that don’t have the production tools needed. Running such an event takes journalistic skills, however, and not everyone has those.
Enjoy The Process
Running a small internet-based radio station is more of a hobby than a job at first. That means you can relax and enjoy the process of making something new every day. Having such a creative outlet is rather rewarding for everyone involved and small shows often run on enthusiasm when there are little resources.
This is also noticeable to the audiences listening to your shows. If you’re enjoying the process and love what you do, the audience will be able to tell and that’s how bonds between the audience and the creators and the production teams are created and nurtured over time. This is something that doesn’t always happen with corporate radio stations producing generic content.