– Please tell us about you are and what your radio station is about?
We are a non-commercial ambient radio station, on the air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition to our automated radio feed, we also focus on hosted radio programs, with real live hosts who share their passion for deep music with you.
We subscribe to the Wikipedia definition of ambient music, and love all forms of it, not just one subgenre or another. This means we play all sorts of music, such as:
- Soothing light ambient
- Ambient mood music
- Impenetrable dark ambient
- Berlin-school electronic ambient
- Challenging experimental ambient
- Futuristic ambient noise
- Powerful tribal ambient
- Cinematic symphonic ambient
- Expansive space music
- Textural abstract ambient
- Exotic world ambient
- Uplifting new age ambient
- And much more
Our stream is very diverse, and is suitable for many types of listening. We exist solely to promote interest in ambient music and to give ambient artists a community. Everything we do we make available for no cost and with no commercials.
– What kinds of music do you play and has that changed much over the years?
The music we play still falls under the definition of “ambient” for the most part; the ways in which it has evolved really have more to do with the increasing availability of music technology and global artists.
– Is your station internet only or do you have a terrestrial presence as well?
– Do you see much of difference between terrestrial and internet radio?
The lines have definitely blurred, as terrestrial radio stations have moved into the internet space; that said, terrestrial radio generally has constraints that internet radio does not, particularly around localized content (weather reports, sponsorship messages, etc.). The major difference, of course, between exclusively-terrestrial stations and internet stations is the reach — where terrestrial stations can get excited about being able to transmit a signal into the next county, internet stations have global reach, wherever internet connectivity is available.
– What were your radio station’s formative years like?
From the station’s founder, Darrell Burgan: “A whole decade has flown by since StillStream began with that first tentative broadcast back on March 1, 2005. In those days, the repository had just a few artists in it and I was desperately flailing about trying to get folks interested in what I was trying to do. But it all came together somehow. Live programs started up. More and more artists gave permission for their music to be played. A tight knit community formed. Listenership grew. We found a way to get Apple to list StillStream as one of the iTunes radio stations, which instantly grew the station into one of the major ambient sources on the net. ”
Read the whole article at http://stillstream.fm/thoughts-on-stillstreams-10th-by-darrell-burgan/
– Have you seen internet radio change over the years and if so how?
The field is becoming crowded with new players and new rules — but those same rules are also constricting many stations’ ability to air their chosen music. A number of stations have recently dropped out because of increased licensing fees and tighter regulations around air play.
– In your mind what makes your station different from others?
StillStream plays a blend of music released under both copyright and Creative Commons licensing. We are on the air 24/7, offering a combination of automated and hosted programming. Because we are a completely volunteer, non-revenue-generating station, with signed license agreements on file for every artist whose music we air, we are able to offer a wide variety of music to our listeners. In addition, several of our hosts also perform live, giving us a truly unique mix.
– Do you have any insights to share about internet radio?
Being able to decide what our broadcasts can be without rules about how many tracks we can play in a row, etc., is very important to us and to our audience. We love being able to deliver what our listeners want because we’re not beholden to advertisers. We’re lucky that we’re a relatively-neglected genre and that exposure on the station is actually worth it to our artists.
– What future do you see for your station?
As long as we can continue to broadcast, we’ll do so. We are concerned about the changes to royalty payments that have recently occurred; we believe that since we’ve gotten agreements from the stakeholders to waive them, we’re OK to keep broadcasting – but if that should turn out to not be the case, we’d have to shut down too.
– Any further comments?
We hope that internet radio stations won’t all have to become pirate radio; perhaps other niche stations can use our model to stay on the air.