Since its inception in the 20th century, radio has held its place as the centre piece of entertainment and culture. The evolution of radio from over-the-air to over-the-top has brought new opportunities to the radio broadcasting industry. In this blog we will analyze the concept of an internet radio station and the benefits of broadcasting live audio online.
What is an Internet Radio Station?
As the name suggests, internet radio is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet. Online radio involves the usage of streaming technology that allows listeners with a continuous audio stream that cannot be paused or replayed, much like traditional broadcast media- in this respect, it is distinct from on-demand file serving. The seamless distribution of radio using the internet enables radio broadcasters to maintain relevance while expanding their audience.
Did you Know- According to Edison Research, during the height of COVID-19, streaming accounted for 10% of radio’s total consumption.
Muvi Playout is an audio/video end-to-end cloud playout solution built from the ground up to provide a robust internet radio broadcast platform
Benefits of Broadcasting Live Audio Online
Internet radio has many advantages like flexibility and transmission to a wide geographic area. Since 2020, internet radio has witnessed a surge due to the inception of the pandemic and has now turned into a prospective industry. If you have not already, it’s time for you to incorporate audio streaming into your long-term strategy. Creating an internet radio channel presents an array of advantages over traditional radio broadcasts. Here are a few benefits of online radio:
- The biggest advantage of creating a radio channel is that your stream can be accessed by anyone around the world, not just the people in your locality of your transmitters.
- Internet radio can reach users on mobile phones, via in-car Wi-Fi, so people can easily access online radio channels on-the-go.
- An Internet connection is more cost effective for broadcasters since Internet servers generally allow for cheaper storage and bandwidth rentals than radio transmitters.
- Internet radio also has the major advantage of relying and broadcasting on the world’s most ubiquitous platform for media consumption.
- Online radio remains one of the most trusted sources for news and music.
- It’s a flexible audio format- Listeners can tune in from anywhere, without having to select what song plays next.
- It’s a more targeted format than traditional radio and ideal for broadcasters looking to target engaging, relevant ads at precisely defined audiences.
- Online radio broadcasts offer the flexibility to easily publish your live content across a number of social platforms.
How does Online Radio Work?
The workflow of an Internet radio station mainly consists of four components- audio source, encoding, media server and delivery:
- Audio source– The origin of audio content is the audio source. This may be in the form of live audio content from your microphone or playlists of previously recorded and scheduled on-demand content like music or news bulletins.
Muvi playout automation software makes it easy for you to create your own Live Radio Channel by scheduling on demand content on our advanced scheduler and creating playlists.
- Encoding– Encoding involves the process of compressing the audio streams in different formats for speedy delivery across the internet.
- Server– Audio streams once encoded are then transported to a server where it is transcoded at different bitrates (for listeners with various Internet connection speeds), for delivery across multiple devices. Using a playout automation software like Muvi Playout can also achieve this process of encoding and transcoding of audio streams for immediate playback.
- CDN– Unless you’re streaming to a handful of listeners, a content delivery network or CDN is necessary for global distribution. With a CDN, internet radio can practically reach anyone in the world with an internet-enabled mobile device.
Internet Radio Station Equipment
For setting up an internet radio station, you would be requiring some basic equipment:
An internet connection: you would be requiring a stable internet connection for starting an internet radio station. The amount of bandwidth you would require would depend on the audio bitrate and the number of concurrent listeners.
Microphone: For maximizing the effect of sound quality, you would be requiring a good quality microphone.
Headphones: Headphones are a must especially when you are transitioning between audio sources. Make sure you use headphones that are equipped with noise-canceling capabilities.
Audio Mixer: Audio mixers are electronic devices used for mixing, balancing and combining different sounds and audio signals that may source from a mic, previously recorded audio or a phone interview.
Audio Processor: Audio processor is a device that enhances the stream quality by reducing background noise and manipulating audio signals. Both hardware and software audio processors are equally good and can be used for enhancing audio streams.
Encoder: Encoders are responsible for compressing your raw audio feed into a streamable source using audio codecs like AAC or MP3. Software encoders are a good choice as they are cheaper than their hardware counterparts but at par performance-wise.
Playout Software: Broadcasting radio online requires a media server/playout automation software to host and deliver your audio streams to listeners around the world. Muvi Playout is an end-to-end cloud playout solution that enables you to launch your live online radio channel by scheduling pre-recorded on-demand content in our advanced scheduler.
Create your Own Radio Channel with Muvi Playout
Unlike many other traditional media formats, the spike in mobile internet usage has aided the surge of online radio. According to Statista, new, internet-based or online radio platforms now account for over 500 million dollars’ worth of streaming music revenue and the format continues to grow with each passing year.
Did you Know: Over-the-air radio station advertising revenues have fallen by nearly four billion dollars since 2010, while online ad revenue has grown by a similar amount.
If you have been planning to start your internet radio station for some time now, this would be the opportune moment.
For setting up an internet radio station, you can set up an on-premise or cloud server infrastructure by yourself. However, this is not an advisable option as this process is complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. We would rather suggest you purchase a cloud playout software solution to host and deliver your audio streams.
Internet Radio with Muvi Playout
From creating playlists and forming multiple channels from a single account, our advanced cloud playout software allows you to stream audio by adding multiple time zones. Here are some of the features our cloud playout solution offers:
To deliver audio streams, Muvi Playout leverages the Amazon AWS network of global servers. We also enable multi-CDN options for enterprise streaming combining the power of multiple CDN vendors including Amazon AWS, Akamai, Limelight, etc. Multi CDN allows your listeners to enjoy lag-free music, podcasts, news etc.
With Muvi playout you can schedule pre recorded on-demand content and create playlists. You can schedule them in different time zones for a specific region through the “Scheduler”. For including previously recorded content in your radio broadcast, playlists are the most convenient and simple method.
Live Radio Channel
Creating a live radio channel is simple with Muvi Playout. Based on the event calendar prepared in advance, ingest multi-format, multi frame-rate live feeds of varied resolution to the Playout’s playlist and live stream on multiple linear & OTT channels. You can create recurring or non recurring playlists according to your business requirements and broadcast on the internet as a live radio channel.
Embed Radio Channels in Website
You can embed the Muvi Playout channels on any website allowing your end-users to view the programs scheduled on the channel. All you have to do is click on “Embed” option on the right side of the channel in the playout CMS. Copy the embed link and add it to your website and you’re done! When your end-users visit the page, they can view the radio on the channel.
Subscriptions and Monetization
You can monetize your broadcast using our built-in payment system that allows you to add advertisements, make your radio streams pay-per-view, or even sell subscriptions. Hybrid monetization models are also becoming popular. For instance, a station could offer both a subscription, ad-free experience and a free experience with commercial breaks like Pandora Radio.
Muvi Playout is an end-to-end cloud playout solution that enables you to launch your live online radio channel by scheduling pre-recorded on-demand content in our advanced scheduler.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your internet radio station with Muvi Playout! Take a 14-Day Free Trial!