Pledge-Free Stream FAQ

Our next FM Fundraising Drive begins December 28, 2022.

Not a sustaining member yet? Join today and start taking advantage of Pledge-Free Stream and other benefits.

About Pledge-Free Stream | Login Questions | Technical Questions | Smart Phone & Other Compatible Devices | Donating

About Pledge-Free Stream

What is Pledge-Free Stream and how can I get it?
Pledge-Free Stream is a live stream of KQED Public Radio that runs at the same time as our regular on-air radio fundraising drives. It is only available online and through connected devices like tablets and smartphones. Pledge-Free Stream is hosted live by a second on-air announcer and carries all regular KQED radio programming, including live news reports. It omits all fundraising breaks.

Sustaining members always have active memberships and as an exclusive benefit Sustainers are given complimentary access to Pledge-Free Stream in appreciation for their ongoing monthly support. Not yet a Sustainer? Join today and your access to Pledge-Free Stream starts as soon as you receive your email confirmation. Your access is valid through an entire fundraising drive. Pledge-Free Stream is accessible on up to four compatible web browsers via your computer, tablet and/or smartphone.

Can I make a one-time contribution and receive Pledge-Free Stream?

Pledge-Free Stream is a complimentary benefit for KQED members who support the programming by making ongoing monthly contributions. If you would rather not join as a Sustaining Member, then Pledge-Free Stream is also available with a One-Time Contribution of $60 or more.

What if I'm already a member, or just made a donation to KQED?

Existing KQED Sustainers receive complimentary access and should receive an email with a Pledge-Free Stream access link shortly before the drive begins. To find out if you are currently eligible to receive access to KQED's Pledge-Free Stream, email or call (415) 553-2150.

Login Questions

How do I get my Pledge-Free Stream access link?

If you are a KQED Sustaining Member, then you are automatically eligible for Pledge-Free Stream, and you will receive an email from KQED a few days before the drive begins with the subject line "Your Pledge-Free Stream Access Link." Once you log in, you should not need to log in again for the remainder of the drive. Cookies will keep you logged in.

For new members, when you submitted your donation to KQED or became eligible for access to Pledge-Free Stream, an email confirmation would have been sent to the address you gave us. Emails are usually sent immediately, but can take up to 10 mins to reach your inbox.

What do I do if I did not receive my confirmation email with Pledge-Free Stream access link? What if I lost the access link?

If you can't find the confirmation email, please check your "promotions," "spam" or "junk email" folder as it may have been misdirected there.  If you still can't find the email, please email us at

PLEASE NOTE: To ensure you receive emails from us with your access link for future drives, please take a minute to make sure you have whitelisted. Here are whitelisting instructions.

FOR GMAIL USERS: If you don't see the confirmation email with your access link in your Primary gmail in-box, please check under the "Promotions" tab if you have that set up. If you do find the email there, drag it to the Primary tab so future emails go there. Instructions on Gmail tabs.

To log into Pledge-Free Stream, you'll need two things:

  • The email address you shared with KQED when you completed the online donation form.
  • The Pledge-Free Stream access link we sent you by confirmation email.

If you have a Pledge-Free Stream access link from a previous Pledge-Free Stream campaign, you will not be able to log in to the current Pledge-Free Stream. Access links are active for only one fundraising drive.
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Why does the site keep asking me to sign in?

You should only have to sign in once per browser. The first time you sign in successfully, the KQED website sets a browser cookie that retains your sign-in information.

If your browser keeps asking you to sign in, try checking your browser's preferences to make sure it is accepting cookies. If it is, then send us an email and we'll try to help troubleshoot the issues you are facing.-- end old sign in faq to be deprecated?-->

Technical Questions

What technology is required to use the KQED Live Radio stream and Pledge-Free Stream?

You can listen to the Pledge-Free Stream via most web browsers. If you're able to play the normal KQED Listen Live stream in your browser, then you should be able to listen to the Pledge-Free Stream as well.

The KQED Live Stream player, including Pledge-Free Stream, utilizes the HTML5 Audio tag, and has been tested for compatibility with a range of web browsers. If your browser doesn't seem to be compatible, you can try upgrading your current browser or changing to a different one.

I'm still hearing pledge breaks. Why is this?

KQED's Pledge-Free Stream requires cookies for authentication. If you are using the Pledge-Free Stream access link but still hearing pledge breaks, check to make sure you do not have "Private Browsing" turned on in your browser preferences. If Private Browsing is set to "on," cookies will be disabled. Also, you should make sure any other privacy preferences are set to allow cookies.

I can't hear anything or the stream is buffering — what should I do?

If you experience problems please try the following:

  • Reload the browser page and try again. If you're listening via a computer, try a different browser. If you do have a recommended browser and you still can't hear anything after clicking on the live stream link, make sure that your speakers are on and the volume is turned up.
  • If you're listening on a phone via cellular data connection, try using wi-fi from your phone instead.
  • If using an iPhone, please make sure that private browsing is off and cookies are not being blocked.
  • Check to make sure there isn't something else running on your connection that's using excessive bandwidth, such as streaming video or a software update.

If you still can't hear anything or the stream is buffering repeatedly, contact us via the KQED Live Stream Problem Report form.

Compatible Devices

How do I access Pledge-Free Stream over my mobile device or smartphone?

KQED's Mobile-Friendly Web Site:
If you've already received your access link for Pledge-Free Stream, open the email from your mobile device and click on the access link. You'll be taken directly to Pledge-Free Stream where you just click on the "play" button and start listening pledge-free!

If you haven't donated for Pledge-Free Stream yet, just point your mobile browser to and become a Sustaining member at any level, or make a one-time contribution of $60. After you submit your contribution you will immediately receive an email with a link that grants you immediate access to Pledge Free Stream.

Smartphone Apps
To get the Pledge-Free Stream on the KQED Mobile App for iPhone or Android, sign in to your User Account from your phone:
You must have at least version 6.6.6 (Android) or 6.6.6 (iPhone) of the KQED Mobile App  installed to access Pledge-Free Stream. KQED Mobile App icon

You must also be a Sustaining Member of KQED. Join now if you are not already a member.

Select the Profile icon to either log in to your User Account or register for an account. Note you must use the same email that you use for your KQED Membership Account to get Pledge-Free Stream. User Account Sign In

Once signed in, you should see the trophy symbol showing on your app screen, indicating you are logged in to Pledge-Free Stream.Screenshot of mobile device with trophy icon indicating logged in state

Special information for iPhone/iPad Users:
If you are using an iPhone and you are using the Pledge-Free Stream link but are still hearing pledge breaks:

  • Make sure you don't have "private browsing" turned on.
  • Make sure Safari is set to accept cookies. Check that the "Block Cookies" setting is not set to "Always."
  • Make sure you do not have JavaScript disabled

Can I access Pledge-Free Stream over Amazon Echo/Alexa, my Internet radio, Sonos or other desktop player?

Alexa/Amazon Echo
products: You can now listen to the Pledge-Free Stream by enabling the Alexa skill.

If you are having trouble getting the Pledge-Free Stream Alexa Skill to work on your Amazon Alexa device, please try unchecking the "grant permissions" checkbox, and then re-granting permissions for your email address. This step has worked for several listeners experiencing difficulties.

Internet Radios, Sonos:
We do not currently support all speakers/internet radios. We have a small team and limited resources, and we will be taking feedback into account when prioritizing which devices to support next. Thanks for your understanding!

On a few models of newer internet radios, including some newer Sonos, you can enter as a custom URL the Pledge-Free Stream Access Link we sent you. If that link does not work on your Internet Radio, please email for an alternative link.

Search online for instructions on entering custom URLs for your particular device.

Sonos directions for adding the URL

Some newer Internet radios can also use the Alexa skill for Pledge-Free Stream in place of entering the PFS custom URL.

To listen on Internet radios without Alexa capabilities but with bluetooth, you can also play the Pledge-Free Stream on your phone and use Bluetooth to pair to your radio or speakers. For help with pairing your phone to your device, search online for the instructions for your particular device.

We do not have the capability to provide PFS on Google Home devices at this time.

More on "How to Listen to KQED on Your Smart Speaker"

Can I listen to Pledge-Free Stream on my radio?

No, it is not possible to access the KQED's Pledge-Free Stream with a conventional radio. Right now, Pledge-Free Stream is only available though a web browser on a computer, smartphone, tablet or other connected device. You can use your smartphone to stream while you're in your car. Some car makers also offer Internet radio.


Can I donate for Pledge-Free Stream by calling KQED?

Making your donation online would be the quickest way to access Pledge-Free Stream. If you would rather become a Sustaining Member and contribute to KQED over the phone then please call member services (415) 553-2150, Mon - Fri, 9am - 4:45pm and we'd be happy to help you. Your Pledge-Free Stream access will start as soon as you receive your confirmation email.

Will my donation for Pledge-Free Stream make me a KQED member?

Donating for Pledge-Free Stream entitles you to all the benefits of KQED membership for one year.

Will I be able to use the access link for other pledge drives too?

No. The Pledge-Free Stream access link is only available for the current pledge drive, and only for KQED Public Radio. You will receive a new link for each drive.

What if I want to give more than the current offer amount or would like other thank-you gifts as well?

That's great! Pledge-free access is automatic for all Sustainers and is available to other members each drive with your contribution of $60 or more. If you would like a thank-you gift for your contribution to KQED, simply select your desired item during your donation process before your click on submit.

If I donate from the web browser on my home computer, can I also access Pledge-Free Stream from my work computer?

Yes! We realize that lots of our members listen to us at work, at home, and on the go. So we've made it possible for you to enable Pledge-Free Stream on up to four browsers. Just use the access link we emailed you in your donation confirmation email and enjoy uninterrupted KQED programming!

What is the "fair market value" of Pledge-Free Stream?

Pledge-Free Stream has no "fair market value" because it is considered a service as opposed to a tangible gift item or product.


Question still not answered? Fill out a streaming problem report.