In early May, Radio Reddit issued a distress signal.
The social news site’s homegrown radio station—where users submit and vote on original tunes—was having trouble covering rising operational expenditures. A fundraising drive helped keep Radio Reddit on the airwaves temporarily, but that didn’t solve the long-term bandwidth issues, especially considering that cofounder Sean Mulanax said the station’s usership has “more than doubled in the past four months and the numbers are remaining consistent.”
Now the has come up with a solution to keep its bold experiment in open-source radio running, one that would provide a recurring revenue stream, independent of potential advertising, and offer something unique to fans and artists.
Thanks to Reddit, Inc.’s recent partnership with Crowdtilt, a new crowdfunding platform, the outlet is create a series of monthly digital releases, Best of Radio Reddit, which will feature 20 tracks voted on by the community. For a site that’s constantly changing with upvotes and downvotes, the releases should be an enticing snapshot of Radio Reddit’s top tracks, a one-stop sampler for fans looking to discover new music.
After all, Reddit provided a considerable boost to Austin’s barefoot bluegrass bandits Whiskey Shivers and Portland-based electro-pop artist Purse Candy, who’s had three single hit Reddit Radio’s top 10 charts.
“Our catalog now includes over 11,000 songs made exclusively by Reddit musicians, and our listeners are doing their part in voting on the tracks they want and don't want to hear,” Mulanax told the Daily Dot. “We can use this data each month to build our releases. We see it as an opportunity to grow our service in manner that benefits the musician, the listener, and the project.”
The way it works is simple. Artists opt-in for the opportunity to be included on the releases, and Radio Reddit hosts a new Crowdtilt campaign each month to make it happen. The August installment is already more than halfway toward its goal of raising $250, and reaction has been enthusiastic.
“Donated and opted-in all my tracks,” user mage_g4 posted in a top comment. “Viva La Radio Reddit!”
“I just saw it,” Purse Candy’s Matthew Ellis (Reddit username 8bitlover) told the Daily Dot. “I opted in. Hopefully it helps!”
Photo via Crowdtilt