Why We Do What We Do

We love our music as much as you do. However, we can only bring the music to you if we pay for it through licensing fees to every musical artist and author. We must also pay for the streaming service, broadcast equipment, and engineering support. We are listener-supported, commercial-free, and staffed entirely by volunteers. Without your membership support, we cannot keep the music that changed the world alive. That is why we are launching our 2023 Membership Campaign.

Why Support The Roots?

Commercial radio typically plays twenty minutes or more of commercials every hour. That’s the equivalent of three to five songs. They also play the same 500 songs repeatedly. On The Roots, you can hear thousands of songs with NO commercial breaks and no daily repetition. We aim to repeat songs no more than once per month unless they are part of a unique program. Most of our music is out of print and hard to find. We constantly comb local record shows and search for rarities you will only hear on The Roots. Rare, 50+-year-old vinyl is restored digitally, checked for quality, verified by MusicBrainz, and retagged before finally archiving into our massive uncompressed audio retrieval system.

At The Roots, Audio Quality Comes First.

Simply put, the quality of our streaming way outperforms most radio and streaming services available today. Saving the music continues after restoring and archiving. The same care goes into streaming our music to our members worldwide. We never compress our pristine music to an Mp3 format. Mp3 is a lossy format, which sacrifices audio quality for a smaller file size. Mp3 compression destroys up to 2/3 of the musical information in a file. At The Roots, our music is preserved as an uncompressed digital file until you choose the quality that fits your available bandwidth. Our highest-quality stream is an uncompressed FLAC file, the same as you would hear from a CD. Then we provide options for Wi-Fi, wired & Cellular connections.

Our team of skilled producers and hosts curate our extensive music library and create custom playlists that transport you back to when you first heard the music.


Our team works hard to produce daily special programming for The Roots. Our most popular show is Artist Spotlight, which focuses on a single artist or band in a mini-musical documentary for up to an hour daily. We currently have three new programs in pre-production.

Which Membership Should You Choose?

The Roots offers twelve different membership levels for you to choose. You can pay monthly or yearly and even customize your payment plan to fit your finances. Additionally, we now provide various gift incentives based on your support level. Your membership can be adjusted anytime by logging onto our Member Portal. As a Roots member, you will receive a unique discount code for use in The Roots Loot Store

Still Not Convinced?

If you have questions or need help, you can e-mail our founder, John Stephens, at john@theroots.fm.  

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