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A brief history of Streaming Radio
The world’s first internet radio station was designed by a man called Carl Malamud in 1993. Carl’s “Internet Talk Radio” channel featured interviews with public figures in science and technology. After demand for #RadioStreaming technology started to grow, other groups began to experiment. In 1993, the first internet concert appeared on air from the band “Severe Tire Damage.” In 1994, Mick Jagger opened a concert for the rolling stones online.
In 1994, the first traditional station to stream internet radio appeared. WXYC in North Carolina used an FM radio connected to a digital system to broadcast around the world. In the mid-1990s, technology brands also began to support the rise of internet radio, by designing applications that allowed users to stream content more easily on their computers.
The popularity of internet #RadioStations grew very quickly around the world.
In 1996, Virgin Radio in London started broadcasting their entire program live on the internet. In the early 2000s, the radio community began experimenting with streaming over HTTP protocols, making it easier to deliver digital content to the masses. We even learned how to make bandwidth use more economical, so that internet radio could become more efficient and effective. Today, the benefits of online radio continue to develop as companies come up with new and improved ways to package and transmit information online.
Way back in the 90’s internet radio wasn’t as easily as accessible as it is today with out of the box services like Radio.co, instead broadcaster tools at the time consisted of platforms like SHOUTcast and Icecast, which were a headache to setup on a server by yourself, but their contributions popularized streaming audio content and made internet radio what it is today.
The plethora of tools broadcasters could access grew to accommodate them. Pioneering internet radio service providers at the time offered the first hosted community platforms for internet radio station owners and listeners alike. Internet radio control panel software solutions would play their part too, as would the eventual rise of streaming music services. New media platforms were based on the somewhat radically different paradigm of control and choice for listeners, essentially being an “on-demand” service.
What this is really about however is the changes brought on by the portability of digital media formats started in the 1980's by the widespread availability of personal computers in the home. The rise of early new media file formats such mpeg, mpeg2, and mp3 offered acceptable trade-offs between compression, sound quality, and portability, which were initially championed by internet pirates, but rapidly become mainstream.
It's about how this portability would marry perfectly with the future ubiquitous smartphones and tablets, allowing listeners to take formerly unthinkable quantities of music with them anywhere. The radical ways in which the internet has changed all traditional media, not least radio, challenged consumption models so that any and all media can now be accessed by anyone and anywhere in the word instantly. Changes in society so powerful that even reluctant media empires would eventually be forced to adapt and meet the new ways in which their consumers wanted to access their entertainment choices.
There was a long period of time when the disruption and consumption of mediums like radio, TV, and movies were well established and subject to relatively little change, however the period we’re in now is in perpetual change with the help of the internet, leading to us consider where to next? According to many marketing and media experts, the internet radio station will be a big part of the entertainment landscape going forward. Countless people are now using their phones and other devices to stream content, and many modern radio sets come with Wi-Fi connections built-in.
The freedom that comes with internet radio as a method of listening to music from anywhere with an internet connection also makes it very appealing.
However, there will be challenges to overcome, like the limited portability of internet radio streaming for people on the move. The chances are that internet radio will be a crucial component for the future of broadcasting, but it won’t be our only option. DAB will share the spotlight with internet-based channels going forward. Additionally, for a while, there’s a good chance that FM will stick around in certain parts of the world too.