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Beyond the Dial: Pirate Radio Packs Up and Moves to the Unregulated Wilderness of the Internet 

Wednesday, Dec 4 2013
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In the long run, community radio is all about the DJs and their content, and according to BFF.fm's Guest, this personal element is why the stations thrive, and why services like Pandora or Spotify will never replace personality-driven radio — itself a vanishing commodity on the air. "A good DJ feels like your best friend and trusted advisor," she says. "And because of that, online radio, just like its terrestrial counterpart, will have a power to make you connect with it in ways streaming services won't ever match."

This is a sentiment that Mutiny Radio's Benjamin agrees with. "Humans want human interaction," she says. "Recorded music is a replaying of what touches the soul and makes us feel. Feeling is humanity. Can a computer know that I like Bonnie Raitt and play her next to Bon Iver in a playlist? Sure, but I prefer a voice that tells me why melodic piano blues riffs with pangs-for-unrequited-love lyrics make me feel helplessly lovesick. DJs enhance the listening experience by carefully crafting a show for the radio listener."

And there are listeners, too, if not always live; Benjamin confirms that Mutiny gets far more downloads than it does streaming listeners. It's a sign of the times, and community radio is finding the way to move with those times while maintaining the essential spirit that's always made it such a danger to those who would homogenize the media. As Benjamin says, "I like human curation of all my art."

Disclosure: The writer had a show on Pirate Cat Radio from October 2004 to January 2006, and has been on Radio Valencia since May 2013.


DISCLOSURE: The writer had a show on Pirate Cat Radio October 2004-January 2006, and has been on Radio Valencia since May 2013.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly

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