Published on February 22nd, 2014 | by Alan Cross


Does the Internet Age Mean the End of Radio?

No.  I have my own thoughts on this but I end up at more-or-less the same place as Terry O’Reilly in this CBC article.

People often ask me, “What’s going to happen to radio?”I’m always amused by that question, because the subtext is that radio is in trouble. That the new digital world and the internet surely have to end radio’s long reign.

To that I say, “radio is the ultimate survivor.” It was the first-ever mass broadcast medium, starting in the 1920s in both Canada and the U.S.. Since then radio has survived the competition from motion pictures, television, VCRs, PVRs and now the web.

If I had to put my finger on why radio has survived, I would have to say because it is such a “personal” medium. Radio is a voice in your ear. People rarely listen to radio in groups anymore, the way an entire family might still sit in front of the television.

Radio also broadcasts news and programming that is mostly local in nature. If you’ve ever wondered whether radio is important to your daily routine, just look at the disruption you feel when your favourite morning radio host is replaced.

It is a big adjustment, and it can take a lot of getting used to.

In other words, radio matters. And through all the technological changes happening around radio — from AM to FM, from satellite to internet radio— basic terrestrial radio survives into another day.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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