Radio has been one of the most lovable sources of entertainment and extracting information since the 1940s. It does not only hold prevalence in rural areas but also a commonly used device in urban areas. Read the full article and get information about How to start a radio station.
Have you always dreamt of starting your radio station? Have you thought of running a radio station? If yes, this blog by traffic tail serves as an answer to every question related to starting a radio station.
Why a Radio Station?
Radio has bagged the attention of people since its introduction. It is ruling the hearts of people and has been a constant supplier of information to date. Radio, just like TV, offers a variety of channels.
The radio station serves as a great source of providing employment. It is a great platform for creatives to showcase their talent. Some people are passionate enough to make their career as RJ. Running a radio station is fun. You can work, earn and enjoy as it is one among the bunch of creative professions.
At present, 243 FM channels are operating in 86 cities of India, offering a good scope to start one. Undoubtedly, India isn’t a small place and 243 is not a very big number in a country like India. Therefore, your passion, will and guidance can do miracles.
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Types of Radio Station
Before you think of starting a radio station you must be well-acquainted with the types of radio station you can start.
- Commercial Radio Station
- Community Radio Station
Commercial Radio Station– Commercial radio stations are established to make money. They intend to earn money through advertisements, commercials, and publicity of events. They derive their operating budget from selling advertising. It is like, the more listeners a station has, the more it can charge for ad spots and can earn a lot.
Community Radio Station– A community radio station is a part of the non-commercial radio station. It works for the community. The sole purpose of this radio is not to earn profit. They work under different ranges of geography.
Things to keep in mind before starting a radio station
You have come so far reveals your will to start a radio station. So, before you go through the stepwise guide, you need to consider a few things.
- Your Concept-The first and foremost point that should be considered before starting a radio station is the concept. You need to contemplate in this regard. You need to ponder over the matters like collaborations, size, and content you are going to offer.
Here is a list of questions that should be considered-
- What am I going to offer?
- Is it only music that my station will play?
- What kind of topics do I want to cover?
- Are we going to cover interviews?
2. Branding- Can you think of running a radio station without a brand name? An answer to this question is a big no. You need to brainstorm a lot while choosing a brand name for your radio station. The best way is to consider your audience and the message you want to convey.
While choosing your brand name make sure, your brand name is unique and is not harming the existing trademarks. You can check this using online tools. You can search for names online.
3. Check Copyright Laws-Starting a radio station is not easy. The entrepreneurs need to plan everything. Even minute details should not get spared from the plan. You need to buy a license, grant permissions and check with documents to run a radio station smoothly.
We will be discussing this matter in detail in the other section of the blog.
- Get your equipment-Undeniably, this is one of the most significant points to be considered. Imagine running a radio station without any equipment. Seems ridiculous, right? A radio station requires different equipment like headphones, speakers, a microphone.
You need to check your requirements before buying equipment. If you are not sure about, which one is best, you can consult experts. They can guide you in buying the right equipment for the radio station.
- What are you going to share- If you have started a radio station to spread news, then you need to decide what kind of news you are going to share? You need to collect the content for your radio station. You can use online tools to fetch the information. You need to have all the content ready when beginning with a radio station.
Here is a list of online tools that can be used to extract news for your radio station-
- Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a great tool. It allows you to sign up and you can get the report of your blogs, website based on search terms. It also helps you in getting the news. It is an easy-to-operate tool. All you need to do is to set up an alert for the kind of news you want and you will receive the news via email.
- Location-Do you think it is feasible to set-up a radio station anywhere? An absolute answer is no. You need to consider numerous factors before choosing a location for your radio station. You would have to build the studio as per your needs and requirements.
You can start a radio station online and offline. We at traffic tail, aim at guiding both of these types.
How to start a radio station online?
You can start an online radio station through different tools available on the internet. You need to choose your perfect fit. So, your hunt for a stepwise guide to starting a radio station online is over.
Step 1- Choose your tool
The very first thing you need to do is to choose the tool through which you would want to operate your radio station. The next step is to set up the station on the tool. In this stage, you are required to create your free trial account. Most of the tools offer this service of creating a free trial account
Step 2- Set up station and time zone
The next step is to set up the station and set the time zone. In this stage, you are required to construct your profile. It should contain the description of your online radio station. Do not forget to set the time zone. The features may vary based on the tool but the basic steps remain the same.
Step 3- Go to your online radio control panel
Now you have constructed your profile and added the description. The next step is to go to your radio control panel and make the necessary adjustments. Things should appear the way you want others to see.
Step 4- Follow the instructions
How Is it possible to work on any tool without following the instructions? Here, you need to follow all the instructions of the tool. This could help you in running your radio station effectively and efficiently.
Step 5- Complete the recommended tasks
The next step is to complete the required tasks. Usually, the online tools assign you some petty tasks that are expected to be completed. Do not forget to accomplish those tasks. This would smoothen your work on the tool. This is one of the most important steps in starting an online radio station.
Also, check your email during the free-trial period for tips and hints. Usually, these online tools have the facility of guiding the user by providing them with tips and hints to improve their work.
Step 6- Choose the plan
This is a game-changer step. Here you will be assigned the role of customer. If you developed a fondness for the online tool you have chosen, you can move ahead. You can choose a suitable plan out of the options available. And if you didn’t like the online tool, you can sign out and hunt for the better one.
Step 7- Choose a domain name
After successfully choosing your plan, the next step is to choose your domain name. This is a unique name provided to your radio station. People would know you through this name.
Step 8- Integrate your tool
Now that you have passed through almost every stage, the last step is to connect your profile on your respective tool with email services to create custom emails. The custom email is the one through which you would conduct your professional conversations.
Now your online radio station is all set to rock. Use the most effective techniques to advertise your work and earn handsome profits.
After getting apprised with the online radio station stepwise guide, the next point is the offline radio station.
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Here we go with the stepwise guide to start a radio station offline
Step 1- Apply for frequency
The first and foremost step to start with an offline radio station is to apply for frequency. This is one of the most time-consuming steps of the entire process. It may take a long time to arrange for the frequency for your radio station.
Step 2- Apply for the license
Have you ever thought of running a radio station without a license? The answer is no. It is illegal to run a radio station without required permissions and licenses. The different types of permissions and licenses required to run a radio station are discussed in the next section.
Step 3- Funding
No business can run without investment. The amount of investment varies based on the size, type, and other factors. Starting a radio station requires heavy investment. If you are planning to start a community radio station it will cost less but if you are planning to start High power (commercial) radio station, you would require investment ranging between 50 lakhs- 1 Crore.
After estimating your requirements and budget, you need to consider the source of funding. The different sources through which you can arrange for finance are-
- Friends and family- You can discuss your project with your friends and family. If they found it worthy enough, they can provide you with the required funds.
- Bank loans- You can also knock on the door of banks to arrange for the finance. All you need to do is, research and find the best bank for your business.
- Crowdfunding- This is one of the most prevalent options of raising funds for a business that requires heavy investment. You can approach several people to have shared in your business.
- Investors- You can also present your plan in front of investors and if they found it worthy, they would invest in your business.
There are many more ways of arranging finance for your business. You need to research and find the most suitable source of funding for your business.
Step 4- Decide your type
The next step is to decide the type you want to start. You need to choose whether you want to go for low power (community) or high power (commercial) radio station. After considering relevant factors and making the choice apply for the broadcast station construction permit.
The permission is required to be obtained from the Federal Communications Commission. You are also required to pay application fees.
Step 5- Gather equipment
Now, this is to be done cautiously. You have to decide how much power you would need. You need to gather equipment accordingly like an antenna. You would require rental space for towers and antenna.
Other equipment you would require includes, studio space, microphone, speakers, and others. You should consult experts before purchasing equipment for your radio station.
Step 6- Run smoothly
Now your radio station is ready. The next step is to focus on its smooth running. Conduct more and more practice sessions with RJs. Train them to operate technical equipment. Train them to make necessary adjustments related to sound. This can ensure the smooth running of your radio station.
When you are planning to start an FM radio station you need to obtain different licenses and permissions. The permission will be granted based on Time Entry Fees (OTEF).
Certain eligibility criteria are required to be passed before starting a radio station. Financial criteria are also decided to obtain permission. The minimum net worth required for one channel per centre is-
- D category centers- 5,000,000
- C category centers- 10,000,000
- B category centers- 20,000,000
- A or A+ category centers- 30,000,000
- All centers- 100,000,000
The next requirement is to present the following information:
- Name of directors with evidence of their commercial competence
- Directorship or other position held by directors in other company with details of the company
- Name of key executives
- The applicant is required to confirm foreign investment and other related stipulations
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Process of granting permission–
- Separate Financial Bid for Each Channel
- Tender Deposit
- Reserve One Time Entry Fees
- Waiting List
- Balance Bid Payment
- Blacklisting and Forfeiture
- Letter of Intent
- Grant of permission agreement
If the applier fails, the LOI holder is required to comply with the eligibility conditions for the Grant of Permission Agreement.
How to promote your radio station?
You must be wondering how can I promote my radio station. So, here we go with the list of different ways to promote your radio station.
- Social media– One of the best ways to promote any business is social media. Mark your presence on social media. You will notice an enhancement in the reach and fondness of your business. All you need to do is regularly post the required content.
- Submit to Internet radio directories– Radio directories are a great place to promote your radio stations. You can have access to thousands of listeners.
- Optimize your station with SEO– Improve your searchability on the internet. People tend to believe in the business they find on the internet. They would search for you on the internet before listening. Make sure your website ranks higher than others.
- Develop your website– It would be advisable to develop a website for your radio station. This is the best way to enhance your reach. Update your website with the required details regularly.
- Cross-promote with other stations– Another way to promote your radio station is to make deals with other radio stations. Go for the renowned ones, this will smoothen your promotion.
There are several ways to promote your radio station. You need to research and find the pros and cons of every method of advertising. Choose the best out of rest and enjoy heavy reach.
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Do you know?
- The radio listening audience is constantly growing. The stats revealed, the strength of radio listeners was 244 million per week in 2014 while it lifted to reach 247 million in 2018
- The strength of online radio listeners is 180 million while the strength of podcast listeners is 124 million
- People feel emotionally connected to radio stations. 87% of listeners said that radio personalities make them laugh(positively). 61% said to compel them to contemplate.
- Radio does not fail to spread awareness and is a great source of earning.
- 84% of the listeners love radio because it has an essence of originality and the local flavor that is the biggest attention-seeker.
- Before starting a radio station, know your listeners and then move ahead
- Talk to one person and try to grab his attention
- Be yourself. Be the best version of yourself. Do not try to imitate others.
- Make your own rules.
- Choose the best quality equipment
You must have got an idea of the different aspects associated with starting a radio station. Starting a radio station is a profit-yielding business. You can follow your passion, have fun and work simultaneously. You can also create jobs for others once you got established.
So, if you are planning to start your radio station, get connected with the traffic tail. We at traffic tail, provide quality services and required assistance to grow your radio station. We guarantee delivery of our affordable services within a prescribed time-frame. Do not wait any more, start your radio station now!
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques. 1- How can I start an offline radio station?
Ans. Follow these steps to start an offline radio station-
Ques. 2- What is the difference between AM and FM radio?
Ans. The difference between AM and FM radio is that AM radio is a talk radio while FM radio is music radio.
Ques. 3- How can I start community radio?
Ans. This is how you can start a community radio-
- Choose the best station
- Extract the required licenses
- Obtain Grant of Permission Agreement
- Get the transmitter
- Set-up the studio
Ques. 4 What type of license would be required?
Ans. You have to obtain a license from the FCC. The two types of FM radio licenses include-
- Low Power FM (local)
- Full power FM (commercial)
Ques. 5 What is a radio transmitter?
Ans. An FM radio transmitter is the most important piece of equipment. It aims towards spreading your information. The main components of the radio transmitter are-
- Power supply