Radio Reddit is unlike any other music discovery service on the Internet. Members of the community-funded site upload original songs and—using Reddit’s Karma system—vote on the tracks to create independent charts and ever-changing radio streams.
But Radio Reddit still struggles with the same issue as nearly every other Web radio outlet: staying afloat.
Earlier this week, the administrators behind the station issued a distress signal: “radio reddit is at risk of shutting down. We need your help.”
In short, advertising revenue is practically nonexistant, and cofounders Sean Mulanax and Raymond May can’t afford to float the bills anymore:
“The bottom line is that we currently are closing in on having 0 operational revenue and this is we, as lovers of independent music and musicians, asking for help.”
This isn’t the first time Radio Reddit’s needed help. The independent site received some support from Reddit, Inc. last June, and in September, hosting company Voxel.net doubled the station’s server capacity—free of charge.
The announcement, however, came just when things were really starting to look up. Radio Reddit added mobile apps for Android and iPhone earlier this year, and it started hosting Live at Radio Reddit, a series of simulcast concerts.
“We really feel that we are right on the edge of this project becoming extremely successful, which is why the cry for help was a necessary last resort,” Mulanax told the Daily Dot.
In an effort create transparency, the two outlined the current costs of the operation—roughly $2000 annually to cover everything from server maintenance to DMCA compliance.
The post quickly received a flurry of support, with redditors brainstorming potential revenue streams and pledging support.
“I love you guys, so I sent you some money,” user goldfishlaser2 posted in response. “If you can get stickers back in stock, I want to buy some.”
That donation, apparently, single-handedly will cover the cost of operating for another month.
In the meantime, Mulanex hopes to figure out a long-term plan for keeping the airwaves open.
“The response was incredibly encouraging,” he concluded.
“I was expecting the post to fizzle out and go nowhere, but in typical reddit fashion, the users stepped up to the plate. You just can't find a better community of people anywhere."
Photo via Radio Reddit