Ever since 1978, the year when the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” was first released, the idea that new technologies are affecting the media arts has started gaining popularity. The song especially refers to how the age of the TV replaced that of the radio. However, how accurate is this assertion today?
The battle between the TV and the radio
As the famous track suggests, in the ’70s and early 80’s the popularity of the TV was undisputable. Then, sitcoms were highly popular and young and urban programs were becoming more and more successful. After all, let’s not forget that the music video for “Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first video ever to be aired on MTV.
After the tremendous impact that the TV had in the 2000s, nowadays, it is often seen as out-of-date, as it has been replaced by streaming services and popular video-sharing websites such as Youtube. Yet, in the long run, it seems like the radio managed to survive the age of the TV, that of the iPods and that it is still going strong in the current era of Spotify. In other words, the Radio is more alive than ever before.
Recent studies have shown that Americans consider the radio to be the number one way to discover new music. Apart from providing one with cool tunes that one can sing along to when commuting to work, the radio also includes segments where information regarding the latest news is presented.
The main reason why radio is still so popular is the fact that it is easily available. Most of its listeners tune in to their favorite shows while in their cars, making their way to work. Plus, radio has a format that is effortless to access and to understand, and it is, most important than everything else, free of charge.
Branching out: The Internet Radio
What makes Radio so successful today is the fact that the term does no longer refer to terrestrial radio or the AM/FM stations. Instead, the new era of technology has led to the development of Internet Radio. By this, we mean those digital stations that are not bounded by physical limitations. After all, we are currently surrounded by millennials who no longer believe in lack of accessibility.
Although numerous Internet stations are highly popular, it should be noted that the old-fashioned AM/FM radio has managed to remain the biggest and easiest way to reach large masses of people. According to a new study, more than 90% of radio listeners tune in weekly to listen to specific shows. Therefore, it seems like video didn’t actually kill the radio star after all!