Radio stations with minimal talking and no ads?
March 4, 2020 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I listen to a lot of streaming radio on my Alexa and am looking for more stations that are music-only. My two go-to stations for this are Radio Paradise and Folk Alley. Are there others that are 99% music all the time? I especially love indie, folk, classical, old country, and jazz, but suggestions from all genres are welcome!
posted by fourpotatoes to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
KBRD!! Local community radio out of Olympia, WA. Plays old timey music.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:59 AM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite] is pretty low-talk and has a great variety of streams. They don't even backsell the music - just occasional asks for support.
posted by jquinby at 8:59 AM on March 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

I listen to this for background music for when I need no vocals. Seconding, they have a lot of good channels and no ads except the occasional "Hey support us" ask.
posted by jessamyn at 9:10 AM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Little talk especially all night when I have it on for periods of insomnia: Classical MPR. That's right: M as in Minnesota.
posted by tmdonahue at 9:37 AM on March 4, 2020

Check out our local community station, WVMO, The Voice of Monona. You can click through their schedule to browse the playlists to see if the music might be to your liking. You'll hear a very occasional monotone announcement about a library program or something, but I think it comes pretty close to hitting 99% music. Bonus: it has some of the best station ID jingles in the business.
posted by juliapangolin at 10:07 AM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by Balthamos at 10:16 AM on March 4, 2020

Soma FM has more than 30 different channels in a variety of genres with no ads and minimal talking.
posted by Lexica at 10:31 AM on March 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Indie617 from Boston.
posted by Seeking Direction at 10:37 AM on March 4, 2020

WBRU (formerly 95.5 WBRU) from Providence, RI. Both WBRU and Indie617 do have occasional "sponsored by (beer/ski resort/etc.)", but nothing too terrible.
posted by Seeking Direction at 10:41 AM on March 4, 2020 , “the internet radio station inspired by John Peel,” has no ads and not a lot of talking.
posted by fabius at 11:32 AM on March 4, 2020

Public radio, in general, is your friend. You won't avoid all talk, but it's So Much Better than commercial radio, and I'd put it above streaming services as well, because it's curated.

In Philly, we have WRTI , which is classical from 6 AM to 6 PM, and jazz from 6 PM to 6 AM. It's a public radio station, so there will be occasional "sponsored by" messages, and a few yearly member drives where they ask you to donate and become a member (which you should!) but other than that, it's just music. Owing to the nature of classical and jazz music, there are often long breaks without interruptions.

We've also got XPN, which is a fantastic radio station that plays indie, folk, rock, the occasional jazz, a mix of everything. They have actual DJs that do actual programming, so you'll hear a bit more talk but you learn a lot too. It's great for music discovery.
posted by vitout at 11:45 AM on March 4, 2020

Thirding SomaFM, here. I can't fall asleep without Drone Zone.
posted by BostonTerrier at 11:50 AM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Give NTS a try. They have 2 streaming channels with DJs, but also an extensive archive of all their shows among tons of genres.
posted by homesickness at 12:36 PM on March 4, 2020

Yes, definitely Soma FM. I love their Boot Liquor Radio and Left Coast 70s stations.
posted by essexjan at 12:52 PM on March 4, 2020

I love Minneapolis's indie music station, The Current! There is usually not too much talking unless it's pledge drive season, which just ended. They have an online Americana stream and a Prince-themed R&B stream that have even less talking because they can't afford to have a DJ on them most of the time.
posted by zeusianfog at 1:18 PM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

KCSM, the successor to San Francisco's KJAZZ - playing Jazz, of course - with specific shows specializing in blues, funk, soul, rockabilly, and more. I listen to it pretty much any time I'm awake. Sunday afternoons and evenings are must-hear radio in my house - shows like Rhythm Retrospective, Annals of Jazz, and In the Soul Kitchen.
posted by niicholas at 1:24 PM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Chicago's own Chirp Radio "is a volunteer-driven, community radio station that focuses on music, arts, and culture." It has ads for itself and some DJ talk about the songs so not sure if that disqualifies it. I find that the DJs play vastly different genres so it's worth checking back at different times.
posted by Bunglegirl at 6:23 PM on March 4, 2020

Whisperings Solo Piano Radio is 99% instrumental piano music, with the 1% being ads for signing up for their no-ad premium service. The site mentions the free service has commercial interruptions, but I honestly don't remember anything product-wise. Sometimes they broadcast piano concerts.
posted by lesser weasel at 8:15 PM on March 4, 2020

WMVY might float your boat, and it lets you know if the boats are running in rough weather.
posted by vrakatar at 8:47 PM on March 4, 2020

TSF Jazz. Not much talk, and what little there is is in French.
posted by rd45 at 2:04 AM on March 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I always plug my local independent radio station WNRN. There are commercials, in that the (mostly) volunteer DJs read copy about 3 times per hour, but it's not full of sound effects, etc. like a commercial radio station.

They play AOR alternative, for the most part, but have genre-specific shows on certain days.
posted by kuanes at 4:35 AM on March 5, 2020

KDFC is classical with no ads. it's great.
posted by Threeve at 8:54 AM on March 5, 2020

KWAX is commercial-free classical music.

KRVM is commercial-free eclectic music. Check the program schedule on their website.
posted by neuron at 11:57 PM on March 5, 2020

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