When thinking of the advantages of internet radio, easy access is most likely the first people think about. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are several pros to listening to online radio that traditional radios can hardly compete with and which explain their increased popularity.
No geographical constraints
Through the internet, radio stations are no longer bound to the potency and reach of their frequency waves. Listeners can enjoy radio stations from all over the world. In their homes or in their car, they now have access to radio from distant and remote places and countries.
They can even simply browse the broadcasts of their favorite big commercial radio stations which often have different programming depending on their based city.
Music genres for every taste
The advantages of internet radio reach something as simple as music variety. Without the constraints of geographical frequency waves and, more importantly, the costs they incur, small, underground, and/or private radio stations can flourish online.
The listener does not have to be bound anymore to broadcasts editorial regulations, set music rotations, or what these corporations deem appropriate for broadcasting.
Online, any individual can find the music genre it suits their taste or their mood the best with a simple click, uncensored, and no matter how obscure. Regardless of the music genre or the preferred decade, there is a radio station somewhere in the world wide web for it, with music selected by people who also enjoy it.
Local radios for everyone
Radio stations from small or remote towns that are constrained by their frequency waves can reach a much bigger audience through the internet.
Expats, emigrants, or even individuals who had to relocate within a country are able to feel closer to their community with a simple Wi-Fi connection. They can listen to the local news, keep up to date with the events happening there and even listen to local people commenting on the main issues that concern them and get a sense of the reality they are living in, which would be difficult to grasp through other media sources.
The lack of geographical constraints also results in the opportunity to widen one’s horizons by simply listening to other culture’s radio stations.
Be it simple curiosity, because it will be a holidays destination or because it was one that brings good memories, listeners can find what people from other countries and cultures are listening to, find the differences and the common points with the broadcasts of one’s country and discover the different types of presentations and ways of speaking that appeal the most to locals.
Enhances language learning
Although this is probably one of the advantages of internet radio least mentioned, accessing radio stations from other cultures and countries can also help with language learning.
Being exposed to music or talking programs in a different language, even if only in the background while the person is doing something else, can help even beginners who are not yet fluent enough to understand what is being said.
It allows learners to become aware of differences in diction and pronunciation. With time, the jumble of sounds will start to be interpreted as sentences. Words will stand out and common grammar structures too which will boost any language learning process.
Better sound quality
Environmental factors can affect the sound quality on traditional broadcast radios, be it bad weather or landforms, for instance. With internet radio, however, as long as there is a stable Wi-Fi connection, the audio quality never wavers.
Moreover, another of the advantages of internet radio is that its audio quality is better overall as it is less compressed compared with the traditional radio sound.
Radio everywhere and with any device
With online radio, there is no need for an antenna or a radio device. Listeners can access their favorite radio station from their mobile phones, computers, tablets, Smart TVs, or any other device with internet access.
As Bluetooth is often incorporated in these, it is also easy to connect them to different sound systems and enjoy high-quality audio anywhere.
Setting up and running an online radio is considerably less costly than with traditional radios. Thus, these stations do not have to rely as much on advertisements to cover their expenses. This allows for longer periods of programming and music without any pauses or commercials.
Additionally, traditional radios broadcasting online have to comply with certain advertisement regulations that unable them from broadcasting some advertisements in other territories, forcing these stations to replace them with music or other programs.
More than audio
Lastly, one of the advantages of internet radio compared with the traditional kind is the live information provided to listeners.
More than audio, online stations offer also details such as the playlist up to that moment, the name of the song and artist currently playing, sometimes accompanied with lyrics, descriptions of their programs, the name of the radio hosts and even links that direct the listeners to the podcasts of previous programs.
Easy access is the most notorious out of the advantages of internet radio, with sound quality and no geographic restrictions coming right next to it. However, it is the way these advantages spill over into other areas and create other pluses to the simple act of listening to online radio that explains its continuous growth and popularity, with even traditional radio stations joining the wagon.