Although we continue to support, listen to, and create independent music, GroundWaves is at a crossroads. Our radio station was established at a time when there were few good music discovery services or independent online radio stationswe were privileged to be a pioneer in that space.
Almost 14 years later, the online music landscape is significantly different. There are excellent services like Spotify and Pandora that allow listeners to discover new music and for artists to leverage, not to mention the thousands of independent channels available via services like ShoutCast. Terrestrial radio stations from around the world can be heard on one's mobile device via apps like TuneIn Radio. Independent musicians can (and should) post their own music for sale on iTunes. ReverbNation is no longer just for major label acts. In the age of reality TV, YouTube has replaced MTV as a music discovery video channel. Facebook band pages, Twitter and even the moribund Myspace have provided independent musicians with tools that can put them on equal footing with major-label acts as far as audience reach.
This is not a screed of self-pity. This is a recognition that GroundWaves needs to redefine itself to continue to contribute meaningfully to the music-discovery space. 14 years is ancient in internet time, and we're feeling our age. We have always been a small operation, usually with a staff of one but with contributors and partners at various points throughout our history. That can be a challenge for anyone, especially while we simultaneously pursue other endeavors. Servers cost money, and updating faithfully takes both diligence and timethrough lack of time, the site had essentially been a cobweb from early 2011 through the end of 2012.
With that in mind, we're taking a break. Shutting down the broadcast. Posting this placeholder. We may be back; perhaps in a different format entirely, perhaps as a blog. In spite of the excellent music discovery services available to independent acts, there remain few that are dedicated exclusively to independent acts. When we settle on a format that allows us to more easily update the site, disseminate new music, and is easier on the wallet, we'll return. We've been offline for extended periods in the past and have always come back. This is not the endthis is the prelude to the beginning. Thank you for listening, thank you for contributing music, and thank you for supporting independent artists in your cities and around the world. As long as there is music, there will be a global underground. And it will be heard.
Joshua Edelstein, Founder, 29 December 2012
Established in April 1999, GroundWaves was a commercial-free no-format internet radio station dedicated to unsigned and small-label bands that never get radio airplay in major markets and to listeners who are bored with the repetitive and unadventurous nature of corporate radio. GroundWaves was in the spirit of college and pirate radio, only more obscure by design. Unsigned bands from anywhere in the world and of any genre were encouraged to submit material to be played on the wire. GroundWaves had no playlists, no channels, and no favorites. If an artist had a recording, an artist could be broadcast on GroundWaves.