Shall I Start an Online Radio Station?

I get asked a lot about how The Colorado Sound can be heard online.  I generally direct people to the websites of the stations airing the program.  But, that doesn’t do anything for those who wish to hear it on demand via current streaming technologies.

A couple of days ago I received an offer from Live365.  Here’s the content of the email:


I know you have been thinking about launching your internet radio station. And I think I know some of your concerns namely; music licensing, easy to use software, low-start up costs with room to grow, and an awesome distribution system.

I think we have a solution for you that will have you covered for all these concerns.

1.     Music Licensing– we have you covered with full ASCAP/BMI/SESAC and SoundExchange coverage.  We report, pay, and manage all those licenses for you and its included in your monthly fee.

2.     Software– our easy Studio365 Basic cloud service along with our Studio365Live broadcasting system will keep your station sound good whether you are online or not.  Just look at our custom pro players – (

3.     Low Cost and Room to Grow- for the rest of April 2012 we are offering $0 set up fee on our 2500 monthly listening hour station.  That means you have room to grow and it starts as low as just $217 to get started.  (that’s for “fm quality” broadcasts [up to 64kb/s].  “Near CD quality” [up to 96kb/s] is $301.50 a month.  “CD quality” [up to 128kb/s] is $386 a month)

4.     Distribution– we are currently the ONLY internet radio service that is going to put your station in front of millions of potential listeners on day one.  iTunes Radio, mobile apps, Facebook player, Roku, Liveo,TiVo and Aha to name just a few – and all built into our system.  Here is an example of my facebook fan page set up –

5.  New Desktop Player for your VIP listeners.

The $0 set up fee (normally $199) on the 2500 listening hour station is only available until Monday April 30th, 2012.


The costs are not limited to the fees to run something like this.  There is also a significant time commitment on my end that has to be paid for.  Currently, I make NO MONEY from the stations that broadcast this program.  It’s provided for free, because I believe in the music and the stations airing the show. It requires almost an entire day to program, write, and produce a 2 hour show right now.  I’m now in my 6th year of producing The Colorado Sound.  Adding an internet based station to my schedule will certainly add many many more hours a week.  Even if I’m judicious with my time and resources, I estimate it would take $700-$1000 a month to accomplish this on my end.

Should the station exceed 2500 listener hours a month, there are additional listener hour fees.  If the revenue for the show exceeds a certain amount, there are additional fees.

So the questions that swirl around my head, and have for over a year now, are HOW will this station receive its funding, and is it sustainable?

I cannot afford to do this out of pocket – regardless of the limitless love I have for such things – Mrs Goat would surely kick my ass LOL.  I will simply continue to produce as excellent a weekly 2 hour radio program as I can, and continue to offer it for free to the handful (now at 5) stations that air it now.

If the idea is solid I estimate 1st year costs to be no less than about $15,000.  That may not seem like a lot of money, but to me it may as well be a million, it’s that far out of reach of my limited resources.

Author: goat

I've been on the air in Northern Colorado since 1978. The Colorado Playlist is broadcast on 30 FM frequencies in the state. I am also a musician, talent buyer and business consultant. Email me at

3 thoughts on “Shall I Start an Online Radio Station?”

  1. It would be awesome to have your shows available on the Web but I understand that the costs are a HUGE question. I’m behind you no matter what you do and on behalf of thousands of Colorado musicians I say THANK YOU

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