Live Radio Streaming


I would like to know if there is a way to provide users with a choice to press a number on their keypad to select which radio station they can choose to listen to as their MOH?

Basically if a customer calls in and is placed in the q I want the IVR to say press 1 to listen to radio A, press 2 to listen to radio B etc. From there the radio is streamed live based on the user’s choice while they are waiting for an operator.

Can anyone suggest how I can get this done?


haven’t tested it, but some custom destinations with each one a different queue/rg/other dest that then has the on-hold music they selected playing…

I’d think it shouldn’t be too difficult

In the United States restreaming a live radio station is against the law. FYI.


Almost anywhere in the world (thanks for various multi-national treaties) streaming other people content of any kind without proper licensing is against the law.

An example - the radio station where I worked in college could not use our own radio station as hold music because we had licensed the music we played for “over the air” but not for the phones or over our intercom.

In the US (which is what I’m most familiar with) you can license music to play on your “on-hold” service from many sources. You may also be able to go through one of the licensing organizations (BMI or ASCAP, for example) and get licensed to play “OTA” music, but those are expensive if they are available at all.

It’s not illegal by default. Music rebroadcasts can be if the license isn’t secured. And if the station prohibits it that is one thing but you’d need to reach out to the station. Additionally, streaming broadcasts are now common, again, reach out to the station to find out details.

Unfortunately, that’s where you are wrong. It is unlawful by default, as it is infringing on someone else’s copyright. Even here in Australia, which is the bastion of freedom and openness, we can’t do it - which, honestly, is pretty much a no-brainer, when you think about it.

If it’s copyrighted, there are rules. But a) not everything broadcast is copyrighted, and b) what’s illegal is to do it without permission. That’s an important distinction.

Additionally, there are broader exceptions like copyleft radio stations. By giving the user the option to pick you are likely fulfilling attribution requirements.

Murder is illegal. No exceptions. Streaming a radio station? Different circumstances. Much like open source software having different rules depending on the licensing and usage, so too does media. Andrew’s statement is simply too broad.

Edit: also, rereading the part you quoted, I see it can be read as the opposite of what I intended. A better sentence would have been “Music rebroadcasts can be illegal (and often are) if the license isn’t secured.”

Just post your streaming source, with their disclosure that you can use it without impediment, if you can do that, then perhaps the rest of us that have run into that legal problem will agree with you.

If can you do that then all the old streaming moh methods just work.

1 Like

That, unfortunately, is incorrect, except within very specific exceptions.

Anything broadcast “over the air” is, by definition, the work of the broadcaster, which retains all rights to that work unless they explicitly release them… If they are playing music, they are also licensed to do that, but their licensing agreements do not (typically) allow them to allow for rebroadcast.

Just so we’re clear:

  1. The “original content” in an Over The Air (radio) broadcast, in a Podcast, or in a digital stream of any sort, is copyrighted by fiat (regardless of lack of copyright notification) for a period of something like 70 years.
  2. The “licensed content” in OTA, Podcast, or Streams of any kind is (once again) protected by fiat, and is licensed to the secondary originator for a set of specific purposes. This license is not transferrable (except by subsequent licensing agreement) and therefore, any rebroadcast or other use of the work is protected.

So, while it would seem like there is room in there to say “you can do this”, the actual fact is that you need to have licensing agreements with several organizations (since each work could potentially be licensed by a different organization). This makes your position tenable, but not practical.

Having said that - you can license music through any number of licensing organizations or things like “talk radio” through a local organization, but there are going to be limits to even what those agreements allow you to do. Theoretically, you can get live radio streaming working, and Asterisk+FreePBX supports many ways to do that, but legally (the fine is $10,000) it’s such a problem set that most people just avoid it.

The music that FreePBX uses (for example) is licensed through a Creative Commons License (I think) which allows for unlimited use and reuse. Even then (IIRC), Sangoma went to the trouble of actually securing a license to use it from the original author.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.