Is radio dying?
Well, sort of (at the moment anyway)—but probably not for good.
Historically, whenever newer media technologies have competed with older forms, both typically evolved and survived. (For radio, it’s not even the first time it has met such a challenge. You might’ve heard about last century’s breakthrough technology known as television, which some believed meant the demise of radio.)
So, what’s to become of radio in the age of new media?
My colleague Will Dube and I recently sat down to discuss “the state of radio”—and findings from my study examining listener perceptions of local radio—for a Studio 86 podcast. We touched on topics such as citizens’ satisfaction with local radio programming and community involvement, radio use by today’s youth, opinions about local music and news programming, and more.
This brings me back to my opening question and response. Radio, largely in the hands of media conglomerates, is dying right now. Ultimately, though, I’m confident it’ll evolve and survive.
As stated in my study, local radio has several distinct advantages—beyond those even of many forms of new media. Radio is pervasive, portable, low-cost, easy-to-use (by producers and consumers alike), far-reaching, immediate and inherently local. (The iPod, in contrast, while having many distinct advantages all its own, scores about a two out of seven among these criteria.)
Read other highlights and policy proposals from my study, Effects of Local-Market Radio Ownership Concentration on Radio Localism, the Public Interest, and Listener Opinions and Use of Local Radio, access the full study and hear the Studio 86 podcast discussing key findings here:
Have a great weekend!