How To Start Your Own Internet Radio Station


Editor's note: At 16, Sunny Ng is one of the top webcasters in North America, according to industry insiders. He is the General Manager and Music Director of Hitz Radio-- a station he runs out of his home in Ontario, Canada.

Believe it or not, I started out broadcasting 10 hours a day from a 33.6K modem to a T-3 shell. It wasn't easy and I didn't get many listeners at all. Unfortunately, my friends weren't that supportive, so I did basically everything all by myself. I didn't get much (if any) financial support. I guess you can say I was lucky because I had an access to the T-3 shell from my Internet Service Provider (ISP) for free.

Webcasting takes a lot of time, especially to start-up and setup everything. Also, if you're thinking of doing webcasting for the purpose of making money, then I don't think it's the thing for you. Advice to aspiring young webcasters:

1. Don't expect too much. Listeners aren't going to tune in your stream right away. Not everyone's going to like the same things that you like.

2. Get friends to be involved. It's hard to do everything yourself and it's very time-consuming.

3. Try to get financial support from family members, or get a part-time job. Webcasting isn't cheap. Not to mention the ridiculously-high royalty rates from the RIAA.

4. Be unique. Some may think I'm being hypocritical because I run a Top 40 station, but the truth is there are differences between my station and other Top 40 stations. But in addition to being unique, you have to be considerate about what your listeners want.

Get friends involved. It's hard to do everything yourself and it's very time-consuming.

5. Be patient. It takes time to setup and learn everything, and it takes even more time to wait for listeners to come.

6. If you are still interested after that, then first you'll need a streamhost to host your stream, which of course costs money. Then, you'll need a webhost for your website. I find a website essential, because as a listener, I would want more information about the station if I want to continue listening. Promotion is good too, not SPAM though. That should get you started, but again, don't expect too much.

When I see my station high on the SHOUTcast broadcasts list, I must say I feel really flattered see that my station is so popular. At the same time, I feel happy because I have put a lot of work in to this and people are appreciating it.

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