The idea that radio is dead has long been a topic of conversation in the music industry. Sure, there are massive radio shows on Sirius XM, and outside of that, it can be easy to assume that radio is dead since nobody really goes to their local stations to discover new music anymore. But that doesn’t mean that radio isn’t relevant at all. I would argue that it’s far from it.

Terrestrial radio may be on the decline, as it’s an industry that saw tech evolving and refused to adapt to the changes it brought, but that doesn’t mean that internet radio is done and gone. In fact, from what I’ve seen, it’s thriving more so than ever before. This, I would argue, is mainly due to people starting to be over being spoon-fed their music recommendations by algorithms on streaming sites. More and more casual music lovers want to find out new music from a human being, and they’re either turning back to radio or returning to platforms like Soundcloud for this type of experience.

So, let’s talk about how you can capitalize on this return to normalcy by starting a radio show of your own and growing it to the point where I can be a real asset to your career as an artist, producer, and DJ.

The Best Tool To Get Started Right Away

If you’re a professional DJ, you likely already have all of the tools you need to record a full DJ mix, record pro-level vocals over the top of the music and everything else you need to create amazing, radio-friendly content. But if that’s you already, then you’re probably not searching for answers on how to start a simple and easy way to start a show; you’re probably past that stage in your career.

If you’re new to the game or are a music producer looking to build a following and community online through online radio shows, then there is no better tool for it than DJ.Studio. You can create full-length DJ mixes of music found anywhere online, pulling music from the local files in your Rekordbox library, Spotify playlists, YouTube music, and more. From there, you can record your voiceovers and even upload the mix to the most popular streaming services.

And better yet, it’s completely free!

We’ll cover exactly how to make shows with it in a second, but for now, snag your free account right here so you have it ready when you’re ready to jump in completely.

Why Radio Is Still Relevant (…Especially For DJs)

People Are Tired Of Algorithms

People need real curators now more than ever…

Online radio offers unique advantages over algorithmic playlists by providing a more diverse and spontaneous listening experience. This is in direct contrast to the algorithms that spoon-feed us music on all the other popular streaming services.

One significant benefit is the discovery of music that algorithms might not select. Radio stations often play tracks outside of a listener’s typical preferences, introducing them to new and refreshing music curated by a REAL HUMAN. This element of surprise and variety is something automated playlists typically lack and will always have that X-Factor over algorithms.

Human DJs contribute by offering insights into the music and sharing personal anecdotes between tracks or at least connecting with their audiences with a personalized voice memo at the beginning or end of the DJ mix. This interaction creates a more engaging and relatable listening experience, especially for those who work from home and appreciate the occasional spontaneous conversation breaking up their day. It’s one of the main reasons I loved and listened so consistently to the Noisia Radio show!

Online radio also fosters a stronger connection to local and global communities.

If you can get your show syndicated on a station with a strong following in that territory, it can help you break into new markets even if you’re not actively touring or promoting yourself there (more on DIY syndication later in this article).

It Can Be An Asset To Your Career

I talked about this at length in a recent free eBook for musicians that I wrote, but if you’re a DJ and producer, you want to own your destiny as much as you can. You want to build on assets you can control instead of hoping somebody else will give you a chance at a gig or by signing you to their label. Building a successful radio show can be exactly that. Over the years, as you build up the show’s following and stay committed to its continual growth and quality, you can build a fantastic asset to your career that you own entirely.

Sure, this might seem like it’s playing the long game, but an even longer game still is playing a reactionary game of hoping somebody in the music industry will give you a shot… as that usually takes a lifetime, if it happens at all.

Will starting a radio show be the SINGLE thing that defines your career? Most likely not, but it is one asset you can continue to grow and leverage as you work toward building a sustainable career for yourself. And let us not forget, it’s also really fun to put together radio shows and DJ mixes to share to the world!

How To Put Together A Radio Show

As I said before, DJ.Studio is the fastest and most powerful software for making a radio-friendly DJ show. Between the playlisting functionality, music sourcing, AI-drive advice on track sequencing, the fact that it’s a DAW for DJs, and a TON of exporting options that allow you to publish music directly from the software, it’s a complete no-brainer.

Add on the fact that they’re actively making and developing tools to help with in-app voiceovers to create your intros and any other dialogue you need for your radio, and it’s best-in-class for what you get. We’ve covered the software a ton on the site, but here is a fast rundown of the workflow and its best qualities pulled from my comprehensive review later last year.

DJ.Studio Workflow

Step 1: Setup and Integration

  • Download and install DJ.Studio from the official website.
  • Upon launching the software, integrate it with your existing music libraries such as Mixed In Key, Rekordbox, or Serato. This step ensures seamless access to your music collection.

Step 2: Create a Playlist

  • Import your music files or playlists from local storage or online sources like YouTube and Spotify.
  • Organize your playlist within DJ.Studio, adding the tracks you plan to mix.

Step 3: Auto-Mix Feature

  • Use the auto-mix feature to generate a mix quickly. DJ.Studio’s algorithms will analyze your playlist, considering tempo and harmonic compatibility.
  • Within minutes, the software will create a seamless mix, arranging tracks and transitions automatically.

Step 4: Fine-Tuning with the Timeline Editor

  • Open the Timeline editor to review and adjust the auto-generated mix.
  • The visual interface allows you to edit transitions, adjust volumes, and add effects, similar to working in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).

Step 5: Export and Master Your Mix

  • Once satisfied with your mix, export it to various platforms or continue refining it in software like Ableton for further mastering.
  • DJ.Studio supports exporting in multiple formats, ensuring your mix is ready for performance or sharing online.

Step 6: Practice and Experiment

  • Utilize DJ.Studio to explore different track combinations and prepare for gigs.
  • The software’s rapid processing allows for quick experimentation, helping you discover new ways to enhance your sets.

Why DJ.Studio Is So Dope

Efficiency and Speed DJ.Studio’s advanced algorithms allow for rapid auto-mixing and playlist organization, significantly reducing the time spent manually arranging tracks. This efficiency means DJs can focus more on creative aspects rather than technical ones.

Integration and Compatibility The software’s ability to harmonize with various music sources, including Mixed In Key, Rekordbox, and Serato, makes it incredibly versatile. It supports various music formats and sources, ensuring you can use virtually any track in your library.

Sequence a DJ mix just like you’d produce a track in Ableton!

User-Friendly Interface The Timeline editor offers a visual representation of your mix, which is especially beneficial for both seasoned and novice DJs. It provides a clear view of transitions and track arrangements, making it easier to fine-tune the mix to perfection.

Innovative Features DJ.Studio’s Camelot Wheel-based harmonic matching ensures that mixes are harmonious and tempo-synchronized, enhancing the overall listening experience. This feature is particularly useful for maintaining a consistent flow in your sets.

An entire page of the software is devoted to community-made mixes, another great place to share your show!

Accessibility for All Users DJ.Studio is not just for professional DJs; it democratizes the DJing process, making high-quality mixing accessible to casual music lovers. Whether you’re creating a mix for a house party or exploring new music combinations, the software offers powerful tools that anyone can use.

Cost-Effective Solution By allowing users to test music compatibility before purchasing, DJ.Studio can save DJs significant amounts of money. This feature ensures you only buy tracks that fit well with your existing library, optimizing your music collection.

Enhanced Creative Control With features that allow detailed editing and integration with mastering tools, DJ.Studio provides a platform for DJs to enhance their creativity. It supports the creation of professional-grade mixes with minimal effort, allowing DJs to push the boundaries of their craft.

How To Grow An Online Radio Show

DIY Syndication

Professional radio syndication sites like Syndicast are the best for distributing your radio show worldwide. Still, they cost hundreds of dollars a month to access. Nora En Pure and other top-level, A-tier DJs certainly have the money to do that, but if you’re just starting, it’s way better and more cost-effective to do a little bit of DIY syndication.

What I mean by DIY syndication is to do a bunch of digging online and find different, smaller radio stations online that are hosting online radio shows and reach out to them and see if they need more music to fill their airwaves. Sites like Radio.Net are a great resource to aggregate countless online radio stations; all you need to do is type in your niche, and you’ll find different stations playing that genre. From there, click on the station and either go to their website or find an email on the page and shoot them a message introducing yourself, what music you play, and everything else.

Fair warning: not all of these stations are active, and it might require a lot of reaching out. Even still, it’s impossible to know just how many listeners each station has. But if you dedicate an hour a week, you can likely build up 100+ radio stations supporting your music after 4-5 months of casual emailing, and at that scale, it certainly makes an impact!

Social Media

You can use the same social media strategies Spotify curators use to grow their playlist to help grow your radio show. This could be posting a link to the latest episode on your Soundcloud or Mixcloud and tagging the artists that you supported in the comments or your story! With any luck, these artists will reshare your mix or radio show episode, getting more exposure over time. This strategy is a war of attrition though, so don’t expect a single post to make or break your radio station’s growth and trajectory.

Another thing that most artists don’t pay much attention to is the SEO of their DJ mixes when posting on social media. There have been entire YouTube channels that have blown up for their mixes simply because they know how to properly tag and label them so that they meet their fans where the fans are searching. Look at how search-friendly the DJ mixes are below, stuffed with keywords and names of artists. Your radio show wouldn’t be THIS optimized, but it is worth it to take some tips out of what they’re doing cause it’s clearly working.

Community Building

Once you build up your radio station to a certain size—and it doesn’t even have to be that big—you can start using it as an asset to build yourself a community. Because the radio show is a large enough platform for other artists, you could consider bringing on other DJs to do guest mixes on your radio show, which they can promote to their own audiences while taking a little of the work off your shoulders as well.

The Legality Of Playing Music Online (Ideally For Profit)

Full Disclaimer: we advise you to always seek guidance from qualified professionals or the appropriate authorities in your country regarding copyright and licensing. The information provided here is intended to guide you in the right direction and should not be considered legal advice.

When starting an online radio station, one of the primary considerations is whether a license is needed, which depends on the type of content and the broadcasting locations. Generally, broadcasting commercial music requires a license to avoid copyright infringement, as rights are typically held by recording artists or labels who earn royalties from public performances. Conversely, royalty-free music or talk radio does not necessitate a license. It is advisable to consult qualified professionals for legal guidance on copyright and licensing matters.

Internet radio stations often secure a “blanket license” or “umbrella license,” which allows them to play a wide range of copyrighted music. These licenses are usually annual and their cost varies by country. If licenses for certain countries are too costly, geo-protection can block access from those regions, ensuring compliance. This feature allows stations to manage their broadcasting reach and adhere to the legal requirements based on their specific licenses.

Different countries have distinct licensing bodies for music copyright and royalties. For example, PRS and PPL in the UK handle royalties for artists and record labels, respectively. In the USA, SoundExchange performs a similar role. Choosing the appropriate licensing body depends on the intended broadcast locations. Additionally, statutory licenses, applicable in the USA and other regions, cover pre-programmed non-interactive shows. For cost-effective licensing, stations can focus on specific countries or use royalty-free music, which requires a one-time payment for perpetual use.

Final Thoughts

Creating an online radio show can be an incredible way to make a valuable asset that you have total control over and is something that many aspiring DJs should look into. Sure, it’s a highly saturated space, and getting your music heard by a wide swath of people will undoubtedly take time, but it’s well worth it in the end.

People are getting fed up with Spotify for any number of reasons: artists don’t get the low payout and “music-is-content” mindset of the platform, and fans are getting tired of listening to one sad indie song only to have Spotify spoonfeed them nothing but other sad indie songs until the cows come home. People crave human-made music experiences, and that’s something even Independent Spotify playlists can’t deliver.

Online radio is accessible and easy, especially when using tools like DJ.Studio. So why not start yours for free and start building towards something bigger? We wish you all the best.

The post The Ultimate Guide To Internet Radio For DJs: Why It’s Relevant And How To Get Started In 2024 appeared first on Magnetic Magazine.