Last week, Brian Burton (A/K/A Danger Mouse) and Nigel Godrich released a new app called Station Rotation. They announced it via their social media accounts, were somewhat vague, and forgot to use a proper hashtag (artists, am I right?). Unsurprisingly, some of you had some questions, so here is some clarity:
Station Rotation is a free app that Brian and Nigel created when—in addition to a deep desire to find a great way to discover new music—they realized that, despite being friends for over a decade, they really didn’t know much about each other’s personal music tastes. And as they say, if you want something done…
The pair created, financed and developed a simple app that would allow them and their friends (various musicians, producers, film directors, artists, etc.) to program individually curated radio stations—NOT playlists—for sharing within the app. Unlike a typical playlist or mixtape, they wanted to provide a collective experience, in real time.
They took this idea to an app developer to help them work out the technical details… and for the last few years, the pair have been tinkering with it privately, eventually opening it up to more friends, and at long last… the general public.
Station Rotation represented a new way for their friends and cohorts to connect and share music. Only music. No politics. No comments sections… The result was eye-opening as they realized: we’re all so much more similar than we realize. Somehow, despite their friends’ diverse tastes, genres, backgrounds and bodies of work, so many of them wound up putting some of the same exact songs on their stations. The individually tailored stations provided heartwarming and unexpected revelations about their closest friends.
Now that it has been made available to the public, Station Rotation offers all listeners the chance to discover those, often revelatory, insights into some of the most creative and generally inscrutable people and their favorite songs.
Now to some FAQs and their answers:
How is Station Rotation different than a Playlist?
Simply put: Station Rotation is interesting people spinning their favorite tunes, round the clock (as opposed to, say, a 20-song playlist or mixtape). And the listener experience is collective in that the app reveals which of your friends are listening to the same station and therefore hearing the same thing. at the same time
Station creators choose their favorite songs, which (unlike a playlist) are played in random order.
And much like a radio DJ, the station creators can edit their own stations by adding and subtracting tracks as they please (just as a programmer would bring songs in and out of Rotation). There is no way to skip to the next or previous song… If you want to hear something else, you simply change the station. And if you want to hear what the DJ is spinning next, you have to wait until the next song (like a radio Station).
How is Station Rotation monetized?
The app is 100% independently owned and self-financed by Brian and Nigel. There are zero ads and no sponsors or corporate backers… and Station Rotation does not harvest or sell your personal information.
The DJs who contributed stations all volunteered their time to do so.
It’s all for the love of music and the desire to share music with friends…
Why No Android Version?
They’re working on that.
As previously mentioned, Station Rotation is fully owned and funded by Brian and Nigel. They have spent the better part of the last several years working on, testing (and financing) the app to get it ready for public consumption. And the reality is, expanding beyond iOS is very expensive and very time consuming.
Android users: They hear you and are trying to make it work.
Why do I need a Spotify Premium account to use Station Rotation?
It’s a similar issue to the Android platform: Software-wise, Spotify Premium was simplest way to build the app. They’re not ruling out future versions that could work with Apple Music and other platforms.
If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out, but we think the only way to appreciate Station Rotation is to go ahead and give it a spin. And we think you’ll enjoy it.