Why Radio must be a Zombie—A Story of Survival

Why Radio must be a Zombie—A Story of Survival

I’ve heard it in every decade of my broadcast career. Those who predicted radio would get kicked to the curb by the next technological advance. When cassettes and 8-track tapes became the latest music delivery system, the naysayers crawled out of the woodwork to proclaim radio would take a giant leap off a jagged cliff. Yet, Radio Lives!

Oh, here we go again. Music Videos were supposed to bring radio to its rock n’ roll knees. The Buggles’ only number-one hit, “Video Killed The Radio Star,” gave this prediction a theme song. Their video was the first ever seen on MTV. Have you seen any music videos on MTV in the past twenty years?  Reality television took over, and the MTV Video Jockeys eventually returned to—wait for it—radio! Radio Lives!

The Sony Walkman? Another prediction of the demise of radio. CD players? Lookout radio! I’m glad I didn’t hold my breath on that one. Radio Lives!

And what of radio's first competitor? The television. The OG sound box, which families gathered around to listen to their favorite broadcasts, was replaced when the first practical TV sets were demonstrated and sold to the public at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Yet, radio pulled through that first round of competition rather successfully. Radio Lives

Fast forward to the Internet and Satellite music. Not too shabby, considering the cost and accessibility. Not only does free, local broadcast radio still live—according to the Radio Advertising Bureau—it’s thriving! 

  • Today, over 236 million people aged twelve and above listen weekly to the radio. 

  • Ninety-three percent of people aged eighteen and up listen each week.

  • Like stats? Check out this webpage for more. (Number 6 is particularly interesting)

No wonder radio continues to be a consumer's path to purchase. Radio drives store traffic, online search behavior, and brand awareness. Combining your radio campaign with your digital efforts can explode your response. Much like dropping a Mento into a bottle of Coke. 

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Paul Blair

About the Author : Paul Blair

Paul Blair serves as our Creative Services Director writing and producing many award-winning branding and public service campaigns for clients such as Bergstrom, Settlers Bank, Gunderson Life Celebration Centers, Window World, Chalmers Jewelers, Saint Vincent de Paul, The Healthy Place, Genesis Painting, Benjamin Plumbing and many, many more. His successful career at Mid-West Family Madison spans over thirty years.