Hello world! My name is Jordan and I’m a rising college senior interning this summer at The Radio Agency. As someone who has grown up during the many different shifts that radio has gone through, I thought it would be interesting to see what others, such as my peers, had to say about the world of radio and their experience with it.
Within the past 20 years, radio has undergone a variety of changes. Besides having AM / FM accessibility, the radio world now has an array of digital radio platforms, such as SiriusXM, Spotify and Pandora, just to name a few. These platforms are what more young people are now using every day, taking time away from what used to be their AM / FM radio time. Studies suggest that by 2019, up to 191 million listeners will be tuned into streaming and podcasts.
Although statistics show that AM / FM radio is still much more popular than digital radio today, more young people, such as Millennials, are leading the shift to digital.
Digital radio gives listeners more opportunity and flexibility. It allows the listener to not only listen to what they’d like to hear, but it allows the listener to personalize what they want to hear. Whether it’s a type of music genre, artist, or even their favorite talk show host’s podcast, digital radio grants a listener a wide berth of freedom that AM / FM radio does not. One of my friends described this by saying, “my taste in music is constantly changing, so platforms such as Pandora and Spotify are always able to suit what type of music I’m looking for.” The possibilities are endless!
This goes hand-in-hand with another striking quality of digital radio: convenience. Most of these digital, streaming platforms also come in the form of apps for mobile devices, making it much easier for people to use and to stream their music whenever and wherever they are. This, above all others, is the single benefit most of my friends had mentioned repeatedly.
There’s no doubt that digital streaming is growing rapidly and will continue to grow. It will be interesting to see how AM / FM radio will be affected, and how it will be seen in ten or so years compared to digital radio. But for now, America’s younger generations are taking charge of their radio – instead of the other way around.
Jordan Kurtz is a senior at American University majoring in Public Communications.