What is Loudcaster?
Loudcaster is a place to run your own radio station and interact with people that tune in. There are no servers to manag, no complicated technology to negotiate and generally no legal issues, but more on that later. All you need to bring is your content and creativity. If you're an experienced basement or bedroom broadcaster you'll already be familiar with the concept, but you'll notice our approach to online radio and the audience is new and unique.
How does Loudcaster work?
You can broadcast live or unattended. To broadcast live you can use just about any of the dozens of commercial or free broadcasting apps for Windows, Mac or Linux that can push a shoutcast or icecast stream to us. The unattended broadcast run off of the mp3 files you upload, and they play out anytime your live broadcast isn't running.
Exactly what do I need to broadcast on Loudcaster?
You need MP3 files for your unattended broadcast. You'll probably want to park a few gigs worth on the server. You upload the files through a web browser. Just drag and drop files with Chrome or Firefox. Live broadcasts depend on your operating system. Windows users will need something like RadioBOSS, SAM (Spacial) or Station Playlist Manager. Mac users will use something like Nicecast or Ladiocast.
Why do you charge a fee?
Primarily to because we allow you to broadcast any content you want, including music. Most broadcasting services pass on the responsibility. This means you risk getting shut down or sued by copyright owners. We've happy with the radio echo system we've built. Broadcasters get have a low cost way to express themselves, the audience gets a quality experience and musicians get paid.
Will I ever be able to make money if I get popular?
Yes, in time. It takes a pretty big audience to generate sponsorship revenue. We have the strength of an entire network at Loudcaster and we will share sponsorship revenue with broadcasters. The bigger issue is there are still no sure-shot revenue streams for online radio. We all know of Pandora, the biggest online radio company. They go between break-even and profitable quarters. A challenge for them is a challenge for everyone.
Is it really legal???
Absolutley! We want people to have fun with no worries. We pay royalties to music composers, artists and record labels through ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange. This is good. You're helping musicians get paid so they can make more music. Plus you don't have to worry about your broadcast getting shut down. There are rules though.
We're a United States, so we can't speak to the laws for broadcasters outside the United States.
Any online broadcaster in the United States is required to be DMCA compliant, that means Pandora, CBS, ClearChannel, even on Loudcaster so that means and even you :)
All the content on Loudcaster is user contributed, that means it's put here by you not us. Loudcaster operates as a user contributed radio network, think of it like community access television, but everyone can have their own channel.
The license Loudcaster operates within is not passed through to you, it exists on the network where the content is placed. This network consists of Loudcaster.com and official Loudcaster apps. That means someones eye, ears and mouse-clicks go through an official Loudcaster app. If you re-publish your channel outside of the network then you lose the music royalty benefit of Loudcaster. That means Loudcaster plays no role in your broadcast beyond a simple host and you take on the responsibility for any applicable music royalties.
The license Loudcaster operates within can not be applied to commerical business purposes. That means if you're hoping to run content through Loudcaster on behalf of another business to get music royalties paid at $9.95 per channel, it ain't gonna happen. Commercial AM/FM pay the rates negotiated by the National Association of Broadcasters. Music delivery services like DMX and Muzak have a different rate structure ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange can help you with that.