Reddit’s user-run radio station, Radio Reddit, has been on a bit of a tear recently.
Radio Reddit streams original music composed by Reddit users. It’s integrated tightly with the social news site so fans can upvote and downvote song submissions as they listen. Basically, it’s Reddit’s karma system turned into a music distribution platform.
In mid August the site’s creators dipped their feet into the mobile market with their very own iPhone app.
And late last week, Radio Reddit’s hosting company, Voxel.net, gave the site an unexpected gift. After hearing that the station was hobbled by long load times, the company doubled Radio Reddit’s server capacity. For free.
Those are two significant changes for an independent radio station with big plans.
By marrying music distribution with Reddit’s karma system, Radio Reddit’s creators are hoping the site becomes a lot more than a fun diversion for music-loving redditors.
“We’d really like to pave the way for how music is distributed where the listeners are in control, and the artists reach a broad [audience] by rising to the top of our charts.” Sean Mulanax, one of the site’s founders, told the Daily Dot in an email interview earlier today.
The site is run by a team of four volunteers. So that boost in server capacity means a whole lot more than some minor service upgrade. It gives the team time to “focus more on developing radio reddit, and less on micro-tuning our server to handle our growth,” Mulanax said.
Reddit has long been a big supporter of user-generated projects. In fact, the Conde-Nast owned company’s first and only acquisition is user-created gift-sharing site RedditGifts.
And much like RedditGifts before its acquisition in August, Radio Reddit has long had a close relationship with Reddit staff. In June, Reddit admins rushed in to save the radio station after it was dropped from Google’s Adsense service, cutting off its only revenue stream.
“We really get excited when redditors take their community and make a third- or application,” Reddit general manager Erik Martin told us in June. “Radio Reddit’s done a really good [job] of integrating some of the key parts of Reddit … in a new way that you couldn’t have done on the Reddit site proper.”
What’s next for the station? Mulanax said an Android app is coming soon.
And, though he couldn’t go into details, he hinted at some “awesome things” he’s working on with Reddit staff.
Photo by L. Bernhardt, Resident Loon