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Pop Loser No. 106

by Tyler Hellard


Pirate Radio Stations Explode on YouTube

Pirate radio is a strange thing in the internet era—easier, cheaper and more prevalent, but, you know, way less cool. 

The channels occupy a precarious space between YouTube’s algorithm and its copyright policing, drawing comparisons to the unlicensed pirate radio stations of the 20th century, recreated in the digital sphere. Many of the channels blink in and out of existence within a week, but their presence has become a compelling part of the site’s musical ecosystem. And while competitors like Spotify are gaining, YouTube still dominates the streaming world, according to the latest Music Consumer Insight Report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.


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