Today radio has become an integral part of our everyday lives. From music and shows to news and sports, radio provides a medium through which we can access information quickly and easily. Many radio channels broadcast their content free of charge, while others charge subscriptions based on the audience size or number of times the radio show has been aired. Even when the radio station is not running a show, listeners can listen in for upcoming shows by tuning into the radio online. Internet radio (e-radio, web radio, streaming radio, internet radio) is a digital multi-media service transmitted through the Internet directly.
Broadcasting over the Internet is generally described as webcasting because it's not transmitted publicly through conventional radio stations. Instead, people listen to the radio online using specialized software or receive it through their home computer. It differs from satellite radio broadcasting in that the signals are transmitted instead of being broadcast through the airwaves. Internet radio is available anywhere with an Internet connection.
Listeners can either choose to subscribe to a radio station or to a specific programming provider. Internet radio station providers usually offer more music choices and radio channels than mainstream terrestrial radio stations do. Most importantly, listeners can listen to internet radio station content through their personal computers or mobile devices wherever they are. Streaming radio gives the audience the choice to listen live to the broadcast while other listeners are enjoying the show while it is being broadcast.