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Why hasn’t radio died off? (OP-ED)

There is no denying that the Internet has changed the way we consume media. Now more than ever, people globally use digital platforms to watch their favorite shows or listen to their favorite artists. That said, traditional platforms like radio have still managed to thrive.

According to the Pew Research Center, research from the Radio Advertising Bureau found that around 82% of Americans still listened to radio sometimes in a given week in 2022. More specifically, radio market research company Edison Research, found that 37% of Americans used radio as a consistent platform in 2023, with broadcast AM/FM radio maintaining the largest type of radio consumed.

So, what makes radio still so valuable? The main appeal of radio is that it’s generally easily accessible when someone is in a vehicle or owns a radio. Not only can radio be used anywhere, but it is also undeniably intertwined with American culture. It’s no wonder why despite, the Internet’s popularity, radio is still popular with people both young and old.

Edison Research found that 55% of Gen Z Americans still listen to AM/FM radio daily, thanks to how well the medium has adapted to the new digital environment. Radio shows are no longer limited to radios, they can be put on platforms like YouTube and other audio streaming platforms simultaneously to reach as many people as possible.

In the business world, radio advertisements continue to be the most accessible and cost-effective. Additionally, Be on Air noted that radio advertisements continue to be one of the few types of ads that consumers trust.

Regardless, the future of radio is still uncertain due to the ongoing changes in cars. Already, there has been an effort to get AM radio channels removed in newer car models with electrical components by car manufacturers like Ford, Tesla, and BMW. The reason for this change is due to the engines in electric vehicles, which allegedly can “interfere with the sound of AM stations.”  

This could easily mean a future without AM radio, and for the 4,200 AM stations in the US with millions of combined listeners, it’s a serious conundrum.

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