Does live radio matter?


Does anyone actually listen to radio shows or streams live?

I’m thinking RinseFM, NTS radio, The Lot Radio, etc.

Obviously these are institutions that bring people together and put out great content, but I feel like it is mostly consumed via the recordings. Is anyone actually tuning in live in 2020? Does that part even matter?

And if not, what is the purpose of the “radio station” in 2020? In the past, it was because you had to have a transmitter, gear, expertise, license, etc. Now is it just a mechanism to combine resources, form groups, mandate that artists put out mixes on a regular basis, etc? Pretty interesting phenomenon if so.

The Problem with Music Live Stream

I had a blast listening to Tectonic Takeover 15 year anniversary streamed live at Noods Radio earlier this month. Live always gives a more involved feeling.


I listen loads to those live actually. Used to also go mostly for recordings, until I got boxes that can connect to them via wi-fi. Made it like they were proper FM channels. Those were a game changer.
Also installed the apps of the channels (when available), and am tuning in on the go live.

I personally like tuning in like that, as it allows for happy accidents, and getting out of algorithm wormholes, or looking for something I might like (by searching artists, or track lists).


getting out of algorithm wormholes

this is huge.

I also think it’s really appealing because it forces me to turn off my own algorithm. I get a little bit stressed having to choose all the time. Like when i sit down to work, i need to decide “do I want to listen to a mix? Or an album? Or a playlist? and if so, what genre? what am I looking for? what is the perfect tune for this moment” etc. That gets pretty exhausting. Sometimes it feels great just to turn something on and not really have a choice.

but I never actually do that :slight_smile: the urge to “pick” my content always overrides the desire to allow radio to pick for me.


I totally relate with the stress that comes with choices, and the very many choices we’re confronted with everyday, on top with social media feeding a felling of “fear of missing out”…

I’ve got a thing with what I’ll listen to first on the day, but from there, it’s my urge to discover new things that takes over :smiley:


I’ll also say that listening to actual live radio, recorded live in a studio without editing, sounds more appealing than someone just making a mix in ableton and sending the station an MP3.

Old Pirate Radio is interesting for that reason… just really rough around the edges; mistakes everywhere because everything was on the fly.


On this topic, I had a couple of great experiences tuning into The Lot Radio live this week. First, it’s all live (not a taping), and the show I tuned into the host was on the chat, replying to people, and taking the set in random directions based on the conversation. It was so great. (The show was WTBS w/ willie burns, Monday at noon EST

It kind of forces you to be in the now and give the music the attention. Sometimes with mixes there is a temptation to background it because “it’ll be there forever” But really, will I ever listen again? I doubt it.

Anyways we’ll see if it “sticks” and I can make it a habit to tune in, but a couple of great experiences with real live shit this week.