Public commercial radio stations have been around for over a century and despite the advancement and development of technology and new media forms, they have managed to firmly hold their ground and remain relevant until today.
Maybe it should not come as a surprise that FM radio has managed to stick around for so long, after all, it is still one of the most common and popular things people listen to during their morning and evening commute, while they are on a road trip, or simply at home.
What might come as a surprise, on the other hand, is that it has started to face its fiercest competition ever and we are not talking about streaming services, even though this media form also operates online.
So, what is the answer then?
That would be internet radio which has been growing in popularity immensely in recent years. There are several reasons why this is happening, the number one being availability and convenience.
Now, maybe you have heard of it before and you might already have your favorite stations. However, if you have not but are interested in giving it a try, here are some of the best low-key ones that play a variety of different tunes.
1. Chill Lounge & Smooth Jazz
If you are looking for some relaxing, downtempo music and genres like lounge, jazz, ambient, and chill-out, then this Atlanta-based station is the right choice for you. You can listen to it while working, enjoying some cocktails, or having dinner with friends. You will also be able to view some of the last songs you played, so you can find your favorites if you would like to save them.
2. Ambient Sleeping Pill
This ad-free internet radio offers great ambient music for meditation, sleeping, or studying. Interestingly, it plays beat-free music so you will be able to completely relax or focus and tune out any distractions. The website does not play any tunes that are too dark or new-age and it provides a night mode feature and track history as well.
Based in Montreal, the radio offers several different shows and programs to cater to many different types of music lovers. Although folk, ska, jazz, punk, and even heavy metal can be heard, it is primarily known for its great choices of funk, hip hop, and soul songs. The website is easily accessible and enables free streaming, so you can tune in and enjoy some great compilations whenever you want.
4. Chillout Radio
Dedicated to playing chill-out music only, the radio gives you a great opportunity to just relax and unwind. With carefully curated playlists, you can enjoy listening to the station while studying or working, reading, driving, simply whenever you just need to take a break.
You can listen to it on your browser, but you also have the option to download the app which is optimal for both iOS and Android operating systems. What is even better, the station offers blogs and articles on lifestyle, entertainment, music, and more, so you can have a chill session while enjoying some great music and reading interesting news. To listen go to https://chilloutradio.com/
Internet radio is generally one of the best ways to discover great songs and artists and SomaFM allows you to discover some of the best in indie music. The playlist is curated by a DJ who handpicks all the tunes which you can listen to via your browser or preferred media player.
The website is ad-free, offers you a sleep timer, and lets you view the last 20 songs you have played.
Are you a fan of movie soundtracks? If the answer is yes, then you will definitely love Cinemix. It only plays TV shows and movie music which you can listen to on your browser or an app. It is completely free since it is supported by ads and they also provide download and purchase links if you ever want to own a certain song.
Cinemix also offers a VIP membership which gives you a few benefits such as a most recently played list, the chance to request songs, and even dedicate them to someone.
7. Instrumental Hits Radio
The station does not stick to just one genre of instrumental music but offers a great blend of several such as jazz, classical, new-age, lounge, orchestral, and many more. The browser version keeps your track history on a specific day and allows you to download a playlist file so you can use it on a media player.
However, the smartphone version offers a few additional perks such as setting a shutdown timer, adding songs to your favorites, watching YouTube videos of past tunes, and more.
Why Online Radio is So Popular?
This can easily be compared to traditional television and streaming services. It is simply more convenient and way more accessible than traditional radio.
These types are not limited to one geographic area but can broadcast their music, shows, and podcasts worldwide, offering anyone a chance to tune in and enjoy.
You can listen to it on any device that has internet access and you are also not limited by the time since you can use it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whenever you feel like it.
Besides, as we can see from the suggestions above, online stations simply offer much more diversity while many of them cater to a specific group at the same time. One no longer needs to listen to multiple genres but can simply find a station that plays only the type of music one enjoys.
Moreover, they do offer listeners more control over what they want to hear and how they want to enjoy their experience.
With all this in mind, it is quite understandable why online radio is becoming very popular and why it has more listeners than the traditional type. This does not mean that FM radio will go away any time soon, but it will be interesting to see how things develop in the future.
Hopefully, you will give it a try and find at least one great station that suits your preference and taste.