Finally, a Public Radio Station Offers a Pledge Drive-Free Stream to Donors

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Public radio pledge drives are annoying, particularly after you donate to your local station and are still forced to listen to the duration of the drive, despite your good behavior. Finally, KQED in northern California has come up with a solution. For $40 $45, five bucks more than the price of a basic membership, you get access to a pledge drive-free stream. This requires forking the station's content, so it's not exactly trivial, but KQED seems ready.

The Pledge-Free Stream is an alternate live stream of KQED Public Radio available over the Internet that carries all regular KQED radio programming, including live news reports (except for traffic updates). The stream will omit all fundraising breaks, which run on weekdays from 6am - 7:30pm, Saturdays from 7am - 2pm and 6 - 9pm, and Sundays from 7am - 2pm.

The Pledge-Free Stream will be available from the moment you purchase it through the end of the May 2011 Fundraiser.

Access to this stream is available through the web browser on your computer and/or smartphone.

Even though the technology has been available to deliver multiple streams, I believe this is the first public radio station to try out the idea. I love it because the station rewards their donors with an immediate prize. I can't wait to see if it increases the amount of people who pledge.

Via @mthomps.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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