Social media use among teens continues to outpace all other forms of media consumption. Except one. Radio.
Radio remains a staple in millennial media use. This might surprise you. Initially it surprised me. A lot. The more I thought about and discussed it with my university students in Communication Revolutions CM110, the more it made sense.
As the director of the Digital Communication major at Georgian Court University, I am now convinced university communication programs need to reinvent their radio stations and teach with and about radio.
Here are the three reasons for why I think radio is the future of mass media.
It is simple. This can not be overstated. In a world where we are forced to learn a new technology on a regular (almost daily) basis, the simplicity of just turning a knob is quite alluring. This hasn’t changed since the early beginnings of radio in the 1920’s and remains true today.
It is easy. There really isn’t much skill involved in being able to listen to the radio. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the content being provided to you. You don’t have to think about anything – unless you want to change the station. Let’s face it, the world has become entirely too complicated. We live in a whirlwind of change. Radio is reliable. It is constant. It does not demand anything of you. And, there is no special equipment needed.
It is free. Very few technologies are free. Granted there is an initial price for the radio (or the car) but after it is purchased you’re done. This medium is so much a part of our lives we don’t even notice it anymore. We take radio for granted because it has always been there. A constant and reliable companion for us on long rides.
As long as radios are sold with the cars we purchase, it will remain a staple in our daily media use. Even college students who are tech savvy, still listen to radio in their cars. My students even have their favorite programs. When we discussed what they listened to on the radio, the room erupted into laughter and classic radio pranks. They love their radio programming.
This is why I think radio is the future of media. It is simple, easy to use, and it is free.
Long live radio! And podcasts….but that’s for another post.