Q: How can I listen to your station?
A: The easiest way to play out station on computers, tablets, and smartphones is through the browser at BackRowRadio.com. You can also listen to us through your Echo devices. First, you'll need to use your Alexa App to enable the Back Row Radio skill. From then on, simply say "Alexa, open Back Row Radio." Other smartphone options: You can search for our station on the Live365 or Simple Radio apps.
Q: If you are a non-commercial radio station, how do you afford to operate? What are your expenses?
A: We operate 100% by listener donations through our Patreon page (and some out of our own pockets as well). We don't have the operation costs of station like K-Love that have to raise donations to the tune of multi-millions of dollars each year. Our needs are very bare bones and will only grow as the popularity of the station does. We pay for hosting, for the music we play, for licensing, and for our own advertisements on social media. The licensing is the bear that will grow as our listenership does, because the more people who listen, the more our licenses cost us. And our hopes for the future is to purchase the equipment to allow us to do live shows, pay our volunteer DJ's, and possibly one day expand to a building with a staff. Of course, that's way down the line. But if you are a listener and a fan of what we're doing, we hope you'd be willing to commit to a small monthly donation. Even just $5 a month would be incredibly beneficial to our ministry and we'd be incredibly grateful.
Q: The song cover or title info was wrong on one of the songs I heard on your station.
A: Please feel free to contact us with which song you've noticed had the wrong data or cover art through the Contact page and we will try to get it corrected. However, Live365, the company we use to help us run this station, does have a few quirks. Its players attempt to locate the music online for the purpose of sharing places to buy the song and read their lyrics. Occasionally, this results in the wrong information being displayed, and at present, that is not something we can control or fix. Still, we know we are not above mistakes on our end either, so please, if you see a mistake, report it and we will see what we can do. And thank you for caring enough about our station that you want us to look good!
Q: The station player is showing the next song's info sometimes up to a minute before the current song is over. Is that an issue on my end or yours?
A: That is on our end - or, more specifically, a quirk of Live365. Their system seems to be running 30 to 60 seconds ahead of the actual airplay at any given time. We brought up this same question to our host and were told "That is normal." So, just think of it as our systems are so excited, they can't help but hype the next song!
Q: I heard a promo that sounds like you're making fun of K-Love. Why do you hate K-Love?
A: We absolutely do not hate K-Love. K-Love & Air1 are powerhouse radio stations for a reason. They do a lot of amazing work, including a mission to place a transmitter near every prison in America, which is our favorite outreach that they do. We would never want to diminish the people at K-Love or the ministry itself (or any other Christian radio ministry). That being said, these radio stations, as in the actual airplay, does leave something to be desired for a lot of believers. And it's not entirely K-Love's fault either. Christian music as a whole over the last decade has begun to shift to sound nearly all the same, with very little variety in the Christian mainstream. We exist to shine a light on the alternative and share some of the best Christian music never or rarely heard on K-Love or Air1. We also do our best to keep the talking to a minimum (outside of our specific talk shows) and emphasize the music far above the on air personalities. Even in our hosted music hours, you'll still hear lots of music. So, we're less "making fun" and more "offering something different."
Q: I am an indie musician or I am in an indie band. Can you play my music?
A: We currently play music from over 50 independent (unsigned) Christian artists and we are always looking for more. You can get the process going by contacting us through the Submissions page. We only accept music from family friendly (basically, non-cussing) artists that profess Christ, if not in song, then at least personally. We accept submissions from any style of genre, but ultimately the choice as to whether or not we will play your music is at the discretion of the station manager. Please be aware: We are a non-profit station that barely has enough support to stay on the air. We cannot compensate indie artists for airplay, but consider the airplay itself and exposure thereof as a mutually beneficial agreement between the indie artist and Back Row Radio. However, indie artists that have their music registered with a PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SEASAC, or SoundExchange) should receive a small royalty for each time we play one of your songs through that system as with any radio station.
Q: I heard an artist/band that I don't think identifies as "Christian" on your station. What gives?
A: In addition to playing music of all genres, we also play music of two types: Christian Artists and "Artists who are Christians". Not every band comprised of believers considers themselves a "Christian Band", even though they may produce songs that address faith issues. One example of this is Twenty One Pilots. They are a very popular mainstream band that doesn't identify as a "Christian band." However, both members are professing Christians and a careful review of their lyrics reveals several songs that address faith, struggles of belief, and other Christian themes, though often presented in a poetic way. We know not everyone agrees that these artists should be included, but we have decided that they will be on our station, reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Q: It seems like your station is skipping ahead a few seconds every now and then. Is that an issue on my end or yours?
A: Both, kinda. If you are streaming on the Live365 app and have to pause the playback, it is best to back out of the player and re-click on the station. If you just pause it and then turn it back on shortly after, for some reason, it will try to pick up where you left off, but then it will attempt to catch back up with the LIVE feed by skipping a few seconds here and there, which can be quite frustrating. So, again, our advice is just to click that back button and then click on "Back Row Radio" again to let it load up the stream fresh to avoid those hiccups. However, this seems to largely only be an issue with the Live365 web player, not the pop-out player on our homepage.
Q: I've been listening to the station for several hours straight, but after a few hours, it stopped playing and I had to restart it. Is that an issue on my end or yours?
A: Ours. We have set up a "maximum" listening time for every stream that is opened. Every stream will cut off after being played continuously for 4 hours. The reasoning behind this is to minimize the instances where a stream is left open and forgotten about, where no one is actually listening (such as forgetting to close out the player when you leave work or playing the stream to fall asleep to at night). How much our licensing costs is determined largely by how many "Total Listening Hours" are accumulated through streams. This is an effort to make sure that all of those hours are "active" hours with "active" listeners. We chose 4 hours because it is rare that someone listens to the feed longer than that without ever pausing or breaking for lunch, etc. However, if you are one of those rare cases that play us non-stop, first of all, WOW! Thank you! And secondly, simply restart the app or pop-up player and your 4 hour time limit will reset immediately.
Q: Is Back Row Radio available on iTunes/Apple Music or TuneIn?
A: Unfortunately, both platforms (that were once built on the backs of online radio stations) have stopped accepting new stations to add to their list. If that ever changes, we will certainly do our best to be featured on both platforms.