This is our top 10 internet radio stations that you need to check out going into 2020!
In today’s modern climate, most music lovers turn to Spotify (over 217 million subscribers) followed by Apple Music (28 million subscribers) to satisfy their craving, but despite the popularity of these kinds of streaming services, over 143 million people still turn to internet radio to discover cutting edge music. What does this mean? It simply means internet radio is not going away anytime soon.
Over the past year, we’ve spoken to numerous of people from all over the country to get personal recommendations on what they listen to when it comes to discovering new music. We didn’t stop there. We tuned in and listened to each radio station for countless hours to hear it for ourselves. One of our Top 10 had nothing to do with indie music!
Here is our Top 10 internet Radio stations:
1. Soma FM: Indie Pop Rocks! – San Francisco, CA
Soma FM started broadcasting in 2000 and has one of the largest audiences for a indie station with nearly 5 million listening hours. Soma FM is located in San Francisco’s South of Market underground club area, known also as SoMa. Soma FM prides themselves to be future’s perfect pleasure drug with their completely undiscovered and non-mainstream formats.
2. KEXP 90.3 FM — Seattle, Washington
KEXP is a public radio station that specializing in playing Alternative and Indie Rock. They also have a partnership with University of Washington and Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project. KEXP is best known for its live in-studio programming and often features live performances by up-and-coming music artists.
3. KCRW 89.9 FM — Santa Monica, California
Covering News, Culture, and Music, KCRW is one of the pioneers of internet radio and is widely known for the show “Morning Become Eclectic” which began in 1977. Originally founded in 1945 to train radio technology to ex-military servicemen, KCRW is now known for finding emerging music. KCRW has but one directive, “play what you love” and has become the holy grail for most up-and-coming musicians, because KCRW reaches an average of 800,000 listeners per week.
4. XRAY.fm KXRY 107.1 FM — Portland, Oregon
Portland’s XRAY has been the internet radio gem of Portland, Oregon since 2012 and have been broadcasting on 91.1 FM since 2014 currently can be heard on local 107.1 FM. XRAY’s underground format was designed for one specific reason; to deliver “a progressive blend of talk and music that amplifies the sounds and reflects the values of our city”. XRAY music playlists consists of a blend of contributions from only local based Dj’s, Record Labels, local musicians, and music fans.
5. Dublab — Los Angeles
Dublab began broadcasting in 1999 during the wake of internet radio and is still around to this day and can be heard locally on KLDB 99.1 LP-FM. Dublab offers an array of programming including shows via local DJ’s and from DJ’s around the world including Germany, Japan, Brazil, and Spain. Music primarily stems from unknown artists and music makers.
6. KOOP – Austin, TX
KOOP is a local based community radio station that is owned and operated by the University of Texas in Austin, TX in partnership with KUTX 91.7FM where they showcase a range of indie, pop, and a variety of genre programming. Each hour is directed by different DJ’s making it one of the top places to seek out if you’re a lover of new music or a music artist looking for a place to pitch your work.
7. WFMU 91.1 FM — Jersey City, NJ
WFMU-FM is probably the oldest running listener-supported, free-form, non-commercial, independent radio station in the world. WFMU broadcasts from 91.1 FM in Jersey City, NJ and broadcasts on the internet …of course they do! In conjunction with 90.1 FM in Mount Hope, NY, and 91.9 FM from Rockland County, their broadcast covers most of the New York metropolitan area. WFMU has always supported free-form radio and allow their on-air personalties to control their own content and don’t adhere to any sort of playlist or rotation schedule. They are one of the few radio stations that aren’t considered a Public broadcasting network and are truly an independent from any commercial ties.
8. Radio 6, a BBC radio network
Otherwise known as “BBC Radio 6 Music” is a digital broadcast only radio station. Radio 6 began broadcasting in 2002 and was the first of its kind to bring together the cutting edge music of today with a focus on Alternative music from around the world and music from the past 40 years where you can enjoy dance, jazz, and soul cuts on various channels including: Freesat: Channel 707, Sky TV: Channel 0120, and Virgin: Channel 909. Radio 6 also gives access to the BBC’s gigantic music archive.
9. KGUP FM Emerge Radio – Los Angeles, CA
Established in 2012, KGUP FM Emerge Radio is an internet-only based Independent music radio station and it’s primary directive is to support local emerging artists. “KGUP is programmed by real people not bots” and is a proud member of IRUC (Internet Radio Uniform Callsign) and The National Association of Digital Broadcasters (NAdB). Although KGUP experienced many growing pains and nearly shut down in mid 2018, they expanded instead of shrinking into non-existence. Not only is KGUP currently broadcasting on TuneIn.com with over a reach of 1 million listeners, they also have curator playlists on Spotify and Google Play Music and their popularity is growing by each day. In conjunction to their indie radio station, in 2019, they launched its first televised broadcast on inDtv Channel 140 on Universe Network and are currently booking for Season 2. The artists they truly believe in are invited on the TV show and are featured on #newmusicfriday on their Instagram page @KGUPFM. KGUP is one of the few modest radio stations out there that champion the best artists from the local scene and by listening to their station ourselves, you can tell they won’t play just anyone. Based on the quality of their radio playlist and funny commercials, they could easily be at the top of our list at No 1.
10. Cinemix – Toronto, Canada
Who doesn’t like Soundtracks and Film Scores? For those films that left a lasting impression for years to come, this is the one place to go to relive those unforgettable memories. From the score to Batman by Danny Elfman to the score of The Last Jedi by John Williams to the music soundtrack of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, the 1996 film, you can hear it all on Cinemix! The best part, Cinemix isn’t just limited to films originated from the US, scores and soundtracks from around the world are also available! The programming is delievered by SonixCast.