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So, you want to start a radio station?

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So, you want to start a radio station?

A guide by Eric Wiltsher, an experienced broadcaster, on launching a radio station that will reach and keep an audience.

So, you want to start a radio station. First and foremost, a radio station has to be focused on the listeners, not your private music library – that’s your playlist and JUST FOR YOU.

Broadcasting on any level must have appeal and offer something that others do not offer, or what’s the point? Do some research and find out many are doing the same as you are suggesting – if there is a gap in the market, GO FOR IT!

Radio IS NOT just airing an audio jukebox of your tracks – there are already thousands out there doing it and ending up asking themselves why they are not gaining an audience. Any new radio station has to compete, and I do mean compete with others.

Having a Talk Show or hosting interviews can help you build community.

What do you need to have behind you that will make a station work?

  1. First, you need some tech – not mega expensive. Please avoid laptops, yes. REALLY.
  2. A small quality mixer (mix board) is needed along with a minimum of two desktop PCs and decent headphones and mic – one PC is for TRANSMISSION ONLY and the other for the station music library and programmes.
  3. A Music rights license, maybe LIVE365 or one from your country like PRS – you cannot broadcast without having the right to play copyrighted music.
  4. Choose your streaming company wisely. Free services don’t always make sense – but only pay for what you NEED, you can always upgrade.
  5. If you don’t want to be the best-kept secret online, you now need to register with radio hubs/lists. It is a small part of your marketing programme – a very small part. Start with long-standing hubs such as They will provide a quality service.
  6. Marketing – you must share news of your station almost on a weekly basis – more when you start. Social Media is the prime source for listeners to find stations. If you don’t do your marketing, you will remain one of the best-kept secrets and wonder why you have no listeners.
  7. Interact with your audience as much as possible – they are your best PR people.
  8. Sales won’t pour in the door – you will need to go out to people to get ads and make sure they are well-made!
  9. Netcasting isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.
  10. If you don’t do all of the above, don’t blame your competitors for failure – UP YOUR GAME!

Eric Wiltsher – now Radio Tatras International

Formerly BBC (TV and radio), Radio Luxembourg, LBC London

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Article by the Streema team

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