Radio Reddit: Homespun Hits, Crowdsourced Curation, Melodious Memes

Posted September 26

radio_redditThe internet has radio for every genre. Mashups? Yep. Dubstep? Check. A station solely for music featured in Breaking Bad? You bet. If you’re looking for music from a twenty-something metalhead in his garage, ta-da! Try Radio Reddit.

Given the social link-sharing service Reddit’s large, diverse user base, you’d expect to find at least a few musicians there. Indeed, Radio Reddit (free on the web, $2 for iOS) gives music-making Redditors a chance to broadcast their tunes alongside that of their peers. All of the music in this service was made by regular civilians, so you’re unlikely to recognize any of the music being played, which can be a good thing if you’re sick of your usual routine. To defuse licensing issues, the music is original (no cover songs or remixes) and played without renumeration, although you can donate to keep Radio Reddit online.

At this particular moment, the genre-based radio streaming part of the service is in fact offline, having been overloaded by its inclusion in Time.com’s “50 Best Websites of 2012” (which inexplicably lacks Evolver.fm). However, there’s still plenty to listen to as of today, and Radio Reddit says it will have a “larger server” at some point this week, when the streams will go back online.

As on Reddit, music submissions are given either upvotes or downvotes on Reddit Radio to promote their playability in each of the various stations. Since many of the musicians posting music on the site are amateurs and DIYers, not all of the songs are exactly — ahem — radio worthy. Fortunately, as with Reddit itself, when the cream does rise to the top you’ll be treated to a very unique music listening experience unavailable elsewhere.

Creators of the site say that “Radio Reddit was created by musicians who wanted a place where all music was given a fair chance to be heard. Where pay-for-play, label preference, and underhand deals were done away with. Where listeners were in control.” (See the FAQ.)

Anyone who frequents the main area of Reddit knows of its somewhat offbeat and self-referential culture, and some of the songs made by the Reddit community clearly reflect it. One of our favorites was an ode to the classic vintage video game Super Mario Bros, lovingly titled “A Dance Party In Bowser’s Castle.”

Another top song called “Hey There, Keanu” — a parody of the Plain White T’s hit “Hey There, Delilah” — makes reference to the infamous internet meme, Keanu Is Sad.

If you’re looking for new music, you will find it on Radio Reddit. Likewise, if you make music and especially enjoy writing songs about the internet, take a chance and submit your tunes. You won’t get paid, but you might get some netfame, or at least a few upvotes.