Is Radio Dead? The Truth Behind the State of the Radio Industry

Jan 18, 2016

radio advertWith all the new advancements in music streaming technology, many people are quick to assume that traditional radio is dying. Traditional broadcast seems to have taken a backseat to other, newer, on-demand music services. Although new channels for listening to music have been introduced, radio is far from dead. It isn't dying; in fact, it's alive and well.

Radio is still a popular medium in America, reaching 59% of the country's population every day. A recent article from Forbes magazine claimed that radio is doing better than ever, despite consumer's usage of the newer music streaming platforms. The article stated that the second quarter of 2015 had seen the highest number of people tuning in to radio -- ever.

A whopping 245 million people tuned into the radio at least once per week during that time, and about 236 million tune in on average. Radio is still a leading force thanks to how readily available it has become for consumers. Nearly every automobile is equipped with a radio and people are constantly listening whenever they are in their cars. 

Radio companies have tapped in to the popularity of smartphones and begun developing applications that allow their listeners to tune in anywhere. People can listen to recordings and podcasts of their favorite on-air talent right from their smartphones. Radio continues to thrive because it has become accessible on many different devices, which draws us to a simple conclusion: Radio isn't dying, it's merely evolving.

Radio advertising is reaping the benefits from this spike in listenership. A radio commercial can be incredibly beneficial when there are so many people who are receiving the message. Radio stations have become niche-markets, offering stations that only play a certain genre or decade of music. There are over 13,500 radio stations that cover over 40 different formats. Radio advertising companies are not going to put their spending practices on hold; they are becoming keener to the changes in the way people listen and are tailoring their messages to fit their target audience. The power of radio will continue to pulse the more radio advertising companies choose to invest.

In short, the radio industry will never die as long as advertisers spend and listeners tune in, and the trends show that neither will stop happening any time soon. The radio industry will keep growing as talented newcomers offer new ideas to keep up with the media’s ever-changing demands. If you want to get involved in the industry, don’t let anyone talk you out of pursuing a career in radio. From voiceover work to audio production, there are so many opportunities to be a part of this amazing industry.

by Rich Brennan