Now it’s easier than ever to start your own radio station and earn money on the ads thanks to Radionomy. Today the European do-it-yourself online radio platform with 13 million listeners is scrapping its desktop software and relaunching as an all-browser based service.
Radionomy is also using some of its $6 million in funding from Musicmatic to open an office in the U.S. where it’s partnered with New York’s TargetSpot to sell audio ads to state-side businesses and let you earn thousands of dollars if your station is a hit.
Radionomy has had impressive growth since its launch in 2008 — 6,000 stations are active with 50 new ones made each day and 13 million monthly uniques racking up 42 million listening hours per month. But there’s more competition for ears than ever. Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, and Apple’s rumored upcoming radio service to name a few. Radionomy will need more listeners and ad dollars to attract broadcasters, and that’s not going to be easy.
There are also other ways for DJs, political wonks, gadget geeks, and other passionate folks to hit the digital airwaves. Live365 allows for similar music and talk broadcasting, and Spreaker provides live podcasting, too.
Radionomy does offer some cool features and advanced program scheduling if you want to get serious. You can record your own jingles, create music playlists from an available catalogue or upload your own jams, and you can record talk segments. Scheduling features let you loop and program your station up to a month in advance. Thanks to its new browser version, it’s quicker to get started and you can collaborate with anyone around the world. Have them play DJ while you can crack jokes between songs.
Radionomy’s most popular station Radio Mozart sees about 200,000 listening hours a month and gets paid roughly $2,000 a month in ad revenue share — about $1 per 100 listening hours. So if you can pull in a few thousand listeners for an hour a day, the four minutes per hour of ads Radionomy runs could net you some solid spending money.
But as I said, Radionomy needs a bigger listening audience on its web and mobile apps to make it all work. Spotify has grown to 4 million to 22 million monthly listeners in just a year. Radionomy’s VP of biz dev Thierry Ascarez tells me growth has been steady, but didn’t outline a clear path to significant growth beyond standard social sharing by station creators and listeners and a slew of other opportunities.
The startup should be aggressively focusing on recruiting professional podcasters, bloggers, and big celebrities to become brodcasters and bring along their existing audiences. Another route is arming station creators with more advanced promotion tools. Otherwise, it should consider concentrating on its Adionomy audio ad platform that Ascarez described as the audio AdSense of Europe. Bold words, but if it brought Adionomy to the U.S. with an aim at medium-sized businesses, and offered placements on both Radionomy and other music streams, it could carve out a nice ads business.
Otherwise, as the sun sets on the heyday of traditional radio, I imagine fewer people dreaming of being the next Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, John Peel, or Dick Clark. There are more vivid mediums like video to explore, and running a 24/7 Radionomy station requires a lot of attention in a very distracting world.