Jose at Arcane Radio Trivia briefly traces the beginning of internet radio, which is now nearly 14 years old (older than DVDs, in fact).
However, I do have one addendum/correction. Jose says that KPIG was the first commercial station to broadcast on the web, starting in 1995. But there was a station here in ‘geek-land, Champaign-Urbana, IL, that also started webcasting in 1995, with October as the start date. The station was WEBX (still on the air but under entirely different ownership) 93.5 FM, officially licensed to Tuscola, IL, and it called itself “The Web.” It broadcast an eclectic AAA-style format, with a lot of rootsy rock and loose playlist. Briefly its studios were located right next door to community radio WEFT, where the mediageek radioshow originates.
Back in ’95 the Web claimed it was the first commercial station broadcasting on the internet. Although on KPIG’s website, the about page says that station began web broadcasting on Aug. 2, 1995 — which beats WEBX by two months.
Unfortunately the Web was sold and turned into a generic rock station in the late 90s. A great experiment, but perhaps ahead of its time.