If you think you have what it takes to host your own radio show, look no further than Live365. The world’s largest Internet radio network empowers individuals and organizations alike by providing a “voice” to reach audiences around the world. We’ve chatted with Live365’s audio producer Ander Frischer about the future of Internet radio as well as Live365’s impact on how we listen to and discover the music we love.
NMS: In short, please explain the process of setting up your own station. How does one operate a radio station?
Ander Frischer: To start operating a radio station in what we refer to as Basic Mode, a broadcaster uploads their MP3s into the Live365 server and creates a playlist. The MP3s can consist of music, promos, talk segments, DJ breaks, or any other audio covered in their broadcasting package. Operating in Live Mode requires software such as our included Studio365-Live application or other 3rd party applications like SAM Broadcaster. Relay mode involves an existing radio station (internet or terrestrial) broadcasting their stream through Live365 from an already-existing server.
Are radio hosts responsible for promoting their own shows?
Broadcasters are responsible for promoting their own shows and stations through social media or any other marketing outlets they may have. From time to time Live365 features some of our broadcasters in the Spotlight section of our Broadcasting Blog. If anyone is interested, please let us know!
How does one program their station?
When uploading or live-streaming MP3s, broadcasters must provide the correct metadata (Artist/Song Title/Album info) for song identification. They are then able to create playlists as well as use our scheduling tool to help automate their programming and play certain playlists or shows at specific times of the day. There are also some third party scheduling programs such as Music1 that can help broadcasters create dynamic playlists and enhance the sound of their station.
What’s the difference between the Studio365 Desktop Suite and Studio365-Mobile platforms?
The Studio365-Mobile app is more of a ‘remote’ for your Live365 station. You can view abbreviated statistics as well as record “shout-outs” for your station.
Can you tell us about “shout-outs”?
Shout-outs are a great way to keep your listeners updated with any last-minute announcements you may have while you’re “on the go,” by giving you an integrated recording function right from the app itself. These recorded files can then be scheduled during each regular commercial break or even played once after the current track while in ‘Basic’ mode.
As a broadcaster, do I have full control over what I air? What music am I allowed to play?
As a broadcaster with a music package that includes royalties and licensing, you are covered to play most music over the air. You can also play music that you own all the rights to or have explicit permission from the owner(s) of the copy-written material. There is no issue playing public domain or royalty-free music on the air.
Do I have to pay royalties?
Yes, but broadcasters enrolled in music packages are not responsible for paying royalties directly to the record labels. The music packages offered to broadcasters from Live365 include royalty fees. If a broadcaster enrolls in a talk package that doesn’t include royalties, they are not covered to play royalty bearing music on the air. We also welcome broadcasters with their own music licensing through SoundExchange.
Am I in control over advertising?
With a Live365 Pro Broadcasting plan, you can run your own ads using your own sponsors as well as completely switch off advertisements from Live365 and our sponsors. As limited by BMI, you may make up to $1,200.00 per month in revenue related to your station and/or station’s website while Live365 is covering your royalties. In order to exceed this limit, one would have to get licensed directly with BMI and pay the higher costs associated with these licenses.
Do I have to share ad revenue?
Not at all.
Is there anything a radio host cannot say on the air?
Internet broadcasting is not limited by the same FCC rules as terrestrial radio, so almost anything is fair game, excluding slander and liable. Just like AM/FM radio, broadcasters are always responsible for what they say on the air.
College radio has always been popular with alternative, emerging experimental music. It is often used as a testing ground before hitting mainstream. To what extent do you find college radio stations utilizing your service?
We have a long history of working with college radio stations to stream their music and other programming online. College radio is especially exciting because they frequently have the freshest songs and newest types of content. It is great that they have the luxury to be adventures in their programming choices.
Are there other groups of communities that you find using Live365 as a beneficial service for their professional goals?
Record labels and music management companies have stations with us to showcase their artists and music. There are also spoken word performers who use Live365 to deliver supplemental content.
How do you see the future of Internet radio with so many services entering the space?
The future of internet radio is very exciting. The industry is experiencing a strong growth with the listening experience moving from desktop computers onto mobile. This will offer broadcasters a larger audience as more listeners adopt smartphone consumption.
What challenges do you foresee?
Users have access to a wide variety of audio content and music services. More and more these platforms will have the same content offering. How would we, then as a listening platform be making the difference to build a long term relationship with our listeners and of course our broadcasters and have a tremendous value proposition.
What steps are you taking for Live365 to stay ahead of the field?
We are now looking at how to strengthen our product and value proposition in the next year.
Internet radio has become one of the greatest sources of music recommendation and discovery. Music fans want to know what’s next. To learn more about the Internet radio landscape and online music platforms, check out the following movements at the New Yorker Hotel during the 2014 New Music Seminar!
Online Media Music Discovery (Monday June 9th, 3:00pm-4:15pm): How do trusted advisors wade through the torrents of new music to make their recommendations? How does the modern-day “music review” spread to reach critical mass? These questions and many more will be answered by Jay Frank (Founder/CEO, DigSin) and fellow industry executives Mark Richardson (Editor-in-Chief, Pitchfork), Andrew Flanagan (Writer and Editor, Billboard), Joe Carozza (Senior Vice President of Publicity, Republic Records), Andy Cohn (President + Publisher, The FADER), and Elliot Sachs (Founder/CEO, Your EDM). Movement will take place at Sutton Place in the New Yorker Hotel.
SoundExchange Digital Radio Workshop (Tuesday June 10th, 11:45am – 12:45pm): This workshop will cover “Licensing 101”, what radio is paying and why. Bring your questions and notebooks! Workshop will take place at Herald Square.
Radio: The World’s Best Discovery Engine (Tuesday, June 10th, 5:15pm – 6:30pm): Why does radio still break more music than everything else on the web combined? America’s top radio programmers talk about why radio continues to dominate new music exposure and what radio knows about their audiences that digital services have yet to learn. These questions and others will be answered by Charlie Walk (Executive Vice President, Republic Records) and fellow industry executives Steve Blatter (SVP/General Manager, Music Programming and Digital Music, Sirius XM), Michael Martin (VP/Top 40 Programming CBS Radio), Jimmy Steal (Programming Director, Power 106), Jay Stevens (Senior Vice President of Programming Content, Radio One, Inc), Peter Szabo (VP Head of Music and West Ad Sales, Shazam). Movement will take place in the New York Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom.