The decline of radio
Communication form slowly loses its popularity
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 16:03
One of the most influential inventions of the late 19th century was the radio.
For more than 40 years, the radio was the dominant source of news and entertainment.
After its invention, all of a sudden millions of people could be reached, just with the push of a button.
And while radio still reaches an estimated 181 million listeners each week, it would seem the need for radio is slowly dying.
With technological advancements in the last 20 years, the way people receive information and enjoy entertainment has changed.
The Internet, iPods and smartphones have altered the game.
In 2012 the Pew Research Center conducted a survey and concluded that 46 percent of Adult Americans now own a smartphone.
That is an 11 percent increase from the 35 percent of Adult Americans who owned smartphones in May of 2011.
People are switching over to new technologies.
Rather than someone waiting for his or her favorite news program to come onto the radio to get information, that person would probably just Google the information nowadays.
Radio used to be cutting edge.
Families would gather around their radio sets during the Great Depression just to try and escape their worries for a few hours a day while listening to their favorite programs.
Sports fans everywhere would tune into their team’s radio station to keep up with scores during live games.
And while a lot of those actions still happen, all of the new technology coming out onto the scene will eventually take radio’s place.
People will understand radio less now.
Arbitron, an international media and marketing research firm, published a study in 2006 that showed 92 percent of people over 12 years of age, either owned or have used a radio.
Over a five-year period that number barely moved and was at 96 percent in 2011.
This statistic would show that radio is in not dying.
Arbitron then asked those surveyed do you “like or love” radio. Only 22 percent said they loved it, and 36 percent said they liked it.
So only about half of the people who owned and or used a radio liked or loved it. That’s a depressing number because radio is a great tool. Free music and entertainment while you’re stuck in traffic can be a lifesaver.
You probably would have missed that traffic if you tuned into a traffic report on a radio station. Or listening to talk radio can be very entertaining and informative when listening to people’s ridiculous opinions on Katie Perry’s last album, which I assume was terrible anyway.
With technological advancements in the last 15 years, the need for radio is now disappearing. Twenty-five years ago, there was a definite need for radio. There was barely any other way to find things out about the world or hear your favorite tune, short of reading a newspaper or talking to your neighbors. But radio is still very relevant today.
It has not died yet and there are people out there who will do everything they can to ensure that it does not die anytime soon.
But 20 years down the road some newfangled contraption will allow people to instantly gratify any need, whether it is news or entertainment.
Hopefully radio will not just die out, but evolve.
High-definition radio came and went, and while people still listen to it, it is not the next big thing.
The next medium will come in the form of some tiny electronic device, that will one day too be replaced by something better.
It is the way of the world.