5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Give Up Broadcasting in 2016
2016 is looking to be a tough year for internet radio broadcasters, the CRB's (Copyright Rotalty Board) royalty raises create a massive headache for broadcasters, the lack of investment in streaming platforms such as SHOUTcast with Radionomy (recently acquired by Vivendi) and the overall doom and gloom of one of the largest broadcasting suites, Live365. So what is there for broadcasters to look forward to?
1. Low level talks are happening to discuss the planned rates and the effect on the broadcasting community
Low level talks are commencing this week to discuss the new royalty rate rises. These talks provide a glimpse of hope for the future of internet radio broadcasting as they will most likely assess the situation and the damage caused (e.g. Live365 closures, Spotify hits) along with the voicing from the small broadcast community. Even if these talks do not eventuate in to a long term fix, the fact that they are happening at all means that small radio broadcasters within the USA do have a voice. We can take it further, we can fight, we can raise our voices.
Keep an eye out for the results of these talks, and any future campaigns to help save small broadcasters. It's best to be involved, get together and help each other.
2. SHOUTcast and Winamp is set to shine in 2016 under Vivendi's control/investment
Radionomy admitted that they were passionate about developing Winamp and SHOUTcast in to something amazing, in 2015 some small scale developments were made (the website updated, the product offerings and the overall buzz was there), but unfortunately they could not invest the money and developers to further the software and code, to push internet radio to the next level.
But in 2016, Vivendi's new reign over Radionomy/Winamp/SHOUTcast will most likely reveal master plans. Vivendi's investments such as Dailymotion and Ubisoft have flourished after they were taken over (look at Dailymotion, where it was five years ago, and where it is now). Vivendi will bring development to Winamp and SHOUTcast within 2016, this will lead an internet radio revitalisation, and some major kick-ass development.
3. Look how far station licensing and technology has come
If you were living in 2000, you wouldn't be able to get blanket licensing as easily as you can these days. In fact it was almost non-existant, and communicating with the labels was even more infuriating. These days, Stream Licensing and other providers gold plate station licensing and serve it to you with a glass of Sav Blanc. These days, anybody can sign up to a licensing provider, a stream host (such as Stream101 or shoutcaststreaming.us) and get broadcasting within 15 minutes. Easily.
The tools and services available in 2016 to internet radio broadcasters are plentiful, super simple to use and give you all the support you need. If you think broadcasting is too hard these days, you may be over-reacting. These days it's all about how much it costs. Many stream hosts are very affordable now, licensing is so-so (see point one), and the software is more often than not free (See RadioDJ).
4. Internet Radio listening figures are up. And they keep going up!
119 million people tune in to internet radio stations weekly within the USA (source). That's a lot. It certainly helps that many companies are investing in internet radio within their products such as cars (Tesla, BMW), fridges (Samsung), speakers (Sonos, Bose) and portable radios (Logitech).
Why not take advantage of those increasing listeners? Brodcasting World has heaps of handy guides to help you increase your listeners, revenue and more! Read them here.
5. Admit it, a lot of internet radio stations suck
But you can do it better. That's the whole reason you go into it right? You have competitors, you have rivals, you have stations wanting to be your station. So why let them down, why let them win? Your station is you, your station keeps your listeners happy. Sure it may hurt the bank once in a while but broadcasting makes you happy, it makes your listeners happy and you are contributing to one of the biggest alliances of broadcasters on the internet (alongside YouTubers and many more!).
Internet Radio is unique, it's fun and its a free form of expression in a world that is increasingly becoming more and more watched. Your voice matters, your music selection keeps your listeners tuning in, and your contribution to the broadcasting community is what makes internet radio broadcasting great.
So keep on broadcasting! The future looks bright, your listeners love you and there are more resources to help you now than ever!
If you have any tips or encouragement for your fellow broadcasters, post them in the comments below!