How to Start a Radio Station on the Internet for Free

By Joshua Duvauchelle

Internet radio stations distribute audio via streaming multimedia over a high-speed, broadband Internet connection. Much like traditional, analog radio stations, individuals with an Internet connection can listen to a broadcast from anywhere in the world. Some traditional radio stations use an Internet radio station as a means to widen their audience, while other Web stations are operated by amateurs who want to share their personal media collection. Online radio broadcasts receive a large amount of criticism for playing copyrighted material. Learn how to start a free radio station on the Internet while avoiding common copyright pitfalls.

Things You'll Need

  • Broadband Internet connection
  • Creative Commons or personally-owned audio
  • uBroadcast radio software (free)

Step 1

Choose a radio style format that you plan to broadcast on the Internet. The three major types of radio formats on the Internet follow the styles of traditional radio: Talk radio, indie radio (playing independent music by locally based musicians and bands) and music. Each has its difficulties and benefits. Talk radio requires you to track down free recordings of speeches and talk show hosts or create your own. Independent radio is generally easier to get material for because bands are eager for promotion. However, it can also be hard to work with the busy schedules of bands. Music radio is typically the easiest to set up as you can use any sort of music.

Step 2

Obtain copyrights or permission to use the audio material you are planning to broadcast. All broadcast material must be permitted for broadcast by the copyright material. For most music, you may contact the media relations department of the record company that distributes the music. For speeches, you must get expressed permission from the individual delivering the speech.

Step 3

Consider the option to use Creative Commons work, which are multimedia pieces the original owner of which has released from copyright for free use. The Creative Commons organization has a searchable database with which to find material you can use for your Internet radio station (see Resources below).

Step 4

Download the uBroadcast Internet radio software (see Resources below). Double-click the downloaded file and install it on your computer. Follow the prompts to register an online account and setup an Internet address at which listeners can access your radio station. The software will manage and guide you through the entire process.

Step 5

Promote your Internet radio station to your friends and family. As your station grows in popularity, you will have to ensure that the same material is not repeated to retain listener interest.

Tips & Warnings

  • Focus your content around your personal passions so that you do not become burned out while managing your station.
  • Never upload copyrighted material to your online radio station.