Starting an Internet Radio Station---You Don't Need All The "Bells and Whistles"
When it comes to internet radio stations,the technology has changed drastically over the past 10 years but lots of former terrestrial broadcasters are sort of "stuck in the past." They think that internet radio must model terrestrial broadcasting meaning they need a large studio, expensive processing equipment, an expensive broadcast audio console etc. etc etc. This is simply not true thanks to today's technology.
You can target your internet station to meet your specific needs. If you're broadcasting a music format and will be voice tracking and doing live shows with no live phone calls, you do not need an expensive broadcast quality audio console. This is especially true if all of your music is digitized. You also don't need a large space. A room set up as a small studio in your home will work fine. Keep in mind that most internet only radio broadcasters, work solo or with some remote DJ's and don't have a large budget. Just because it's not a big operation doesn't mean that you can't sound "big."
You do want to sound professional and put out a high quality sound. Radio automation software is a crucial part of your broadcasting experience. Some of today's software has so many features including high quality processing. You also need a high quality mic and a quiet space to work. A small mixer will do fine.
Keep this in mind. If you're an internet radio only station, why purchase all the expensive processing equipment which can cost thousands of dollars? There is great processing software available some of which is free. Bit rate matters. The higher the bit rate, the better the sound quality. You will have to spend between $1,500 and $2,000 initially to get things going in the right direction.
Yesterday I sampled my station Edgewater Gold Radio on an Amazon Echo device. then I sample full blown local FM and LPFM stations. Edgewater Gold Radio's sound quality was as good as or better than these FM stations.
Broadcasters mind sets must change. Radio isn't like it used to be. I see broadcasters with a large audio console, utilizing one channel for broadcasting! Before automation announcers had to utilize multiple channels, CD players, cart players, traffic, news etc. etc. etc.
If you're an internet only station, concentrate on quality programming, make sure your sound is professional. The listener doesn't care at all if you're in a full blown studio with all of the fancy schmantzy equipment----they could care less. All they care about is hearing the program that they want with high quality sound!
So the moral of the story " small can be big."