To know the future of radio, we should start where it all began, back in the early 1900s. When we know the history of an event or invention, we will have a better idea of what the future could look like. This is true for the future of the radio as well.

Where it All Began

Radio was used mainly as a way for ships to stay in contact with those on land and other ships. Radio messages were transmitted and received through Morse code. This system was called the radiotelegraph or the wireless telegraph. Guglielmo Marconi is often credited as an inventor of the radio. He read a biography of Henrich Hertz who had written and experimented with early forms of wireless transmission in the 1800s. Marconi then developed the early versions of the wireless radio.

Since the creation of pirate stations during the 1960s radio has been the center of family entertainment. Families gathered around the radio listening to their favorite programs and news. While radios have also played music for every generation, taste, and interest.

Other Means of Radio

Based on its early history, radio waves were used for more than just the first way we think. The technology itself offers wider possibilities than listening to music or news. Radio wave technology is the base of television broadcasting, cell phone use, wireless networking, satellite communications with multiple users, and radio navigation systems, such as GPS.

You also use radio technology when opening your garage door, changing between stations with remote control, or making funny videos of your friends and family while controlling your drone.
These options open a whole new world of thinking about the radio and its future. It is not only the machine or source of entertainment, but it is also a technological invention providing various options for anything that needs to be controlled or measured from a distance.

Will All of this Still Happen in the Future of Radio?

Advances in technology during the 2000s launched the first internet radio stations. And yes, the music world was a buzz with their rights reserved lawsuits. So you might think the future of the radio was very bleak. Inventions such as television, film, and the internet would be more appealing. The new media presented a challenge.

However, the radio has only added positively to this trend. And radio consistently appeals to newer generations.

Radio stands the test of time. National statistics show 40% of people in the UK still listen to the local radio in their cars and rely on news from this very source. Not to mention they also explore new trends or have a sentimental moment over an 80s pop hit.

Listening to the radio remains as popular as ever. Radio listeners benefit from the increased number and range of stations which include community stations, local stations, and stations from around the world via the internet.

As computers and smartphones become commonplace, they allow internet radio stations to continually expand their audiences. Platforms like Apple Music and Spotify are on the increase.

I remember recording the Top 40 off the radio on my Sanyo tape recorder. I had to use a metal coat hanger to get a better radio signal. Now times have changed to the up to date streaming at the click of a button, streaming any programs, news, or songs the world has to offer.

Online options and applications provide a made to measure kind of radio to the smartphone and computer users. Spotify is one of the greatest examples of how we can literally hold the entire history of music in our palms. We also discover new music, based on our personal tastes, or go to an album that we have listened to forever. Not to mention, we can get immediate notifications of upcoming concerts, or album releases from our favorite bands and musicians.

Moreover, we can immediately get to know the story behind the lyrics and songs on Spotify with Genius’ “Behind the Lyrics” (BTL). Podcasts are also available on any topic from fairy tales and real crime stories to culture, technology, art, finance, lifestyle and more.

So if you are out of evening fairy tale ideas, you can listen along with your kids to the most talented artist’s voice. This tailored to individuals’ approach, with its informative and limitless ways, is the future of radio. And it will only get more comfortable and more helpful along the way.

So Will FM Radio be Phased Out?

FM radio will eventually be phased out according to digital culture media and sport. Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is being proposed as the main broadcast platform for many radio stations. While both are terrestrial radio signals, the FM signal comes in a single frequency, where DAB is delivered in bits of ones and zeros. Most new radios feature DAB and/or FM High Definition.

The switching off of analog radio is not likely until digital signals can match the numbers of people reached with the FM signal.

So do People Still Listen to the Radio?

In their 2019 Audio Today Report, Nielsen reported that more than 270 million Americans still listen to the radio every week. It was also revealed that commercial radio alone recorded breaking revenues and consistently strong audience figures.

Behind the transition to digital radio, the hybrid radio concept enhances new possibilities for innovation. The hybrid radio combines the power of DAB, DRM, and FM all tuned in with broadband. These all enhance the user’s experience on connected radio devices. This allows you to switch the audio between broadcast and IP.

Radio is Now Available In More Ways Than Ever Before

  • DAB – Digital Audio Broadcast
  • FM – Frequency Modulation
  • LW – Longwave
  • MW – Mediumwave
  • Online
  • Mobile Apps
  • Digital Music Players

Future radios may offer all of these on a single device. The media market and the digital industry would both benefit. And so would the people.

Radio still remains critical to the music industry. New media markets have only increased the music business.

In the future radio may only exist via internet connections. But time has shown that radio is resilient.

People like traditional radio and they are exposed to it all the time. People listen to it in their cars when they commute to get a daily update on news, to relax or sing along with the pop hits or just simply pass the boredom. In stores where they spend hours per week and even in cafés while they wait for their orders. The music business continues to fight through the ‘rights reserved’ issues in these new formats. And the radio industry seems to always win.

During these times, when people are carelessly exposed, they might hear something stunning on channels playing niche music, jazz or future pop hits.

Can you recall the moment you were sipping your coffee at a bar, and you recognized your feet moving to the beat of a song you were hearing for the first time? And then when the song was over, you expected the announcement of the title and songwriter. But it just simply doesn’t happen, and they move on to the pop hit you’ve heard a thousand times.

This frustration doesn’t happen in the world of online music libraries. Applications like Shazam can detect any music in a matter of seconds. When you like a song and open this app, it doesn’t only show you what you’ve just heard, but it directs you to the musician’s album where you can get to know anything about the masterpiece, and it saves it in your library as well.

Music listening remains as popular as ever. Radio stations, digital or otherwise, continue to flourish.

Time is the test and radio seems to be passing with flying colors. The radio industry is here to stay in a new, well-tailored way, while we will keep using radio technology to control the most unexpected inventions. Maybe in a few years, you will mow your grass and vacuum your home from the comfort of your sofa, based on radio technology.