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SomaFM Free Streaming: We tell you how to watch for free (Updated 2022)

SomaFM is a streaming music network which is run exclusively through donations from its users. It offers a variety of channels with new and unheard music, as well as no display or pre-roll ads. In order to ensure the continued growth of the network, donations are requested on a regular basis.


Nicole Sommer
Last updated: Monday, 02.October 2023
Author Biography
Hello. My name is Nicole Sommer. I am a big soccer enthusiast and do a lot of reserach around the easiest way to watch soccer on TV and online across the whole globe.
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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has recognised the rise of music streaming services, such as radio coverage and podcasts, in their decision to make changes to their copyright policy. This shows that the music industry has completely changed since they first began to take hold, with music services now taking the center stage. For instance, Kanye West's album 'The Life of Pablo' became the first album to receive platinum-based online plays rather than physical sales. These days, it is seen as successful if an artist/band can get a lot of plays on streaming platforms.
I'm mentioning the rise of streaming platforms because it comes with a cost. When it comes to the music industry, small and independent services are absorbed by rival companies. For instance, Rdio was acquired by Pandora and AOL ran out of business. Major music networks similar to the TV networks absorb the smaller ones and so there's a constant shakeout every quarter. One particular independent streaming network with steady popularity that stands out as a powerful presence in the radio streaming industry is SomaFM.

What is SomaFM?

SomaFM is an independent internet-only radio streaming network, purely funded by donations from users. SomaFM began its journey in 1999 from a garage in San Francisco as a micro-power radio station. The initial success of the channel meant that Rusty Hodge, the founder of SomaFM could launch a full-time internet radio station within a year. Over the last two decades, Soma has become a perfect pleasure music drug for listeners around the world.

Why is SomaFM different from other radio streaming networks?

Most of the radio streaming networks offer free and paid streaming music tiers. So, listeners either pay a subscription fee or they listen for free with ads throughout the website. If you're a free listener, you don't get access to premium features such as song-skipping and must watch pre-roll ads. Thus, streaming on those radio sites makes sense only if you're a casual listener.
SomaFM is an online music streaming service that offers users premium features without having to pay for a subscription. These features include the ability to skip songs, on-demand playback, and access to detailed information on each section of the website.


In 2002, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) required internet broadcasters to pay a per-song per listener royalty. This was a dark patch for SomaFM, as the channel allegedly had to pay over $1,000 USD per day if it wanted to continue operating. However, in later years, the royalties were reduced by half and still Soma found it difficult to carry on due to the expenditure exceeding revenue.
In 2002, SomaFM ceased broadcasting and Hodge had to appear before US Congress in a bid to reduce the royalty rate. However, after three months of hiatus, SomaFM was back on the air with the help of the Small Webcaster Settlement Act (SWSA).
After the troublesome period, SomaFM found its footing and kept improving year after year. In 2005, it entered into a partnership with Orban. In 2007, it was an active part of "Internet Radio Day of Silence?" in protest against Copyright Royalty Board?s decision to raise royalty fees. In 2013, it partnered with ?Aha? by Harman International which was a breakthrough collaboration as it allowed SomaFM to make their content available via ?Aha? apps. In 2014 SomaFM partnered with Qualcomm to include "Allplay?" - AllJoyn open-source software for wireless speakers in their mobile apps.

Why should you stream SomaFM?

You can stream SomaFM for free. There are no hidden fees or inconvenient subscription contracts - everything is clear and easy to understand. You can browse the website without fearing mistimed clicks or intrusive ads.

Amazing Community

Since SomaFM is a channel run by the community, there is no doubt that it has an amazing community. You can actually join the guest book by adding your email address, name, and your message. As soon as you put an entry, your message will be displayed to fellow users. If you like what you hear and want the platform to grow, you can even donate custom amounts using the donation column on the right.

Original content with handpicked channels

Unlike other directories that feature over 30,000+ radio channels, SomaFM only features 30 channels and offers its unique content for free. It is an independent network with original channels where music is handpicked by the top DJs and music producers. With SomaFM, it is more about quality content than quantity which often leaves you confused.

Well-curated Playlists

I have seen hundreds of radio music streaming networks, but none had a playlist as satisfying as SomaFM. These playlists are updated in real-time, featuring top artists, tracks, and newly added songs by the members of the platform. For instance, you'll find unique playlists such as "Americana Roots music for Cowhands, Cowpokes and Cowtippers?", "Blips ?n? beeps backed mostly with beats by clip hop IDM?", "Deep ambient electronic, experimental and space music?" by Deep Space One, and "Music for Hacking?" by DEF CON Radio. These are just a few of the many custom playlists available on SomaFM.


SomaFM's visual appeal in 2020 is a total let down, given the independence and significance of this radio network. The website's use of fonts, text color and overall graphics sets you twenty years backward. If you're a new user, you'll think of this website as a scam landing page and would bounce off immediately.


The header section on SomaFM has a disproportionate logo on the left and different texts listed in the center. These include - listen, news, support/donate, store, playlists, mobile, podcasts, features, mailing list, guest book, about and contact. Almost everything you would want in a drop-down menu or well-arranged section is cluttered within a small space.

Hero Section

After a disappointing header, it's time for you to move on to an even worse hero section. It's divided into two sections. The left section which covers ¾ of the page has a Donation CTA in green followed by supporting texts and album arts. On the right, there's a donation column along with live stats. At the time of reviewing this website, there were 10090 active people on the website. As for the donation, you can choose between $20 to $365 and can even add a custom donation amount.


The body section of SomaFM is full of channel arts and details. There are four-channel arts in one row and as you keep scrolling, you'll find up to 10 such rows. As you scroll down, you'll find a small news section on the right which you might overlook because donation dominates that column.

Inner pages

Though the inner pages offer insights, they're disappointing from a design standpoint. There's a channel name on the top, a short description, Listen now button, Channel information, active listeners data, and donation callout. On the left are five options - Tune In, About Your DJ, Song History, Artists and Direct Stream Links.


The footer of the website is cluttered with little to no valuable information. There's not much to take home from this section either.


SomaFM is a network that is truly run by the listeners. There is no directory nor sponsored content. It has 30 unique channels that allow the service to broadcast commercial-free, underground radio to the world. Each of these channels has a dedicated award-winning DJ who handpicks the music for these stations.

Desktop/Mobile experience

When you click on a particular channel, a small window opens and the channel starts playing music. The window has the name of the channel, the music director, the time, the artist, and song details. Down at the bottom are five options - Favorite Station, Favorite Songs, Community, Now Playing, and All Stations.
I checked the website on a 1920 x 1080 resolution and it looked okay to me. The mobile version seemed responsive and didn't have any issues when I was browsing around the website and listening to music.
The playback was flawless with no interruptions. The quality of audio was superb, and the sound selection was choice too.

Plans & Pricing

SomaFM is a free music streaming service that relies on donations to continue functioning. You can donate to help support the channel by clicking the donate button below.

Suggestions I have for SomaFM

I would like the developers to work on the graphics of the website. It feels outdated. Moreover, I would advise them to reduce the number of donation CTAs because it comes off spam-like. Lastly, it would be great if they could add more exclusive channels on the network.


If you're looking for a great streaming platform that offers some exclusive tunes not found on mainstream networks, then SomaFM is definitely worth checking out. Although the website and graphics might not be the best, the audio quality is definitely something to be praised.
Nicole Sommer
Nicole Sommer is a true soccer fan and loyal supporter of FC Arsenal and 1.FC Köln. She plays actively her self as central forward in the women's aquad of TuS Köln in Germany. In her spare time she spends a lot of time online including researching the soccer streaming space. Her research has been published in several online soccer magazines.
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SomaFM Free Streaming: We tell you how to watch for free (Updated 2022).

SomaFM is a streaming music network which is run exclusively through donations from its users. It offers a variety of channels with new and unheard music, as well as no display or pre-roll ads. In order to ensure the continued growth of the network, donations are requested on a regular basis.

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