Gone are the days when starting a radio station meant working from a fully decked-out, professional studio space. Now, thanks to streaming radio platforms – and easier access to basic audio equipment – it is possible to start an online radio station from the comfort of your own home or classroom.
If you’ve ever thought about starting an online radio station, this is the guide for you.
Why Start an Internet Radio Station?
Advancements in technology have created a world of opportunity for budding talents and would-be creatives, significantly lowering the barrier to entering the media industry. Now, if you have an internet connection and a computer, your voice can be heard – and you can become the host of your very own radio show.
From indie music and local sports to global events and community activism, there are virtually no limits on the types of online radio stations you can create. On digital airwaves, you can connect with an audience deeply interested in what you have to say. Modern-day radio might look a little different than it used to, but the world of radio is still alive and well.
How to Start an Internet Radio Station: A Step-By-Step Guide
You have the ideas and the inspiration, now you need to know how to start online radio station launch efforts, and we have you covered.
Step 1: Create your concept.
First, think about what kind of radio station you’d like to have. Consider details including the content format, the size of your station, whether you’ll have collaborators, and other information. Essentially, you want a fully fleshed-out idea before moving forward.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- What kind of music will my station play?
- What topics will my radio show(s) cover?
- Will there be interviews? If so, what kind?
- Will there be DJs/presenters?
- How often will there be a radio show?
Step 2: Develop your station brand.
Your station’s brand is an expression of its personality, content type, and even the audience it is intended to reach. Everything from the name of your station to your slogan should align with a cohesive brand concept, consistently communicating a “message” to current and prospective listeners alike.
For example, will your online station be a casual, playful brand for on-trend teens and young adults? Or, are you interested in developing a station that speaks to working professionals seeking no-nonsense news coverage?
Step 3: Research copyright laws.
If you’re planning to play music on your radio station, you’ll need to check your country’s copyright laws and licensing regulations to avoid potential legal trouble. However, if your station programming is non-musical (i.e., panel discussions, talk radio, and others), music copyright laws may not be relevant.
Step 4: Get your software and equipment set up.
You don’t need a ton of expensive radio equipment to start your online station, but you will need a few basics:
- A microphone
- A pair of good headphones
- A computer
You can keep it simple with a “plug and play” set-up that requires just a USB condenser microphone, or you can invest in added components like a mixing desk.
You’ll also need to choose software to broadcast or stream to your audience. Options include different streaming services, which you can download directly to your computer.
Step 5: Launch your station.
Once you’re ready to start broadcasting, it is time to debut your station. Make sure to get the word out via social media and other digital routes, and communicate when people can tune in, how to listen, and what they can expect to hear.
As you gain an audience, you can start exploring how to make money from an online radio station with advertising and other strategies.
Want to Work in Digital Media Production?
Maybe this is the first time you’ve looked up “how to start online radio station,” or maybe you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge for quite some time. Wherever you are in your career journey, pursuing specialized training and education could be the key to achieving your goals – and we can help you get started.
In the Digital Media Production program At the Beonair Network of Media Schools with campuses located in Miami, Chicago, Colorado, and Ohio, students participate in an in-depth learning experience that covers a wide breadth of media-centric topics and skills.
Start Working Towards a Digital Media Production Career Today!
Get the training you need to launch an online radio station – or reach whatever goals matter to you most – when you apply online for our Digital Media Production program now!