Why Starting an Online Radio Station is Better Than (just) a Podcast

Why starting an online radio station is better than (just) a podcast
Photo : Photo by Austin Distel

With podcasts becoming the blogs of our time, you may be wondering whether you should launch your own show. Here are some starting questions to ask yourself. Do you have special knowledge or skills in a certain area? Do you have a ready network of interesting people to interview about their expertise? Have you got a creative idea for a show that no one else has done? 

All of those are good indications to start exploring further. But why stop with just a podcast?

Audio is hot right now and it will only grow in importance as technology becomes more personal through everything from voice assistants to AI-curated playlists. If your ultimate goal is to build a profile for yourself through audio, a podcast may turn out to be limiting. Let's look at a few of the constraints:

  • Realistically, you can only produce one show at a time.

  • The conventional podcast format is only talk.

  • From recording and editing to uploading your show to the cloud, you have to do most of the heavy lifting yourself.

By contrast, an online radio station gives you all the benefits of having a podcast, along with the advantages of a well-established mass medium. Radio already has a place in millions of people's minds and hearts, not to mention their homes and cars. You can reach a wider audience with online radio than only podcasts. Plus you can work with a broader variety of content, from talk and interviews to music and live events, creating as many different shows as you like that will all be broadcast on your personal station.

The fast and easy way to set up your own online radio station

In the analog world, you would need a broadcast license and physical broadcasting equipment to start your own radio station. But on the internet, all you need is a computer and a microphone. Today there are a number of different web-based radio platforms that let you broadcast your station from anywhere in the world. They all have their own particular features and options, of course, which you will have to evaluate based on your own requirements.

If you are looking to get started fast with a solution that lets you broadcast and podcast in one, uses technology to take care of many of the basic tasks involved with running a station, and includes a generous amount of media storage capacity, you should look at a web automation platform for radio like Airtime Pro.

The actual setup time on the platform from signing up to launching your station only takes a few minutes. (That assumes, of course, you already have your station name and concept already picked out, along with a few of the other preparatory steps to start your own internet radio station.) From there, you can begin creating drag-and-drop playlists just like you do on your computer. 

Playlists of any kind of audio tracks form the basis of your shows. You can experiment with different kinds of shows, from music to interviews to storytelling. With a tool like Airtime Pro, you can use the scheduling features to test out the optimal times for each show, and then set up times for that show to repeat or automatically generate content for other shows based on certain criteria. Even if you're a one-person operation, you can create all the content needed for a 24/7 radio station -- and you can invite other people to contribute content to your station too.

Building your profile with audio 

Making an intimate connection with an audience may be the most important non-quantifiable benefit a podcast can provide. (And here are some tips on how to make the most of that connection.) But first you have to find your listeners; or, to be more accurate, let them find you.

Social media is the logical place to start. Integrations the main key social networks are an important feature for any online radio platform you consider, but having the ability to auto-tweet tracks as they play is even better. You should also make sure you are distributing your shows through a native audio platform like Soundcloud, providing exposure to yet another group of potential listeners.

And finally, once you've experimented with different kinds of content and know what you are truly passionate about -- and what also sounds good in an audio format-- you can launch your podcast! 

Airtime Pro has a couple of other great features that make it a natural choice when you're just starting out with podcasting: it not only lets you create podcasts as quickly and easily as making a show from a playlist, but also includes built-in podcast hosting, so you won't need to sign up to a separate third-party service. And last but not least, it's super easy to submit your podcast to iTunes, Spotify or other distribution platform, with an auto-generated podcast RSS feed URL. (You can even subscribe to other podcasts and import them into your library through Airtime Pro.)

Now that you know all the opportunities that an online radio station can offer, the only limit is your imagination. So go forth and DJ the soundtrack of your dreams!

Take advantage of the Airtime Pro October sale and start your own online radio with 30% off the regular Airtime Pro annual rate

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