The worst thing the owner of an internet radio station can face is loosing their entire audience in a flash. There are many variables that can cause a station to "drop" it's audience. When this happens, a mental checklist kicks in. Is it the automation software? the computer itself, the internet provider, a power outage, the stream provider? and the list could go on and on. Sometimes it will take awhile to figure out where the problem originates.
In the meantime, there should be some kind of backup to ensure that the audience isn't lost for a long period of time. Edgewater Gold Radio has several backups but they're not all fool proof. We have three computers loaded with Nextkast, the radio automation software. In the even one fails or needs to be shut down for a Windows Update or some other reason, the backup is fired up. We also have the station running in "the cloud." If our live stream drops, the listeners will not be. The cloud automation immediately kicks in and provides programming until the live stream is restored.
The only way that our station could go completely off the air is if our stream provider (the company that distributes the internet stream via a variety of servers) goes down. Yes this happens but luckily not often. Sometimes there are server issues. We had this happen last week for about 45 minutes. Sometimes as was the case last week, only a portion of the country is affected. In this case, it was the east coast as there are different servers serving different areas. The only thing we can do in this case is to bite our nails and pray that the stream comes back up soon!