The tech behind building an independent, internet radio station

ARLINGTON, Texas — When the technology giant Intel bought StationPower and launched a service that connects radio stations with the internet, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said he wanted a radio station to be alive all the time.

StationPower provides radio stations up to 20 hours a day via the internet with up to 70,000 songs and more than 1.2 million videos on its Web site, and it has most of the commercial radio stations listed on terrestrial radio stations, down from a peak of six, or about half a dozen.

But while stations call listeners individually, streaming formats are narrower. Where stations have singles and high-decibel music (think Shouts and Murmur) streamed in high-speaker-to-pop-higher-speaker mode, streaming is more limited. They mostly play shorter songs and audio and video clips. Most are played just before or after the regular broadcast, when the presenter goes off the air.

StationPower’s locations range from the tech center near Dallas to a showcase studio in central Texas, and it is available in almost every state. In Alabama, for example, it is available all year round. The company has sold stations in other countries too. It was previously known as DigiSound.

StationPower is part of the Alliance for Internet Music, a non-profit with members including Pandora, iHeartMedia, Verizon Communications, AT&T and Beats Music. The Alliance meets at a Lincoln Center in New York from time to time and brings together local radio stations, record labels and other service providers.

Greg Riggio, a founder of the Alliance, said that these platforms can be “small, but great things to know. Let’s set it up,” he said.

John Payne, the Chief Digital Officer of a band called the Leego, one of the core teams in the new station, described the world of streaming as “sort of global. … Let’s set up a home theater,” where the music is shown on a huge screen.

So far, StationPower has access to dozens of major labels, and some on the roster have signed deals to work with it. But those clients are among the many that will likely be added over time.

Some stations in the more established bands’ catalogs have avoided streaming, but others, such as Atoms for Peace, aren’t so cautious. The band, which sold more than 20 million albums between 2001 and 2017, has streamed its songs online for years. It has also partnered with similar streaming services — often affiliated with record labels, such as BMG and Universal Music Group — to make those songs available, and it has launched the Odesza, a young band that didn’t make Billboard’s Top 100 last year.

“If they want to keep it from the world’s biggest labels, I can hear them and they’ll pay the money,” Odesza’s Johan Turner said.

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