Start An Internet Radio Station Fast! Podcast Season 1 start an internet radio station Music Radio Creative

How to start an internet radio station in under 10 minutes without any chunky equipment, dedicated servers, plenty of bandwidth and an always on internet connection is the topic of this podcast. It’s easy with cloud-hosted solutions from Sam Vibe and Airtime Pro!

Your iTunes Love for the Podcast

Thank you for continuing to leave glowing reviews of this podcast on iTunes. It really helps to raise it up in the iTunes directory and introduces it to new people. I gave a shout out to jamiesishere and soraya452 on the podcast. Thank you both for your recent 5 star ratings.

Cloud Hosted Internet Radio Solutions

I was able to reignite an old idea of mine this week after hearing about the release of a brand new cloud internet radio solution that takes care of your media, hosting, playlists and automation all in the cloud. There are two products that I’m looking into right now. At the time of releasing this podcast Sam Vibe is just over a week old and Airtime Pro from Sourcefabric is just under a year old. I feel we’ll see more cloud based internet radio hosts and with them I hope internet radio will florish.

It’s logical that you could host your whole radio station up in the cloud just as Amazon S3 host buckets of files, Dropbox allow you to cloud share files and Evernote records every note you take to ‘the cloud’.

Radio Stations in the Cloud

It’s been my ambition to start an internet radio station but I simply have not found the time to research, go out and buy the right equipment to host it from home. A cloud host that takes care of all that for you makes it so easy. You just sign up, login, upload your audio and click once to put your radio station ‘on air’.

Internet Radio Station Storage

There’s plenty of cloud storage to get you started. Sam Vibe starts you off with half a GB on their free level which rises to 5 GB if you open your wallet and Airtime Pro give you 10 GB to host all your media files on their basic plan. Both services allow up to 10 simultaneous listeners and you can pay for more as and when your internet radio station takes off.

Music Licensing

You could just select to run a speech based internet radio station with production from Music Radio Creative (which doesn’t require any performing rights licenses) but to broadcast music you will need the correct licenses.

The following is not to be considered legal advice:

In the UK you can purchase a Limited Online Music License from PRS for music as long as you’re not making over £12,500 from your internet station and the basic license starts at around £118 per annum. You will also need to make separate negotiations with PPL if you’re in the UK and their licenses start from around £189 per annum to get up and running. In the US you would need to start by looking into SoundExchange and the basic non-commercial webcaster/microcaster license starts from around $500 a year.

Why Start An Internet Radio Station?

It’s a hobby for me, call it a boy’s project, I’ve always wanted to start up and run my own radio station ever since I was a kid. It also fits in with my plan of ‘being everywhere’ in the words of Pat Flynn. I have a podcast and now I would like to have a 24/7 web stream for Music Radio Creative. I plan to have the radio station online by the end of 2012 so watch this space!

Sign Up and Start Your Own Radio Station

Here are the links to sign up yourself and try cloud hosted internet radio software.

Sam Vibe – The basic level is completely free, I’ve had a great response from their customer service team and it’s easy to use if not a little basic. Sam Vibe hosts your stream on Spacial’s own servers – they seem to own your web stream.

Airtime Pro – Seems to have more advanced features, the software used is open source and it may be more of a learning curve to get started. Airtime Pro set you up with Icecast a free and open source web streamer and you can also choose to self host and stream through SHOUTcast.

If you sign up to the basic Airtime Pro package with the code “freetrial” you’ll get the first month completely free with no obligation to continue the service after your free trial ends.

Hopefully we’ll see more internet radio stations as a result of this hosting method. You can create your own radio station and shut down your computer safe in the knowledge it will continue to broadcast ‘from the cloud’.

Have you got your own internet radio station or are you thinking of starting one? Please share your experiences of internet radio hosting and software in the comments.


21 Responses

  1. I love the idea of cloud broadcasting Mike, but if you are going down the route of streaming music and have to pay PRS PPL etc and the host are saying that you can only have say 2 to 5 listeners, it defeats the object and exercise, you would want to be able to put out adverts for business, and then if they were to host it for you including domain names, you would struggle to get the recognition. sorry I’m thinking too big at the minute, the concept is brilliant, but the internet is world wide and a lot of restrictions its fantastic for say learning channel or as you proposed “podcasts” … This is a frustrating one for me Mike as I have the same ambition…….. Deffo going to look at Airtime Pro…. Take care Mike look forward to next weeks Podcast, till then have a fab week 🙂

    1. I think Rob, that your PRS/PPL fees will only grow with your success.

      I’m starting from scratch with 0 listeners and the basic rates look very affordable. Should the service become popular, you simply pay more which is then distributed to the music artists whose work you’re playing to help make your radio station a success. The main thing to bear in mind is can you make enough money to keep your online broadcast going as the listeners (and fees) grow?

  2. hi mike

    as you know i own and run megaradio uk its an online radio station and i run it from home. The software ots av dj

      1. I have tried Sam Vibe and it is quite good – especially as I am registered blind. However it currently has some bugs which does not release you allocated space when you delete files 🙁

        Other than OTS DJ, it is worth taking a look at RadioBoss from


        1. I’m sure Spacial will update the glitch you speak of in a new update. It may be worth to let their customer support team know. I have had very fast and pleasant interactions with Sam Vibe support myself.

          1. I did, and yes the response was quick. They already were aware of the problem and we should have a fix by the weekend.

            SAM DJ 2013 is also due in January with full Windows 8 compatibility and a free account on SAM Vibe – useful for running promos or extra programs.

            Planning on launching an internet only station in the new year 😉

          2. Great news they’re on it at Spacial!

            I’d like to know when you have your internet only radio station up and running. Would you come back and let me know when you start it?

          3. Yeah will do – Q1 2013 looks the most likely as there is so much to do – choosing the right software and streaming service has still to be decided upon and will probably wait until SAM 2013 is launched in January before making the final decision.

            Still working on the “playlist” which now has over 40,000 tracks. In addition I am producing a radio show for a community radio station

            Thanks for the mention on Twitter BTW – @ThorpeDave

  3. I have been looking into internet broadcasting for some time. My interest is community output.50/50 music and local information. I retrained as a broadcast journalist at aged 47.
    I was put off by the hassles of streaming and found few suppliers who would give me start up advice. As to number of listeners, well I think reality should kick in. Your listener base will be small initially, the public at large are not really aware of internet broadcasting. especially my target audience (40 plus). So I am content to start small and see where it goes.
    On the thorny issue of licenses, the reality here is that performers deserve to be paid.
    In my 9-5 existence I charge for my talent (albeit small amounts at times) so why should the music industry be any different. The bottom line is that my hobby may cost me around six pounds a week plus hosting costs. A night in the boozer will cost a lot more !
    So thanks Mike for rekindling my interest. Cloud hosting has to be worth a try.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with you. The basic music royalty rates seem very affordable to get an online music radio station going. Then it’s down to growing your income in parallel to the amount of listeners you have in order to be able to afford increasing royalty rates… a nice problem to have!

      Good luck Geoff and do share any successes you have with starting your own internet radio station. I shall continue to share my experiences on the podcast.

  4. I’m very interested in doing this also Mike. Most importantly for me is to do it as a hobby with no expectations. I’m very disgruntled regarding many aspects of the radio industry. Everything practically sounds the same. The substance these days is terrible & a lot of the music is 10 times just as worse. I just want to give myself & others something different to listen to. It could be 1 person or 1 million. But, I’m sure you all would agree. “It would be alllll minessss”! What do you think about copyright fees regarding the name of your station? Then you may pay for someone to create your logo & website if necessary, right?


    1. It’s great that software like Airtime and Sam Vibe make starting an internet radio station so straightforward.

      You’re exactly right – start it as a hobby – follow your passion and the money will follow. I’ve always wanted to run my own radio station and one thing I’ve spent a little time thinking about was finding a niche for my internet radio station. My niche is something I’ll enjoy programming and I hope others will enjoy listening to it too. All will be revealed in the coming weeks!

      As for a radio station logo there are many popular sites for logo creation out there and I plan to look into the process and document my experience on the podcast and this blog. If you’re starting a radio station as a hobby it may not be practical to pay for a trademark when you start out but I think it’s important to run a quick search for your proposed station name to make sure it’s not in use elsewhere.

      Let me know when you get something started Ghost. I’ll be interested to hear about your progress!

  5. Thanks, Mike for your response. Well, I did a little test over the weekend regarding Sam Vibe. My biggest concern is that my station link won’t work on my iPhone/iPad. Which means I can’t listen to it if I’m driving or on my lunch break, etc… That’s pretty big considering I want to be able to hear the station wherever I go. Plus, there’s many people like me that only have mostly apple devices. They wouldn’t be able to hear the station either. Does anyone have any suggestions? I could use the help & input. Thanks!

    1. I can confirm that when I type my ‘direct link for major players’ as listed in the ‘My Services’ section of SAM VIBE into my iPhone I get a play button with a cross through it. You’re right this is a big deal for those who like to consume internet radio on the go. I also see they have a flash player link which won’t work on Apple products. I too would be interested to hear the solution. Have you contacted Spacial support regarding this issue?

  6. Hey, what’s up Mike! Yes, I did contact them. To be honest, I wasn’t pleased with the response. The guy tried to blame it on Apple. I was like, “are you serious”? It totally turned me off. That was not a resolution, nor was it the answer I was looking for. If you’re a brand, you have to adapt to all major players in your industry, whether you like it or not. So, I faded away. Now, I’m sing Airtime. I Love IT! Great customer service so far too! Only, issue is, it’s taking longer than I’d like to schedule music, sweepers, promos, etc. I wish they had a better play block system for scheduling. But, I like his they upgrade & listen. They seem to be wiling to grow & advanced at best. Learning curve is not bad at all either, if you’ve done lots of music scheduling before.


    1. Thanks for the update. The one thing missing from Airtime Pro (which I’ve been told by support will be included in a future update) is listener statistics. In the UK these statistics are required by the music licensing authorities. I’m now looking into a Centova Cast control panel solution as they incorporate a detailed statistics service along with one click .csv downloads (handy when I’ll need to send monthly reports). I do like the scheduling features of Airtime Pro, like you say, great if you’ve done music scheduling before. I’m sure that Airtime will frow with each update and like the ‘smart block’ scheduling feature they introduced in 2.2. Keep the updates coming!

  7. I am having trouble getting the correct information from anyone! I want to start a 24/7 podcast station that is operated by MY computer, I don’t need to store it in the cloud or anything like that. I would like to be able to go “Live” with my show at different times. I have all the equipment coming but I’m stuck now. All these sites are talking about bandwidth, cloud storage etc. What do I need to do at this point?

    1. You will likely need an external service to “go live” and that’s the best starting point – everything else falls into place from there 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *