Online radio listenership is steadily growing, with the most recent data showing that 67% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to an Internet radio station within the last month.
However, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
To make sure you’re prepared, be sure to keep reading as we outline five of the biggest steps you’ll need to follow when starting your online radio station.
1. Plan It Like a Terrestrial Station
Just because you’re broadcasting online doesn’t mean you can wing everything. If you hope to be successful, you’ll need a thorough business plan.
So ask yourself, what is it you want to accomplish?
Then, once you have an answer, think about how, specifically, you can reach those goals. A good rule of thumb is to follow SMART guidelines.
2. Find a Unique Hook
There certainly isn’t a shortage of Internet radio stations out there. As a result, finding your audience can be more than a little tough.
To set yourself apart, find an angle that no one else has thought of. That can mean appealing to a niche audience, offering specialized content, or even offering tiered programming.
Learn from the most successful stations and expand on their ideas to make them your own.
3. Choose the Right Platform
Whether you plan on recording your content and broadcasting shows live, or you’re planning on recording them as podcasts (or a mixture of the two) the right platform makes a world of difference.
Spotify, for instance, has millions of listeners, though no option for live radio. Stitcher, on the other hand, is a lesser-known brand but does offer live radio.
If you plan to incorporate video, you can even broadcast on a platform like Twitch, whose user base has grown substantially throughout the years.
Whichever platform you choose, make sure it aligns with your goals and values. For instance, you wouldn’t expect to share news online if you’re partnering with a music-based platform.
4. Keep an Eye on Metrics for Advertisers
As fun as running a radio station can be, the upkeep can get rather expensive. To pay the bills and keep your station live, you’ll need to think about attracting advertisers.
One of the best ways to do so is by touting your audience. Stations with more listeners can charge companies more money to advertise, so having access to your data is a must.
Also, make sure any ads that run on your station are up to standard. You might even want to direct advertisers toward a production company, which specializes in creating memorable jingles.
5. Invest in Quality Equipment
Listeners are more than willing to forgive a few slight technical hiccups, especially as your radio station is in its infancy. With that said, don’t expect that patience to extend to poor audio quality.
Radio is, after all, an auditory medium. If you’re not using great microphones and capable mixers and recording equipment, your output will be less than ideal.
So don’t be afraid to spend the money upfront. If your programming is strong and your audio quality is clear, you’re sure to recoup the costs in no time.
Build the Internet Radio Station of Your Dreams With These Tips
There’s never been a better time to start an Internet radio station! And now that you know how to take the first steps, it’s time to put these tips to work.
And don’t forget, we have plenty of other content aimed at helping you, too. So be sure to check back to our blog for more content!