4 Alternatives to Radio Free America After Closure

On Aug. 13, Radio Free America announced its shutdown. The programming archive service had been operating for nearly five years at virtually no cost to community radio stations. Its departure leaves many stations without an online catalog of past programs.

Stations are now scrambling for a new archiving system. There are a few alternatives in the wake of RFA’s end.

  • StreamGuys provides a variety of streaming services to stations, including RFA-style archiving. The company is well regarded by stations, many of which use SG for streaming. Discounts are available for NFCB member stations.
  • Creek offers a range of streaming services for stations and other tools tailored for your programming, including playlists and websites.
  • On Aug. 14, news broke that popular community radio resources Spinitron and Radio Rethink are in discussions regarding a potential solution for stream archiving. Keep an eye on Spinitron and Radio Rethink for the latest.
  • Manual solutions are far less convenient, but if you’re looking for the lowest cost, sites like Mixcloud allow a DJ or potentially a station to manually upload content. Such is imperfect, but it may serve your immediate needs until your station can figure out its next step.

Unlike RFA, your station may now have some expenses associated with archiving. If this is not something viable for you, the station may consider messaging that focuses on the exclusivity of live programming; and the experience of community radio live during the pandemic.

In addition, your station may consider pivoting resources to online-exclusive content such as digital-first podcasts and impress the value of broadcast listenership among audiences.

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