Ad-free music service Radical.FM has launched on Google Play, bringing Android users access to the service’s 25 million searchable tracks and pre-created stations. While the existence of a free, commercial-free radio experience might be hard to believe, Radical.FM offers its ad-free service on a “pay what you can” donation basis. This business model allows Radical.FM to support artists, composers and labels for the music streamed within the app.
“It’s a radical revenue model, and people wonder how we can pay music streaming’s high royalties on a free app without commercials,” said Radical.FM CEO Tom McAlevey. “When I drove my dune-buggy across Africa, I was confronted by Arabic police, spear-wielding natives, and AK-47-toting militia. More often than not, they helped rather than hindered me, reminding me that if treated with respect, people tend to do the right thing. As users discover Radical’s outstanding service, many of them will be proud to support it.”
Radical.FM is aiming for the jugular of its competitors with its “mixer board” feature that allows users to customize their own station with multiple overall genres, as well as targeted sub-genres and eventually individual songs. Once users choose their favorite genres (say, ‘Adult Pop’ and ‘Classic Rock’) they can “tune” their station by placing priority on one genre over another. Feel like rocking out to classics from the ‘80s? Tune the station to prioritize that genre. But what stops the platform from playing songs users aren’t interested in?
McAlevey tells us: “You’ve expressed an interest in a humanly created genre, therefore you will never be totally caught off guard. And if our experts missed an eclectic cut you really want, simply add it manually [via search].”
There’s always the possibility the app will play songs users aren’t familiar with, but users can immediately skip songs, or block songs and artists from reappearing later. On the other hand, “liking” a song adds these tracks to a “My Likes” list, which can be added to the user’s station just like any other genre, and then prioritized in the tuning section.
In addition to this release on Google Play, the iOS app has been updated since launch last summer with better “intuitiveness and speed.” Radical.FM is available to download for free on iOS and Google Play, with a desktop version currently in development.