Pledge-Free Stream FAQ

Got questions about the Pledge-Free Stream? Here are some answers!

What is the Pledge-Free Stream?

The Pledge-Free Stream is a way to listen to the regular WBEZ broadcast without hearing the pledge drive!

Who qualifies for the Pledge-Free Stream?

All High Fidelity members. (Login here to change your amount.)

Leadership Circle members who give $1,000 a year or more.

Anyone who makes a one-time donation of $250 or more.  (Want to donate now?)

Not sure if you qualify? Check your status by logging in to our Member Center.

How long will I be able to access the Pledge-Free Stream?

All High Fidelity members will have their ongoing access extended each month until their high fidelity membership is no longer active. One-time donors who make a donation of $250 or more will receive one year of access to the Pledge-Free Stream.

How can a qualifying member listen?

You can listen to the Pledge-Free Stream from your computer, phone, or tablet by launching your web browser. The stream is only available online. It is not available through the WBEZ app.

We will send you an email a few days before each pledge drive begins with a link to access the Pledge-Free Stream. Simply click on your personalized link, and you'll automatically start listening to the Pledge-Free Stream.

You may also access the Pledge-Free Stream by logging in to the member center. If you qualify, you will see a large red button that says "Access the Pledge-Free Stream." Click that button, and you will start enjoying the Pledge-Free Stream.

If you don't qualify, you will not see the button. You can upgrade your membership level at any time to access the Pledge-Free Stream. It may take up to two business days from the time of your donation for your access to be granted.

We will also send you an automated email when your access to the Pledge-Free Stream has been completed.

My stream is choppy / sometimes it drops the feed / it stops when my iPhone falls asleep.

This is likely because your device is low on resources and having some trouble buffering the audio. Restarting your device should do the trick. Closing out other apps will also help. Also, make sure your Internet connection is strong (WiFi is the best).

I clicked the Pledge-Free Stream link but I still hear pitching.

If you have previously used your web browser to listen to WBEZ you may need to delete your cookies, or use another browser, to enable the pledge free stream. You should see a red "Live On Air: Pledge Free" icon at the bottom of your screen if the stream loaded properly. 

How is the Premium Pledge-Free Stream possible?

We're running a second broadcast in addition to our regular broadcast. This broadcast requires additional staff time, studios and programming. Yes, this does cost money.

Why do members who do not already qualify have to give a one-time donation of $250?

As Chicago's main source for independent, non-commercial news and stories, WBEZ is a non-profit organization that relies on the support from the individuals who use our services to help pay for them. On-air pledge drives are where WBEZ finds the majority of its individual support. Because of this, as well as finding ways to help off-set the cost of the Pledge-Free Stream without taking money away from other areas, we are requesting that non-qualifying members or new members join our monthly membership program, High Fidelity, at $15 a month or more, or make a one-time gift of $250 or more to access the pledge-free.

Got more questions or need somebody to talk to?

Please email our listener services team or call 312-948-4855.