As I’ve written about before I have been streaming online for a little over 4 years now. From humble beginnings at East End Radio and a fledgling KONA Radio my station saw slow and steady growth to where it became the most listened to SL based radio station. The inclusion into the iTunes Radio listings helped tremendously also. But success came at a price. As my listenership increased so did my costs. The Licensing fees were $45.00 a month, the Shoutcast server was $18.00, and my SL tier was $8.00. On a good month I would have enough in sponsorships, advertising, and DJ tips to cover the costs. As time went buy it started to become a burden, a hassle to scrounge for the money. While it felt good knowing that thousands of people around the world liked my station enough to tune in at least once a week it just didn’t pay the bills. I do have a few hardcore fans who tune in everyday and perhaps my best fans were my sponsors. They forked over the money knowing well that their contribution did more to keep me broadcasting than it ever helped their bottom line.
As many of my predecessors and current colleagues will tell you, you ain’t going to get rich broadcasting online. Count yourself lucky if you can break even. The current royalty scheme is very much leveled against the little guy. There is simply no way they can get ahead. It’s like we pay them the privilege to broadcast their music. For those who can’t find a sugar daddy to cover our costs or have enough disposable income to cover the costs we all reach a point where we fold up and move on once our drive to share is spent.
So, where to now? I have already dropped my listing on iTunes which contributed to about %60 of my listener hours. I will also drop my current Shoutcast server in favor of a cheaper Icecast server. This will also shed a number of my SL and web based listeners. I’ll be using .OGG format which will give me a superior sound for the same bit rate. There will also be no advertising and station breaks will be less frequent. The station name will also change to “KONA Stream” to match the station website name. If you wish to listen or continue listening to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or look my profile up in SL.