D.I.Y.

Create Your Own Money Making Web Radio Station With Radionomy


RadionomyGuest post by Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.

At first blush, you might think the world doesn’t need a new online radio service – not when there are already so many of them, and they’re already so good at what they do. That’s what we thought too, until we delved into Radionomy’s unique offering, which rolls out to United States users for the first time on Tuesday.

To use today’s handy “it’s like X but for Y” formulation, Radionomy is sort of like college radio (as in you can broadcast music with it without going pro), but for the world in which we live in today (because college radio is pretty much over). And with money.

Based in Europe, Radionomy attracts over 92 million listening sessions per month from 13 million unique visitors to about 7,000 hand-curated stations. It lets anyone build a professional(ish) radio station using their MP3 collection, 80K songs already on the server, pre-recorded news segments, station identification files, a handy online calendar scheduler, and even live announcements — as in you can press a button and interrupt your radio station’s stream with breaking news or whatever pops into your head.

It’s radio — like, real radio — but on the internet.

Discover Radionomy in 2 minutes!

The service is free for both broadcasters and listeners. Radionomy pays all of the proper SoundExchange royalties, and inserts four minutes of advertising per hour. If your show gets popular enough, it could pay. Radionomy offers to split ad revenue with broadcasters, who sometimes earn over $5,000 per month, according to what Radionomy vice-president of business development Thierry Ascarez told Evolver.fm by phone.

 This is not a joke. Radionomy has partnered with TargetSpot (“the largest digital audio advertising network”) to sell ads on these stations.

“The main idea of Radionomy is to change the way people are creating and managing online radio stations,” said Ascarez. “We are a global platform, accessible anywhere. We are entirely free and entirely online. So basically, what we offer at first is all the tools for any internet user — especially professional, semiprofessional, or even organizations — to create their own radio station. By that I mean a real radio station, not just a playlist. We give them all the tools to create real programming — the opportunity to access… music [80K tracks but you can also upload your own MP3s], but also jungle libraries, podcast libraries, newscasts, weather forecasts, horoscopes.”

Just like the kingpins in charge of the actual FM dial, Radionomy lets you pull all the strings and tweak all the levers to keep your station running, but through a slick, web 2.0-looking interface for deciding what to play when, how often to queue up the weather report, and so on. You can even set different rotations for each day of the week, and there’s no limit to the number of MP3s your station can cycle through.

Unlike Shoutcast, an old-school online radio platform that still offers something similar, Radionomy doesn’t make you run a server, pay your own royalties, or anything like that. All you have to do is have great taste in music, promote your station, and maintain some degree of organization to keep your programming fresh and avoid dead air. Sounds easy, right?

The broadcasting part certainly is, but of course, if nobody listens, none of this matters. Radionomy offers search and genre lists for listeners, but really, it’s on you to promote your station to fans, who can listen online or in the Radionomy app. For now, managing a station is only possible with an actual computer, although the company did recently upgrade so that the whole thing is in the cloud, rather than requiring desktop software. However, Radionomy is working on app-based managers for that too, which would allow broadcasters even more leeway.

“Breaking news: This sandwich is awesome! Now back to my new favorite band.”

The above-mentioned glitch is annoying — as is the fact that some of the site is in French, even if you set your language as English. However, the idea of allowing people or organizations to make money with their own online radio stations, replete with weather reports, real-time speech updates, jingles, and so on — and allowing broadcasters to manage it all in the cloud and users to tune in on anything that connects to the web or runs apps — is simply too powerful to ignore.

Note: The Create Station function, which was broken earlier, is now online. Apparently, Evolver.fm is the only publication covering this release that tried to use it.

See Radionomy's YouTube channel for video tutorials [mostly in French and Spanish].

 

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23 Comments

  1. And the caveat not mentioned anywhere in the article above? After 9 months you need to be generating an average of 130 listening hours a day for your station (taken over the previous 30 days) for it to remain on the site for free.

  2. Not mentioned in the article: who is responsible for paying Performing Rights Societies (PROs) that collect royalties due for songwriters and music publishers?

  3. Same here…I don’t like this part. It basically says that they will just delete your station without the option to pay a monthly fee. So I guess I will be avoiding this entirely.
    “If the radio (station?) does not reach the minimum of 130 hours of hearing daily average Radionomy proceed with the deactivation of the radio and the removal of all radio data on its servers (including songs uploaded by the user), data will be lost forever and can not be restored.”

  4. I guess its just economics. Why waste space on something that doesn’t bring in any cash. I kind of like it because it puts the station manager to the test. It also wipes out those stations that were created on a whim and don’t have people actually running them.

  5. I’d prefer to see a platform that allows people to create their own Jango.com-type of online radio station, where people get the music without all the other MSNBC-looking and YAHOO.com-looking clutter. If people really want visual noise and website clutter, there is no shortage of it. I’ve (Two Bit Jukebox) enjoyed over 55,000 song plays on Jango.com in the last 8 months — complete with extensive listner demographic feedback, and without all the junk! Of course people can also hear my music on the Two Bit Jukebox website, and everything they encounter there is related to the band and the music — no superfluous garbage. No big fees, and no arbitraty cancellations. Works for me! Just good music and good listeners doing what they do best! And visitors to my website and Jango.com listeners are able to provide direct feedback (and frequently do!). ; )

  6. It’s a Con
    Taken from the official announcement of revenue sharing:
    Number of hours streamed per month in France to qualify for the retrocession: 25,000 hours
    Outpayment: 1.7 € per 1000 hours
    Number of hours streamed per month in the United States to qualify for the retrocession: 50,000 hours
    Payouts: $ 2.2 per 1000 hours
    So if you don’t make the hours, you don’t get paid. The servers are dodgey and radio stations often go silent. If this happens out of office hours (in France as they are now based in Paris), your station will not come back on until 9am the following work day, God forbid that they go down at 5:30pm Paris Time on a Friday!
    The radio manager system is buggy and the stats are NEVER correct, something that Radionomy admit.
    AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

  7. Disgruntled Gopher says it’s a “con”, but for even modestly successful stations, that number of listener hours (listersxhoursxdays) is easily achieved and can be generated by working at home on your station. Yes its a large number, but who else is offering real money to hobby broadcasters? And there’s no pre-roll or annoying banners.
    In terms of “The servers are dodgey and radio stations often go silent” I haven’t experienced that on my station. In fact, One has to wonder that if this was really the case, they wouldn’t be running a successful company (they just bought hotmix and Jamendo) with that kind of performance.

  8. I am setting up 5 separate radio stations in Africa to stream African music and talk. Can someone please out there give me tips on how to make money from them….

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