Radio Will Always Be Relevant, Thanks in Big Part to Auto Manufacturers

The onset of streaming has been exciting and very appreciated by loads of music lovers everywhere! The onset of streaming has also been frustrating and a little heart breaking for musicians and radio talent as well.

For those in the radio biz, it took away the need for listeners to listen to us to hear their favorite songs. It took away the excitement of, “THIS IS IT!! This is the song I’ve been telling you about!” We all know what it did for musicians…it did take a lot of money out of their pockets. Streaming has caused radio to reinvent itself and artists to look at other ways to profit from their talent.

However, do you know where radio is still relevant and will always be relevant? In your car! After 20 years in radio, and all the options for streaming, I still listen to my favorite morning shows when I’m driving. My kids still ask for a particular station to listen to while hanging out in the backseat. I still use the show’s benchmarks to make sure I’m on track to get where I need to be on time.

In addition to that, think about how many times the dashboard in cars has changed. Every year something new gets added. They even have the option to play games now! (Why? Aren’t you supposed to be driving?) One thing that has not gone away…the ability to play the radio. This has been a constant feature since radio in cars was first implemented in the 1930s! Ford was going to take AM radio out of all the cars back in 2022, but then decided it’s too important to have both AM/FM radio in cars. That says a lot! The importance of radio will never go away.

Why? Let’s say you’re on a road trip and you  turn on a streaming platform because you’ll be going through different states and don’t want to have to channel surf to find a station that’s coming in. Something happens on the highway, or a storm is approaching…the easiest thing to do is to flip on a local station to see if the DJ mentions the weather. When you’re driving, you can’t fumble on your phone to look at the forecast, or get on google maps or Waze to find out why traffic is so backed up. You have those options, yes, but it’s more convenient to just listen to local radio.

That being said, when on-air it’s crucial to stay local. That’s what’s driving local radio to avoid being overtaken by syndicated radio. We still want to hear what’s happening in our area. We still want to hear what the forecast will be like while we’re driving into work, or on the way home. We still want to hear our favorite local radio DJs.

If you take anything away from this, understand auto manufacturers know what will remain in the vehicles, no matter how futuristic or tech savvy they become, radio will remain a factor in any new mode of transportation. This, alone, shows you how relevant local radio is. Keep that in mind the next time you crack the mic.


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