5 Top Internet Radio Startup Tips Radio internet radio startup tips Music Radio Creative

Starting up an internet radio station? Here are 5 tips to bear in mind that will help to give you an edge and keep listeners to your station happy.

1. Keep Your Streaming IP Address Private

Never publish IP addresses for your streams. Always use DNS in links and anywhere else you use to tell people where your stream is. If you publish an IP address, this is what may be bookmarked by listeners. If you then change the location of the stream to another server and therefore IP address, these bookmarks will fail and due to the transient nature of the internet, people will assume your station has closed and you will lose listeners.

You would also have to re-code your website and any links from other websites or directories will fail resulting in loss of audience. So be sure to setup in your DNS settings for your domain a sub-domain (like sc.yourdomain.com) pointing at your stream server IP address. ONLY publish your sub-domain and port. If you change servers, simply amend the DNS entry and no one will know you have moved.

2. Remember Data Speeds and Costs for Listeners

Think about the location and infrastructure of your listeners. If the intended audience in not in a first world country internet links may be slow and data costs high. A 128Kbps stream may sound great, but costs in data may rule out listening on mobile devices in some countries. The audience may well accept a lower bit rate and marginal drop in audio quality if you provide a choice of streams at different bit rates and encoding methods. Mobile users will want to use a lower bandwidth stream to save on their data costs and avoid buffering when their connection cannot keep up with the data from your radio station. Apple will not allow streaming faster than 48Kbps in iPhone Apps.

3. Lookout for Listening Trends

Keep an eye on the numbers of listeners you get and when. Look for peaks and check that you don’t max out your streams and turn listeners away.

4. Don’t Use Stream Scripts

If your encoder allows you to send scripts in the stream try not to. Take the tick out of the box. Scripts in streams can often disrupt the audio and result in a bad listener experience.

5. You Have A Global Audience

Remember your audience is not just Railway Cuttings, East Cheam, it is the world. My internet radio station gets listeners in 102 countries most months.

6. Bonus Tip!

Google people who write to you. You may get some nutters, best to know.


10 Responses

  1. Great internet radio tips Tony. I especially paid attention to the first – very important – as I wanted to 'own' my stream URL and not leave it to any third party.

  2. Is there a source for needed hardware and software packages to allow for an independent internet radio station? Also, available music libraries. Thanks ProfMj

    1. Excellent question Matthew. I would imagine you’d need to have a 48Kbps stream in addition to your 128Kbps stream in order to qualify.

  3. For Production Libraries you might try Promo Bank. 50 CD’s for jingle making material, shouts, beds, sonovox, sung fill in the gap jingles and more. Ben died recently, but the library is still available on a 99 year lease from http://www.jingleguy.com/. Great to mix with your voice overs from Music Radio Creative to make even more jingles and promos.

    To get another stream, you can stream another stream from your server, or use a TRANSCODER to take your existing feed and change it to another speed or encoding. That way you do not over tax your broadband. (64K MP3 in, 48 AAC+ out)

    Apple do have a split personality on stream speeds. 128K minimum to get listed on iTunes Radio, but no more than 48K to get an iPhone App approved. I have 3 streams for one of my stations and an Android app. Simpler and a bigger potential audience.

    1. It is so important to keep control of your streaming address Jason. I am currently considering switching and am thankful that the address I submitted to all directories is stream.mrc.fm the only tricky part is port forwarding if the new place hosts your stream on a different port and perhaps even a subdirectory too (like I’m battling with). I want to go from stream.mrc.fm:8014 to stream.mrc.fm:8000/subdirectory

      If anyone has thoughts on how to do this please let me know by commenting. Thanks 🙂

      1. If you are planning to change streaming providers, talk to them! They may well have the port(s) to free on one of their servers. This may mean them setting you up manually and not the normally automatic setup. 8000 is the default port so may be taken as the first choice when they start a new server. But if that customer leaves, the port may be free. Also the same applies to 8014, the 8th choice of ports.

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