Creative Commons music radio as a format can save you a fortune on music licensing fees. I started mrc.fm as a hobby back in November 2012 and now it has grown to having nearly 6000 unique listeners every month. This episode will contain my top tips for getting your internet radio station heard and how you can use Creative Commons music as an alternative to paying music license fees when broadcasting online.
Bootstrapping Internet Radio
Sean Tomlinson tweeted me to say he’s looking at setting up his own online radio station but is stuck with two issues before starting his internet radio station. Getting the correct music licenses in place and finding advertisers to fund his project. You need a radio station to get sponsors yet you need sponsors to inject money to help you get started. In a previous podcast I talk about how easy it is to bootstrap starting up an internet radio station.
Getting Advertisers and Sponsors for Internet Radio
At the time of recording mrc.fm has been on air for 4 months and hasn’t had a single advertiser (apart from Music Radio Creative branding the music tracks). There is an opportunity for me to open up a chance to sponsor the output of mrc.fm but I’d want to do it in a clever way that doesn’t interrupt music flow.
Internet Radio Adverts That Don’t Interrupt Flow
Interruptive advertising, as practiced on most traditional radio stations, doesn’t work in my opinion. There are too many alternatives out there from Spotify and Rdio in the music world and Spreaker and Stitcher, amongst others, for speech output. If you want your internet radio station to survive you’ll need to keep the music flowing and integrate advertisements.
Chance to Sponsor mrc.fm
I’m looking for sponsors that would fit with the sound of mrc.fm. If you’d be interested in getting your brand message to an average of 6000 unique listeners per month drop me a line via the contact form.
Internet Radio Listening Habits
People seem to gradually tune in throughout the day building to a peak between 6pm-8pm (GMT) and that dies away again after midnight. I found it interesting to gather statistics on the internet radio directories that are referring me the most listeners. I talk about promoting your internet radio station in a previous podcast and can confirm that the directories you MUST get in are Windows Media Player, Apple iTunes and SHOUTcast (coincidentally the first two take the most effort to get listed in!)
- Windows Media Player (from the Windows Media Guide) 34.7%
- Apple iTunes (iTunes Radio, Apple TV etc.) 29.4%
- MPEG OVERIDE (native mrc.fm radio player) 10.7%
- Winamp (from SHOUTcast) 9.4%
- MPlayer (open source media player) 3.2%
How To Start An Internet Music Radio Station Without Licenses
I’ve spoken about royalty free music and sound effects in a previous podcast episode. If you’d like to start an internet radio station that plays music without needing to get any licenses approved look into Creative Commons music. SoundCloud has an excellent search engine of full music tracks at SoundCloud.com/creativecommons
Creative Commons Music Radio
Here’s one of the tracks I featured in this week’s podcast episode.
Have you used Creative Commons music in your own project? How did it work for you? Leave a comment on this episode and let me know!