Audio streams and podcasts are very popular in the business world. They are a great way to connect with your ideal audience and share information with them. They are an excellent way to build your business brand.
People have always enjoyed audio content – just look at the popularity of radio shows over the decades. Audio streaming is a modern format for audio content.
One of the big advantages of audio streaming is that people can listen live or on-demand when they have time. Creating an audio streaming website in 2022 is a great way to connect with your target audience and build awareness of your brand and the causes your business stands for.
Whether your ideal audience is commuting, washing dishes, or doing anything else, podcasts and online radio can entertain and inform them about your brand.
In this post, we will explore the topic of audio streaming. We’ll cover what you need to know about building an audio streaming platform of your own. Specifically, we will take a look at two types of audio streaming, where to host your audio stream, monetization options, how to host a high-quality audio stream, and more.
Table of Contents
- How to Create an Audio Streaming Website
- High-Quality Audio Streaming
- Where to Upload and Host Your Audio Steam
- How to Monetize Your Audio Streaming
- On-Demand vs. Live Audio Streaming
- Analytics for Podcasts
To that end, this article reviews key topics you might overlook if you’re new to the game.
Let’s get started!
How to Create an Audio Streaming Website
Podcast and radio hosts like Anchor, Apple Podcasts, and the like are great options for beginners with low budgets, but embedding and hosting your audio streams directly on your website is the best way to share audio online.
It gives you total ownership of your content and eliminates any rules or community guidelines that could hold you back from creating the audio streams that you want.
We will use Dacast as our example of how to build an online audio platform. This process and concept should be similar if you choose to host your content on another platform as well.
Keep in mind, if you’re here specifically to learn how to make a live podcast or how to make a music streaming website, not all video platforms support live audio and 24/7 broadcasting. Dacast does. With that said, let’s go over how to create an audio streaming website.
1. Choose a Hosting Provider and CMS
To start with, you need a website where you can embed your audio player. If you don’t have a website yet, two popular website hosting services are GoDaddy and Bluehost.
Both website hosting services work well with WordPress, which is one of the most used website content management systems (CMS). With WordPress, you get to design the layout of your website.
2. Choose an Audio Streaming Platform
Next, you need an audio streaming platform. There are many audio streaming platforms, or you can work with a professional video platform that offers audio-only capabilities.
One of the top reasons why you may want to use a professional video platform is because it can offer you a wide range of tools that can allow you to grow your business, such as:
- Broadcast audio 24/7
- Live audio streaming
3. Log in to your Dacast account
Again, for simplicity, we will just continue using Dacast as an example.
Once you have your audio streaming website ready, embedding your audio stream is pretty easy, especially if you’re hosting audio streams with Dacast.
When you’re logged in your Dacast account, you’ll look for your list of live channels.
- Then click on the audio channel or audio file you plan to embed on your website.
- On the next page, you’ll click “ Publish Settings ”.
Here is also where you’ll find a share code, which is just a simple URL, to share with your following.
4. Embed the Audio Player Onto Your Website
Copy + paste the embed code onto your website. Most online radio stations embed a player at the top of their website. Alternatively, you can embed it on the websites of partners. This is simply another option when you’re hosting your audio stream professionally.
These are the simple steps on how to transmit audio over the internet using your own audio streaming platform.
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Now that you have your website set up, let’s talk about how to live stream high-quality audio specifically. In this next section, we’ll dive deeper into encoding settings.
In 2022, we believe that AAC provides the best high-quality audio streaming for most situations. Many people are familiar with MP3, so we’ll compare AAC to that to give you a better idea. When compared to MP3, you’ll generally achieve high-quality live audio streaming at similar bitrates. You’ll find the difference more obvious when streaming at lower bitrates (<128 kbps).
With that in mind, audio streams at Dacast are encoded using the high-quality AAC codec and delivered via HLS streaming protocol . That means the stream can be accessed on any device.
Encoding Your Audio Files
You may want to encode your audio files at different quality levels depending on what you are trying to achieve. Here are some basic recommendations:
- Low Quality(Smallest File Size): 32-64 kbps, mono, 44100 Hz
- High Quality (Medium File Size): 128-192 kbps, stereo, 44100 Hz
- Excellent Quality (Larger File Size): 256-320 kbps, stereo, 44100 Hz
For simple voice conversations, the first option may be fine. For music, you will want to go with option 2. If high-quality audio streaming is your number one consideration, choose option 3.
To deliver a high-quality live audio streaming experience to listeners with all types of internet speeds, Dacast allows you to stream audio in multiple bitrates . Essentially, this functionality considers your listener’s internet speed and automatically serves the best possible quality. This helps prevent problems with buffering and lag. In short, if you want a high-quality audio streaming service, Dacast is an excellent choice.
Next, let’s explore two of the encoder settings more in-depth.
Mono vs. Stereo: Recommended Channel
Let’s quickly discuss the two possible channels: mono vs. stereo. You’ll find this under encoding settings.
Generally, you’ll want to choose stereo for high audio quality when streaming because.
There are rare exceptions where you’d want to consider mono , such as if you plan to sing or play an instrument solo, but stereo is definitely most common nowadays.
Mono audio is when only a single sound signal is sent to all the speakers. With mono audio, the sound often seems narrower and more unclear.
With stereo audio, two audio signals are sent out, one to teach of a set of speakers using two different channels. One sends information to the left speaker and another to the right speaker.
You can create a feeling of directionality, perspective, and space with stereo channels.
Stereo audio is considered better for the average listener as it produces wider and more realistic sounds.
Audio Sample Rate
Generally, the higher the audio sample rate number is the fuller the sound. However, the larger the number, the more data that is used.
For this reason, we recommend 44.1 Khz (same as 44,100 Hz) as the audio sample rate for high-quality audio when live streaming. Again, there are exceptions, but professionals commonly use 44.1 Khz.
Where to Upload and Host Your Audio Steam
With the rising popularity of online broadcasting, countless businesses in diverse sectors are getting involved in audio streaming. These include education and entertainment, comedy, sports, music, news, business, religion, and beyond.
Despite their different industries, these businesses all face similar technical challenges when it comes to podcasting. Most notably, the question of where to host your audio files for streaming is an important one. Most audio streamers choose to use streaming media hosting platforms.
With the differentiation between live and on-demand streaming in mind, let’s consider the benefits of dedicated streaming solutions . Your streaming solution, which is also known as an online video platform, is where you can host your audio content.
One major advantage of an online video platform like Dacast is native support for live streaming audio. Most podcast hosting services center around hosting and delivering pre-recorded content. They don’t support live broadcasts at all.
In contrast, streaming platforms with audio hosting capabilities like Dacast provide functionality and power for live streaming. So if you’re looking for a music hosting service so that you can perform live, you should consider Dacast.
Dacast supports both scheduled events and 24/7 broadcasting. And since the content lives in your video CMS and is distributed via a powerful live-streaming CDN (Content Delivery Network), you can scale to large, globally distributed audiences without buffering or lag problems. Dacast also offers a multi-CDN solution for very large or important events where you don’t want to risk your stream getting cut off.
Dacast also supports the three types of monetization: ad-based, subscription, and pay per stream.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many podcast hosting services offer only limited storage. Often, they offer less than 1 GB per month—and sometimes just 100 MB or even less. In comparison, Dacast offers 50 GB of storage for just $39 per month with our Starter plan. That’s enough storage for hundreds of podcasts encoded at very high quality.
Therefore, if you’re streaming a lot of audio, or streaming super high-quality files, Dacast may be the best choice. Dacast also offers the ability to purchase extra storage if needed and allows for automatic overage protection if your podcast goes viral. Additionally, you can protect audio streams with passwords when you want to limit your listeners.
How to Monetize Your Audio Streaming
This next section is for those wondering, “Can you monetize a podcast?” In short, the answer is definitely yes.
As podcasts become more popular, revenue from this type of streaming is booming. In fact, it’s projected to keep growing 31.1% year over year from 2021-2025.
When the concept of podcasts was newer, the idea of how to monetize a podcast was still a mystery. Now, in the world of podcasting and online radio , there are three proven ways to approach podcast monetization: advertising, subscriptions, and selling services/products. Additionally, broadcasters can opt to use pay-per-view for monetizing a podcast, but this isn’t as common.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to monetize your podcast.
One of the top ways of monetizing podcasts is with advertising. There are different ways to incorporate advertisements into your content with audio content.
One of the most common ways to incorporate content is by running commercials on your podcast. You can run audio commercials at the beginning, end, or even in the middle of your content.
Talk about a Product
With podcasts, many hosts will choose to talk about a product by integrating it into the podcast in a natural way. For example, if you run a health podcast, you may talk about a specific health product, such as talking about a specific type of protein powder.
This can be a natural way to partner with a brand by incorporating their content directly into the podcast. Just be sure to disclose that you have a paid partnership with the brand in the podcast .
Run Ads from Advertising Networks
Another way is to insert ads from the advertising networks. Dacast supports ad insertion with popular advertising networks. This is one reason why Dacast is one of the best podcast hosts for monetization because many video platforms do not popularly support advertising.
It’s also very easy to do: just copy an ad URL from your ad serving provider, then paste it into the Dacast backend.
The key is finding partnerships relevant to your main topic and your ideal audience so that it doesn’t seem forced or salesy.
Another popular way to monetize your content is through subscriptions, where people pay a subscription fee to access your show. You will need a secure paywall in order for people to pay the subscription fee.
Dacast streaming solution includes a built-in paywall with various configuration options. It supports credit cards and PayPal, as well as multiple currencies. This provides podcasters with the ability to quickly launch and monetize premium audio streaming.
Allowing your audience to subscribe is a good way to build a deeper relationship with your audience. You can start building your audience by offering a few free podcasts that are value-packed and then offering a subscription for access to the rest of your content.
Offering a subscription after offering a few free podcasts is a great way to build people’s interest and to get your audience more invested in your content.
We live in an age that loves feeling like they’re a part of a community, and that’s why so many people happily pay to be a part of communities even though so many free options are available.
3. Sell Your Products or Services
Selling your own product or services is arguably the best way to monetize a podcast. In practice, it’s very common to start by giving your audience free advice surrounding particular subjects.
For example, let’s say you’re a Facebook ads specialist looking to sell consulting services to businesses. On your podcast, you can take the approach of answering frequently asked Facebook ads questions.
By doing this, you establish yourself as an authority among the eyes of your ideal target audience. Once you’ve done enough podcasts and helped enough people, the rest will come naturally.
If you stick with it, one of your listeners will eventually want to scale up their social media ad spend. When they do, they’ll naturally think of you when they’re looking to hire someone for Facebook ad implementation or consulting. The concept applies for practically every profession (legal, sales, accounting, etc.).
Keep in mind that you don’t have to go from giving free advice straight to higher ticket sales. Sometimes it helps to have a less costly service or product as a stepping stone. For example, the Facebook ads specialist may want to make a downloadable PDF with 100 proven Facebook ad templates and then sell it for a small price of $9. That way, the podcaster appeals to people with all types of budgets and goals.
Using pay-per-view is another way of monetizing podcasts and audio streams. A paywall can charge for access per episode or for access to a series of entire shows.
Again, this is not very popular.
On-Demand vs. Live Audio Streaming
There are two main types of online audio streaming: on-demand and live.
On-demand is podcast-style audio. Listeners can play an episode at any time. Content is always available in an archive, stored in your video content management system .
The second common type is live audio streaming , which is like internet radio. Businesses may use live audio streaming for a single event or broadcast, after which they can make the recording available on-demand.
Alternatively, you might choose to do 24/7 audio broadcasting in the style of linear streaming. This is the case for online radio.
Both approaches are valuable in their own way, and many broadcasters might choose to use both approaches if it is appropriate for the context.
Analytics refers to capturing data about your viewers. You can use this data to help increase the quality of your work going forward.
The most basic analytic data includes:
- Number of listeners
- Listener locations (country and city-level data)
- Average listening time
- Most popular shows
- Most popular device types
- Revenue data, broken down by time, device, and location
Dacast also offers innovative real-time analytics. This means that audio live streamers can get real-time information about audiences as they broadcast, which is pretty valuable.
How to Use Analytics (Examples)
Let’s go more in-depth on ways to put analytics into action.
One way to use analytics is to see where most of your listeners live. For example, if you see a lot of your viewers coming from New York City(NYC), that’s helpful to explore. Why is a lot of your traffic coming from NYC? Maybe an influencer in the area shared your podcast. Or maybe your humor just really resonates with people from NYC. You can learn a lot about your audience by diving into analytics.
To take it a step further, since obviously your podcast is liked by people in NYC, you can consider running ads in the area to further advertise your podcast.
Let’s use another example. Say you are getting a lot of traffic from Nashville, Tennessee but for some reason, you’re making more revenue from NYC where you have less of a following. Now you know to spend more time and money advertising to people in NYC because it’s proving to be a higher return on your investment.
Of course, the specific decisions you make will be different depending on your goals and your main monetization strategy.
Audio streaming is growing more and more popular for good reason. It’s a great way to get your content out there in a way that is easy and convenient to access. Thanks to streaming platforms like Dacast, it’s easy to start streaming today.
If Dacast sounds like an audio streaming platform you’d like to try, you can sign up for our 14-day free trial (no credit card required) below. That way, you can test out all of our great features before making a commitment, and we can answer any questions you may have during the process.
What’s been your experience streaming podcasts? Let us know in the comments below.