There is no way to broadcast online radio for free. In all aspects speaking, you are paying to broadcast online radio. Here's why:
- Internet Service Provider.
That monthly service fee you pay for Internet in your home or office (or studio)... well, you'll need to pay up if you want to do any Internet-related activities. Depending on your listener count, you will need a higher upload speed to ensure listeners get the quality you desire them to hear.
- Equipment and Hosting
Whether it's a mixer, a simple Microphone, software, or even a server on the Internet (or cloud instance for this day in age), you will either end up paying in cents by the hour or hundreds of dollars for making yourself sound excellent. Of course, you can be mediocre, but just remember the whole thing about Internet. For all we know, your Internet might be of the worst quality and you might have to end up broadcasting to a server online so that the server can push your broadcast to the world better than you can alone.
This is a real pain in the groin when it comes to broadcasting anything anytime... when it's time to pay for what you broadcast. Whether you're broadcasting EDM, rock, 80's, pop, world/foreign... even folk music, you'll end up paying somebody. Even using the music ever so slightly during a talk show would result in performance/broadcast royalties. Royalties add up real quick, even if they seem as small as 9¢ per play. If you aren't earning any money out of this, it's best you find "royalty-free music" instead or artists who are willing to let you broadcast their songs for free in return for exposure (because they would really appreciate you if you did.)
There are people who will go ahead and ignore this. Much like illegal Peer-to-Peer (P2P) downloading, there are sniffers that will find your audio bits floating in broadcasts out on the borderless Internet and they will trace you back, without a doubt, and collect what's due. Unlike royalties, these are exponentially larger charges that are imposed against you. Also unlike royalties, these are given a different name: Fines and Penalties. (Hint: If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. If you can't pay up, you might be locked up.)
Hint: You can go ahead and do a talk show if you want, but I assure you, it can get pretty boring pretty fast without some music in it and unless you can find some royalty-free music that will suit your needs, don't expect higher listenership. This goes without saying, if you want to broadcast the news, there are royalties for that too... it's called licensing the article. How do you think the Associated Press, Xinhua News Agency (China), Reuters and other news distribution companies earn their money - give the news for free? You visit news websites because they purchase the license to the article to show to their visitors, not to have their visitors air it. If you want to broadcast your own news legally, simply report it yourself in your own words and in your own development, not another's like Fox News or ABC News.
Of course, broadcasting isn't free and it can sometimes be burdensome... it could be discouraging and make you a little queasy in your stomach just thinking about what could happen and what could not happen. So if you're just looking to do your own station featuring a mix of your favourite artists and similar tastes, simply use Pandora, Spotify, or Last.fm - you might thank yourself for it later because you can enjoy your songs without having to pay those confusing royalties.
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