Written by: Amy Ryan Rued
Date: June 29, 2015
As you’re reading this blog post, you’ll recognize that you’re doing so in part due to the influence of radio. Next Avenue is a product of PBS, and NPR is a sister media channel. Here in Columbus, Next Avenue Cbus is linked to WOSU Public Media, and WOSU radio is a major part of this important community entity.
So, I was thinking about radio as I drove to my local coffee house. As a boomer, I grew up as radio was evolving. My parents experienced radio as their primary in-home tie to news and entertainment. Like many families, when they were children, the family would sit in the living room where the radio played a prominent fixture.
Years later, after the advent of television, radio seemed less vital. However, in undergoing its own transformation, it became portable. We could then listen to our favorite radio stations in our cars, and not be tied to the experience in the living room.
From there, the whole experience of radio changed with the advent of the transistor that allowed us to listen to the radio at the park, at a beach, at a baseball game or where ever it was accessible. The freedom that the transistor presented was uplifting—leading to the beginning of many, many more changes.
With this portability, radio is now available in a variety of platforms. Thanks to the innovation of the internet, we can now stream our favorite WOSU program, even when we’re on vacation somewhere across the world. As long as we have a connection, our local familiarity is never lost.
Because of that, radio continues to be a major factor in US society. According to Nielsen, almost 91% of all Americans over the age of 12 listen to the radio each week. Plus, there is a growing trend toward listening to radio on digital devices. In fact, nearly 40% of regular radio listeners, tune into their favorite shows using a digital device.
As a boomer who has experienced the change in the way I consume radio, I am aware that radio will continue to evolve as it discovers more innovative ways to interact with me. I am certain that we’ll begin to see new ways that radio will attract my fellow boomers and me. It is a no-brainer.
And Next Avenue is one way that radio and media is evolving to address our demographic, which is refreshing!