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Internet Radio Myth Busters

By James | Posted November 17, 2013
Internet radio broadcasting can be a tedious thing to set up, some may not even think it is economical or worth the time to broadcast online when traditional media is still kicking on. But these days, the internet dominates most lifestyles, it can be found everywhere from your computer, phone, car or even in household items such as fridges.
We will be running through some myths that are common around the internet radio broadcasting area and busting them!
Myth: Internet Radio is not as popular as traditional terrestrial radio.False. Over 96 million individuals (about 50% of the US population) listen to internet radio. That statistic is from 2012. In the UK, 1/3 of the population admit to listening to internet radio.
Myth: Online streaming is not a critical need for my station.Online streaming should be a mission-critical part of any radio stationís arsenal of marketing tools. Listeners have come to expect their favorite station to be streaming online on their desktop, and their mobile phones. If you are not streaming, your competition is already stealing your listeners. Look back at the last 100 years and you can see quite a few junctures where radio had to change and adapt to the latest technology in order to constantly cater to its listeners.
Myth: Online streaming is competition to terrestrial radio.Not strengthens it and compliments it. If you are simply giving your listeners other options of convenience to listen to your broadcast, how can you compete with yourself? If anything, youíre now able to compete against the station on the other side of town who is streaming and where their listeners can listen via desktop, mobile app, third party device, etc. If your listeners canít be around a normal radio for whatever reason during the day, theyíll simply find a station to listen to that isnít just limited to the air waves.
Myth: Online streaming is expensive.Online streaming has gotten increasingly cheaper over the years. The cost of hardware and bandwidth has dropped significantly over the last few years alone, making it quite cost-feasible for even the smallest stations. There are even free options available on the market.
Myth: Internet radio royalties are outrageously expensive.As far as royalty costs go, most radio stations are small-market stations and fall under SoundExchangeís "Small Broadcasterís" license, which is $500 a year. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC royalty fees are in most cases covered under a US terrestrial radio license. There are also blanket licenses in multiple countries such as Loudcity and Live365.
Myth: Setting up the streaming is very complicated.Many systems are so user-friendly and easy to implement, that you donít need to be a techie to get set up and start streaming immediately. Besides, many streaming companies have excellent technical support teams available to assist you with a helping hand anytime you need it. If you are unsure, contact a streaming provider and ask how they can help you.
Myth: You canít make money with online streaming.There are several different ways to monetize your listener sessions. If you are going to sell advertising on your player, itís just like anything else you are selling; you have to make it part of your sales and marketing material, educate sales staff and advertisers, and push the product. Or, you can join an ad platform like ADNet, where they deliver high-paying, quality-brand video and banner ads to your player and mobile apps, and split the revenue with you. Industry online ad revenue for 2011 was over $439 million, according to BIA/Kelsey.
Myth: There are so many online radio stations and services like Pandora out there that I won't stand a chance.You never know if you don't try. There are billions of people around the world with different needs, larger stations and services like mentioned are targeted at certain markets and are popular because they suit a specific market. Smaller stations can rise in listenership with special care and consideration in terms of marketing and content.
Do you have any myths that need to be busted? Post them in the comments below!