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Is your community radio on the internet?

Presence on the internet has become increasingly necessary. Those who do not adapt to constant technological advancements are left behind.

In today’s post, we will discuss how audio streaming technology can be a useful tool to chart a new path for community radios, simplifying the process, expanding reach, and strengthening the historical social role they play.

The social role of community radios

What would a community be without the right to expression and quality information? This is where community radios play a vital role!

Playing an important and socially relevant role in the lives of the communities where they are broadcast, community radios give voice to local residents, allowing them to share their opinions and stories and discuss issues affecting the community.

Community radios are a valuable source of local news, covering events, issues, and important happenings. They are controlled and operated by members of the community itself, meaning that programming is specific to local needs and interests.

In addition to providing entertainment and information, they also serve as a platform for the expression of cultural, political, and social diversity, celebrating local traditions and heritage.

Difficulties in legalizing community broadcasting services

The process of granting a community radio license varies significantly from country to country, as each nation has its own broadcasting laws and regulations. However, in general, establishing a community radio involves several common steps:

Legislation and Regulation: Before starting the process, it is crucial to understand local laws and regulations related to community broadcasting. Each country will have specific requirements that must be followed.

Eligibility and Purpose: Often, eligibility to obtain a community radio license is linked to the non-profit status of the organization. Additionally, it is necessary to clearly define the educational, cultural, or community purpose of the station.

Technical Planning: It is essential to carry out technical planning, including determining transmission power, choosing frequency, and the intended coverage area. This is usually submitted as part of the application.

License Application: Interested parties must submit an application to the relevant broadcasting authority. This application typically includes information about the organization, operational plans, staff, and other relevant details.

Analysis and Evaluation: The regulatory agency reviews applications based on specific criteria, such as compliance with local laws, the educational and cultural merit of the station, and frequency availability.

Public Consultations: In some cases, authorities may conduct public consultations to ensure local community support. This may involve public hearings and opportunities for the community to express opinions on the community radio proposal.

License Grant: If the application is approved, the broadcasting authority grants a license to the organization to operate the community radio station. This license may include specific conditions that must be met.

Training and Operation: Before starting broadcasts, the community radio staff may receive technical and operational training. This is especially relevant if the station is operated by community volunteers.

Monitoring and Compliance: After operations begin, the station is monitored to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations. Violations may result in warnings, penalties, or even license revocation.

It is crucial to emphasize that, in many countries, community broadcasting is a powerful tool for promoting diversity of voices and citizen participation in the media. However, stakeholders must be aware of regulatory obligations and follow procedures established by competent authorities to ensure legal and successful community radio operation.

A new path for community radios

With the internet, possibilities have opened up, and a new form of communication with the community has emerged, facilitated and without bureaucracy, called audio streaming.

Web radios through audio streaming technology offer several advantages compared to the broadcasting system. Learn about the benefits of creating an online community radio.

No bureaucracy

Creating a web radio does not require licenses and does not restrict form and content. Signing up for a streaming plan is quick and easy. Just fill out a form with the data of the person in charge of the community web radio, pay the monthly fee, and the service will be available to the community.

Some streaming providers offer a free trial option, allowing a more informed choice according to the customer’s needs.

No geographical boundaries

Traditional broadcast radios classified as community have limited reach from the point where the transmitting antenna is installed. Web radios, on the other hand, have global reach. It doesn’t matter if a community listener is traveling; if they have internet access, they can follow the programming of the community web radio and stay informed about all events.

Low cost to execute the project

Audio streaming providers offer plans with affordable costs. By paying the plan’s monthly fee and acquiring a few pieces of equipment, it is already possible to start online community radio broadcasts.

No interference

Interference in traditional broadcasting can often occur, such as two radios competing for the same frequency, affecting audio quality and even making it impossible to understand what is being broadcast. Online radio eliminates this problem.

Web radio transmission occurs through encoding the audio signal in a digital format, such as MP3 or AAC, and transmitting the encoded data over the internet to listeners. The signal is transmitted from the web radio server to listeners’ devices, where it is decoded and played as audio. Listeners can access the web radio through their computers, smartphones, or other internet-connected devices without any interference.

Engaged community

Unlike traditional broadcasting, where all community members participating in programming have to go to a specific location to conduct broadcasts, streaming transmission can occur from any location with internet access. This opens up the possibility for more community members to participate in the project, creating engagement and strengthening the social role of the community radio.

Features a streaming plan can offer for community radios

A streaming plan goes beyond technology for internet audio broadcasting. The features of a streaming account can vary depending on the provider and the chosen plan. Here are some tools available in the market to pay attention to when making a choice.

Live or Recorded Programming: Basically what every provider offers. The user can conduct live broadcasts, providing space for interviews and debates, or set up Auto DJ to play playlists automatically. This allows the community web radio to be on the air 24 hours a day.

It is important to check if the streaming provider offers a tool called “dynamic queue in Auto DJ“. It allows you to add audio files to the Auto DJ execution queue without the need to edit the playlist. This means you don’t need to edit, save, and restart your playlist. It’s perfect for last-minute community news, important announcements, or song requests.

Manageable Website for Community Radio: It is possible to create and customize a website specifically for the community radio, easily and without prior programming knowledge, and use features such as a message board, polls, promotions, and chat to generate engagement with the community. The site will be the community’s address on the internet and will serve as a kind of content hub, with a channel for access and communication between the radio and the community.

Own App for Community Radio: It is necessary to be present on multiple platforms. In some streaming plans, it is possible to create an incredible app for the community web radio. Have you heard of a Web App? It’s a fantastic feature! Compatible with iOS, Android, and PC, it does not require installation or take up space on the phone. The app icon is saved like any other application.

Radio on TV (Google Cast): This feature allows people to listen to the community radio on TV through a player with Google Cast support, which displays the song name, cover, and program details. TV can be another channel for the audience to listen to the community web radio.

Content to complement programming: This is a feature worth checking out, as it can be a “handy” tool for the community web radio. Some streaming providers offer customers an incredible audio library with varied themes and excellent educational campaigns to enhance programming.

These are some of the features that will help boost your project and achieve the desired success on the internet.

Conclusion

Despite traditional radio broadcasts continuing to exist, it is essential to have an online presence.

The advantages of creating a community web radio are numerous, including expanded reach, greater interactivity, lower costs, flexible programming, and community participation opportunities. These advantages can help promote cultural and social diversity and strengthen community ties.

If you have a traditional community radio and want to enjoy the benefits of an internet radio, or if you have the desire to create a community radio in its essence but don’t want to face all the bureaucracy involved in the opening and legalization of a traditional community radio, streaming technology is an excellent alternative.

BRLOGIC is a leader in audio streaming and has the perfect solution to put your community radio on the internet. Visit our website and check out all the features.

About the author

Luiz Silveira

Luiz Silveira is a specialist in digital marketing and a radio, music and technology enthusiast. With a decade of experience, he aims to help radio stations better position thenselves on the internet.

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