Digital Patronage: Toward a New Model of Building a Radio Station
This article analyzes how patronage crowdfunding is becoming a central part of the model for building a radio station. Implementing this model requires mobilizing listeners to engage in the direct, long-term financial support of a station. The analysis conducted in this article is based on a case study of Radio 357—an Internet radio station in Poland funded through digital patronage since 2020. The success of this station suggests that the development of crowdfunding has created a space for new types of participatory engagement by audiences. Not only are we experiencing a reduction in the distance between presenters and listeners alongside increased connectivity between members of the audience but we are also seeing the intervention of patrons in shaping the station in terms of how, what, and when it broadcasts.