So how much does it actually cost to start a radio station? We’ve done the math for you and here’s what we found out:
What you need to start a radio station
- Start Radio Offer: $29/ month or $288/ year
- Pro Radio Offer: $59/ month or $588/ year
- Business Radio Offer: $119/ month or $1188/ year
- Music Royalties
Now that you have a server and a broadcasting software, you’ll need some content. Do you want to play music on your radio station?
Note that if you’re planning on broadcasting commercial music, you will need to purchase a music license. Most internet radio stations tend to cover themselves with a blanket license (also known as an umbrella license) which allows them to legally broadcast whatever music is represented by the issuing authority.
The majority of these licenses must be paid on a yearly basis. The pricing will vary depending on the country you’re broadcasting from, as well as the countries you’re broadcasting to.
To get in touch with the relative authorities concerning music licensing in your country, take a look at this article.
Take a look: Where can I download music?
- Royalty Free Music
You can also choose to broadcast royalty free music on your radio station. You’ll still need a music license, but they are much cheaper than a regular music license and generally only require a one-time fee.
If you’re looking to download royalty free music, you may want to take a look at these links:
Equipment you’ll need to start a radio station
When you start a radio station, it can be difficult to know where to turn to in terms of microphones as there are so many possibilities. You may be tempted to choose a USB microphone as they are cheaper and can be plugged into your computer directly. However, we don’t recommend this type of microphone when it comes to broadcasting live because of the latency created. Many microphones exist for varied prices.
If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend going for the Behringer XM8500 for under $20.
Take a look: Our selection of popular microphones for radio and podcasting
Bear in mind that not all microphones are sold with a stand and cables, make sure to count an extra $20 per stand and $10 for an XLR cable.
If you’re planning on broadcasting live, or simply to ensure the quality of your broadcast, we recommend comfortable headphones. We also recommend testing your headset before buying it.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can start with simple earphones.
Take a look: How to choose the right headphones when you start a radio station.
- Mixer // iRig Pre
A mixer will allow you to add multiple microphones, computers or even a dedicated phone line for your radio. It’s not at all mandatory if you’re the only person managing your radio station, or if you want to do live broadcasts from a distance.
However, be careful, if you have chosen a microphone, you must necessarily connect it. We recommend the iRig Pre XLR adapter that could prove to be a very good ally.
Take a look: Build a home studio for under $340.
Identification (Jingles, time signals…)
Identification is key when you start a radio station. It’s important for you to have your own jingles, time signals etc. You can choose to create your own jingles, or you can also get help from professionals such as DiffProd for example.