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What is audio streaming?

In recent years, there has been much talk about streaming. Platforms that utilize this technology have gained popularity among internet users. But do you know exactly what streaming is? Today, we will specifically talk about audio streaming.

Audio streaming is a technology that allows the transmission of music or other audio content over the internet without the need to download the files before listening to them.

The audio is transmitted in small packets, which are received by the user’s device and played in real-time, allowing the user to access a wide range of audio content without needing to store it locally.

This is possible thanks to technologies that enable large amounts of information to be transmitted efficiently over the internet.

The emergence of audio streaming

Audio streaming emerged in the 1990s with the popularization of the internet and the availability of broadband. Initially, internet audio streaming was limited by technical factors such as bandwidth and audio quality.

However, with the evolution of technology and advancements in internet connection quality, audio streaming has become a popular way to listen to music and other types of audio. Today, many music streaming services offer access to millions of songs and podcasts, making audio delivery an integral part of digital culture.

Types of streaming

Audio streaming is divided into two main categories.

On-demand streaming: It is a form of audio transmission on the internet where users can choose what to listen to. This means that the user does not need to follow a schedule or wait for the start of a specific program. They can choose the content they want to listen to at any time.

Live streaming: It is a form of real-time audio transmission on the internet. This allows users to listen only to what is being broadcasted at that exact moment, whether it’s live events or performances, or even scheduled content on the Auto DJ programming grid. This type of transmission is widely used by online radio stations.

Transmission Formats

Now that you know what audio streaming is and the types of transmission, let’s touch on the formats.

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III) – Undoubtedly the most popular format. It’s a type of compression file that generated doubts among CD advocates when digital music started to become popular over ten years ago, but it conquered the market and consumers over time. MP3 transmission has broader reach because it’s compatible with a larger number of software and applications.

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) – It is a digital audio encoding format developed to be a more efficient file size alternative to MP3. It is widely used for streaming music and other audio content. AAC offers superior audio quality to MP3, especially in high-frequency tracks. Although AAC is widely supported on many devices, there are still some devices and platforms that are not compatible. Some audio editing software may also have difficulties handling AAC-encoded audio files.

Ogg Vorbis – An open-source format that offers higher compression and slightly better efficiency than MP3.

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) – A lossless format that provides high-quality audio with smaller compression rates.

The choice of format depends on the specific needs of each project and the streaming platforms in use.

Famous Applications Using Streaming Technology

Audio streaming technology is widely used by various popular applications, including music services, podcasts, and online radios. Some of the well-known ones include:

Spotify: This is one of the largest music streaming services globally, with millions of songs available for streaming and download. Additionally, Spotify offers personalized recommendations based on the user’s listening history.

Apple Music: As the name suggests, this is Apple’s music service, with millions of songs and playlists available for streaming. Apple Music also offers a radio section with live and recorded stations.

SoundCloud: This is a popular platform for independent artists, producers, and musicians to share their music with the audience. Additionally, SoundCloud also offers a discovery section to find new artists and music.

These are just a few of the famous applications that use audio streaming technology. The popularity of audio streaming has grown rapidly in recent years, and it is likely that we will see even more applications emerging in the field.

Consumer Audio Streaming Usage

The global music streaming market was valued at $21.5 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of around 22% until 2027.

According to research, users between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most tolerant of using audio streaming services, followed by the age group between 25 and 34.

Users tend to use music streaming services primarily on their smartphones, followed by laptops and tablets, listening to about 4 hours of music per week.

It is important to note that these statistics may vary from country to country, and the audio streaming industry is constantly evolving.

Advantages of Using Streaming

For streaming consumers, the advantage is obvious. Users can start listening to audio instantly without having to wait for the complete download. Additionally, audio streaming is more efficient in terms of data storage as it does not require files to be saved on their device. This is especially important for mobile devices, which typically have limited storage space.

From the streaming provider’s perspective, the main advantages are global reach and ease of content transmission at an affordable cost.

Audio streaming expands the horizons of what is possible through voice communication. Thanks to audio streaming, everyone can easily broadcast their messages and be heard by the whole world.

Who can benefit from audio streaming technology?

When we think of streaming, it’s hard not to think of radio. It is through audio streaming technology that radio broadcasts occur on the internet.

But if you think that only web radios, AM/FM radio stations, and community radios benefit from this technology, you are mistaken! There is a world of possibilities and utilities for the use of audio streaming.

Streaming for clubs, associations, and NGOs

Hiring an audio streaming service allows clubs, associations, and NGOs to communicate efficiently with their members and followers, transmitting information, news, and important events.

This can help strengthen bonds and allows members and followers to share their opinions and experiences through live programs and discussions. Additionally, it creates an online presence for the organization, enabling it to reach a broader audience and attract new members.

By hiring audio streaming, the organization demonstrates leadership and innovation, which can help improve its reputation and increase member engagement.

Streaming for churches

Audio streaming can be an excellent option to create a stronger connection between the faithful and the church. It can help bring people to the church environment, even when they refuse to leave their homes.

There are a multitude of content that can be broadcasted, such as gospel music, services, and sermons, dissemination of religion-related news, as well as facilitating interaction with members.

Streaming for stores, supermarkets, hotels, and gyms

The benefit of streaming extends to stores, supermarkets, hotels, and gyms. How? By hiring an audio streaming service, the establishment will have all the necessary tools to create playlists to play like an indoor radio, but with the advantage that customers can continue listening from home through the website and app.

Promoting offers, promotions, and new features in the programming schedule will undoubtedly increase the flow of customers returning to the establishment and attract new consumers.

Streaming for public institutions

It is a very efficient tool to promote, discuss, and publicize public interest actions that are being addressed by politicians or government agencies.

Streaming for public institutions can be an excellent channel to inform and be accountable to the population, facilitating access to quality information about the progress of projects.

Streaming for schools and universities

This technology can bring great benefits to schools and universities as it facilitates the sharing of important information with students, teachers, and staff, and can reach a wider audience, including other students, alumni, parents, and various community members.

Streaming allows schools and universities to create personalized and diverse radio programs, covering everything from academic subjects to music, news, and more.

It can also be used as a study platform for students to develop their media and communication skills, such as presentation, program production, reporting, and journalism.

Streaming for DJs & Bands

Creating a web radio can be a valuable tool for promoting the work of DJs and bands, as it allows them to reach a broader and more diverse audience. This means that DJs and bands can expand their fan base and present their music to a much larger audience than that of a local radio station, broadcasting their music 24/7 without worrying about transmission schedules.

A web radio can be an additional source of income for DJs and bands, especially if they can attract advertisers and sponsors.

In summary, creating a web radio can be an incredible opportunity for DJs and bands, allowing them to expand their audience, increase their online presence, and diversify their income.

How much does an audio streaming plan cost?

The cost of an audio streaming provider can vary widely depending on the level of features and services you need. Some providers offer free solutions with basic and limited features, while others charge a monthly or annual fee.

The cost can be affected by factors such as the amount of audio traffic, required storage, streaming quality, the need for live support, app availability, among others.

Additionally, some providers may charge extra fees for additional traffic or storage, so it’s important to consider all costs when choosing a provider.

In general, audio streaming providers offer different plans with varied prices to cater to different needs and budgets. It’s important to carefully assess your needs and compare different options before choosing a provider.

Finding the best streaming provider

To find the best audio streaming provider for broadcasting content on the internet, it’s important to consider a few points, such as audio quality, features, cost, support, integration with other platforms, and flexibility.

Choose a provider that offers good audio quality without interruptions or distortions. Opt for a company that provides user-friendly features to manage the stream, including the ability to schedule programs and do live streaming. Don’t forget to check if the provider offers a ready-made website and applications. This will make it easier to promote the streamed content.

Compare different providers and choose the one that offers a good balance between features and price. The support should be reliable, including live assistance and self-service resources like forums and knowledge bases. Additionally, it’s important to check if the provider has a good reputation by reviewing comments and ratings from other users before making a decision.

Some audio streaming providers offer a free trial option with no commitment. This way, you can evaluate the platform and support to facilitate decision-making.

By conducting thorough research and comparing different options, you will find the ideal audio streaming provider for broadcasting on the internet.

Besides the streaming provider, what else is needed to broadcast audio content over the internet?

Alright, you’ve chosen your streaming provider with the best cost-benefit ratio, but what’s next? Where do you start?

If your intention is to only broadcast prerecorded content, you won’t need many tools. Just a computer or laptop with a reliable internet connection will do the job, as you can perform broadcasts using Auto DJ.

Now, if your intention is to do live broadcasts with commentary, you’ll need audio equipment such as microphones and headphones. A sound mixer is an optional piece of equipment, but if used wisely, it can expand the possibilities.

A broadcasting and automation software is also necessary. There are several options available in the market, both paid and free. You need to assess your needs to make the best choice!

How will listeners access my content?

Broadcasting audio content on the internet is straightforward, but the question is: how will people find that content?

Considering the challenge of promoting broadcasts, some streaming providers offer tools that will make the client’s life easier, such as a manageable website, applications, web apps, and more. Let’s learn a bit more about these resources:

Manageable website: It’s a ready-made and customizable website that allows you to personalize it according to your preferences, changing colors, module positions, and even creating additional pages. The manageable website includes features like message boards, music requests, polls, space for sponsors and partners’ promotion, chat rooms, and more.

Applications and web apps: You can simplify access to your audio content by providing listeners with your own application. Choose colors, add your name, define desired modules such as program schedules, message boards, chat, music requests, alarm clock features, and give it your own touch.

Do you understand now why choosing the right provider is so important? They will provide the tools that will help you achieve the desired success.

Conclusion

Audio streaming technology is extremely important for the music and entertainment industry, offering a wide range of options for listeners worldwide. However, it is also a valuable tool for increasing the online presence of other sectors, expanding customer base and loyalty, and consequently increasing revenue and engagement.

This technology has definitely come to stay. With the knowledge of how to use it, success is guaranteed!

When it comes to streaming, BRLOGIC is the best choice, regardless of your project. Explore our plans and take advantage of a free, no-obligation trial!

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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