Best SHOUTcast hosting
Online radio station streaming has grown in popularity in recent years. It is a great way to reach a wide audience.
There is one important step before starting up your station. Make sure you choose the right hosting service.
We will go over what to look for with SHOUTcast hosting.
Different hosting sites offer different benefits and have certain limitations. Here is what you need to know to make an informed decision.
What is SHOUTcast hosting used for?
SHOUTcast is a program that allows the user to stream audio on the internet. This makes it ideal for streaming radio stations online.
The user can try to stream the audio themselves. Although streaming yourself is not recommended.
Streaming requires a lot of bandwidth to hold a stable connection. You also need a powerful server to reach larger audiences.
SHOUTcast hosting sites will stream your station for you. They have the bandwidth and servers capable of hosting multiple stations at once. They also have the experience to make sure your station can succeed.
Some SHOUTcast hosting sites offer your choice of VPS or dedicated servers. Shared hosting will not work at the required performance level.
Using SHOUTcast for your station is also great because it is free for your listeners. With there being no cost, listeners can discover new stations and genres of music. There is no setback for them because of there not being a price tag. This makes your chance of growing your audience significantly higher.
Keeping people on their servers also benefits you. The more people searching their stations, the more traffic you can attract to your station.
SHOUTcast has over 87,000 stations and is still growing. There are 25 genres, each with many sub-genres to choose from. SHOUTcast has a genre for everyone.
SHOUTcast is a pioneer of the online radio streaming service. Starting in 1998, they have over 20 years of experience.
How did we pick the best SHOUTcast hosting?
When looking at choosing the best hosting site, it is important to know what you will be receiving. Speed, storage and reliability are important for SHOUTcast hosting sites.
The best SHOUTcast hosting sites use virtual private servers or dedicated servers. We do not recommend shared servers for SHOUTcast. It is also a good idea to choose a hosting site that uses SSDs. The old HDD standard does not have the same speed as an SSD.
You also want to look at the amount of storage space it allows you for your audio. The more storage space you’re given, the more variety you have for your station. Bandwidth is also very important. High bandwidth means higher quality audio output, and more people listening to your stream.
You also have to make sure the hosting site supports your operating system. Most sites support Windows 2000 or later, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Reliability and support are also key to being the best hosting sites. Most SHOUTcast hosting sites have many servers set up in different countries. This prevents service loss and increases uptime.
If something goes wrong, you will need support. There are different support options for different hosting sites, whether it be by phone, email, or live chat. The support you prefer is completely your preference, but live chat seems to be the fastest solution. Some live chat support response times are around one minute, helping your stream issue being resolved quickly.
One thing to remember about all these features you are looking for comes with a price. Compare prices of the different hosting sites with comparable services. Some services may only be available with higher-priced packages, so keep that in mind.
Why do I need SHOUTcast hosting?
The need for SHOUTcast hosting sites arises when you want to stream a radio station online. You can stream the site yourself with SHOUTcast, but get none of the benefits of hosting sites. With SHOUTcast hosting sites you get their security. Access to backup servers to prevent lost connections.
There are other radio streaming services online. SHOUTcast is the pioneer of the service though. With over 20 years of experience and many sites hosting their services. SHOUTcast has more stations than its competitors.
SHOUTcast hosting sites are all over the world. You can find a hosting site no matter what size your audience is. There are sites better suited for radio talk shows, and others for high-quality audio streaming.
The last thing you want when running an online radio station stream is for something to go wrong. If you do it yourself you risk falling victim to cyber-attacks. Your stream might not get the proper bandwidth needed to perform at its peak. You also risk losing your connection.
Who is there if something goes wrong when doing the stream yourself? Nobody.
Therefore you need a SHOUTcast hosting.
What should I look for when buying SHOUTcast hosting?
There are questions to ask yourself when looking at purchasing the services of any hosting site.
These questions are:
- Does this product fit my needs?
- Does this product have a price range that falls within my budget?
- Will this product perform the way I need it to?
- Will this product help me reach my intended audience?
- Are there different options to choose from, depending on the specific service I need?
- How affordable is it for my consumer base to access my content?
- How do I get a financial return out of my investment?
Your specific hosting needs will determine which SHOUTcast hosting site you will choose. Available options are a driving factor when purchasing any product. You need to know you are getting what you want and what you need.
Someone starting a talk radio show will need services much different from someone that wants high-quality music streaming. You also want to be sure you are reaching your audience through the services of the host.
Different hosting sites offer different plans for different needs. You need to find the options that best suit your radio streaming needs.
The great thing about SHOUTcast is its free for the consumer. Unlimited listening to all stations at no cost increases the chances of bringing in larger audiences. And to help stations financially, you can monetise your station, and make revenue off of ads playing between radio segments.
Does SHOUTcast hosting cost more?
As mentioned before, different services come with different prices. High amounts of bandwidth and more storage will cost more. Different server types will cost different amounts depending on what you choose.
Here are some differences you might have to look at:
- Server type: shared servers are the cheapest, but the worst choice. VPS is a good option while dedicated servers are the best, but the most expensive option.
- Storage type: some hosting sites still use HDD for their content storage. While this is fine, if you want the speed of an SSD it will cost more, being it is more expensive equipment.
- Bandwidth and limits: This is an obvious factor. SHOUTcast hosting sites offer different bandwidth options as well as usage amounts. If you want Higher bandwidth or more airtime, be prepared to pay more.
There are some free options, but these lack support and security. Prices depending on your chosen options can range from a few USD per month to well over 50 USD per month. With this in mind, think of what features you do and don’t need.
SHOUTcast hosting Pro’s & Con’s
With SHOUTcast hosting sites there are pros and cons. With any service you purchase there will be things to look forward to, and things to be cautious about.
Example of some positives are:
Most hosting sites have multiple servers for added reliability. There are many genres to broadcast to your listeners. Plans start low for most hosting sites. SHOUTcast is free for consumers to listen to streams. There are many hosting sites to choose from.
Some negatives to be cautious about include:
Prices go up as you need more features. Not all hosting sites have timely support response. Some hosting sites do not support all regions. Not all sites have the same options as others. All hosting sites do not have the same selection of servers and bandwidth.
- Most sites have multiple servers
Streams going offline because of failing servers is detrimental to both the SHOUTcast hosting site and their customer. To avoid this, most hosting sites have backup servers. Some sites may have multiple backup servers or backup servers in multiple regions.
- Multiple genres
It doesn’t matter what kind of audience you want to stream to on SHOUTcast. You can find any music genre you can think of in their directory. There are 25 main genres with multiple sub-genres in each. This makes it easier for listeners to find new stations based on the genre they prefer.
- Prices start low
Prices are very important to anybody starting any business. For those just starting out, there are many hosting sites that offer affordable rates. Some SHOUTcast hosting sites offer basic services starting at under ten USD per month.
- SHOUTcast is free for listeners
The best way to draw in a crowd is to offer them a product they want for free. SHOUTcast has no cost to the listeners. Listeners are free to browse any station they want in any genre they want. Giving the consumer this kind of freedom allows them to find new genres they can enjoy. Stations can also gain new listeners because of the freedom to browse.
- Many hosting sites to choose from
There are many choices for SHOUTcast hosting sites. You can choose which you would like to use based on the options they provide, the region you are in and the prices they offer.
- Prices go up
Prices start at affordable prices. As your station grows, you will require more options, and functions. As you get services that offer more, the price will get higher.
- Not all support is the same
Some SHOUTcast hosting sites have great support options, including phone and live chat. These options have very quick response times. There are some hosting sites however that only allow you to contact them through email. Support through email can take a lot longer than needed. It may also take a few emails back and forth to finally get your issues resolved, which is not ideal.
- All regions not supported
Some hosting sites only service certain regions. Some service North America only, or Europe only, which posses an issue if that site has the features and price you want, but is unavailable to you.
- Not all sites have the same options
Features offered by Hosting sites differ vastly from each other. You may have to look for a site that has all the features you are looking for, as all sites might not have all the same features. For instance, you might want a dedicated server and SSD. The first few you find might only offer email support when you are looking for phone support. Other sites with these options might not have backup servers.
- Not all sites have the same server types
Server types vary from site to site. Some sites use shared servers, these are servers to steer clear from. Most sites use VPS, but if you want a dedicated server, it is not available with all sites. Another issue is bandwidth. Some sites do not offer the amount of bandwidth required by stations that have large audiences or want to stream high-quality audio.
Using a SHOUTcast hosting site is the best option for online radio station streaming. With hosting sites you get security, reliability and speed. Starting off affordably for smaller stations and having a platform to help them grow is an advantage.
Their years of experience also show they know the streaming business well. With over 87,000 stations to listen to, consumers know it.
There are things you have to look out for. Know how much bandwidth and server type you need. You don’t want to pay for features you don’t need.
Check out as many SHOUTcast hosting sites as you can. You will find the best SHOUTcast hosting for you.