Radio Industry Has Changed Imagine Studying Media Essay

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Radio Industry Has Changed

Imagine studying media convergence, when one discovers radio. Radio has changed over the years. People can now access it online and within his or her own car. Everything has become digital. Without radio, people are not current with the latest songs and artists because of how much it shapes culture. One will discuss radio and its evolution while discussing an actual that took place currently.


Radio first occurred in 1887 under the direction of David Hughes who had the first transmission of signals through the use of a Spark transmitter. This particular signal was able to occur at least within 500 meters from its origin to its destination (Anonymous, 2004). "Today, radio is transmitted using a transmitter, communication links, and a receiver (Fardon, 2003, para 2). When it comes to a transmitter, these are comprised of computers that have modems that are sent back and forth to the receiver (Fardon, 2003). Additionally, when a transmission is complete, the receiver will go back to its original state (Fardon, 2003). This does include the fact that communication links that take place between a transmitter as well as the receiver are a direct link through the use of cables or with using radio waves through the use of a satellite (Fardon, 2003). Through this, the radio signals go in a more efficient manner (Fardon, 2003).

For example, terrestrial radio is considered free; the only issue is that a consumer has to purchase an actual radio system (Parks, 2002). "Terrestrial radio stations are local and provide much information about what is going on in the area. More people are able to listen to radio, and more information is sent through the signals" (Parks, 2002, para 2). This is significant because more people are reached by this method alone compared to what was used in the past, which does demonstrate how much technology has changed over the years (Parks, 2002).

The XM radio has become the latest phenomenon in the world today. "XM satellite radio is transmitted directly to your car or home receiver from a satellite, and is associated with no local terrestrial station with no digital signals" (XM Radio, 2008, para 2). This is different than using actual radio waves in order to have signals transmitted from one location to another. "XM radio was invented in 2001 and is the largest satellite radio company in the world" (XM Radio, 2008, para 2). A consumer is able to get a number of different channels, such as talk shows, news as well as sports (XM Radio, 2008). They are able to listen to any of their favorite programming at any given time (XM Radio, 2008). Through these efforts, one grasps what is going on in the world from many different perspectives (XM Radio, 2008).

HD (high definition) radio is the growing in much popularity. This is much different than what has occurred in the past. "These new signals produce extra channels, crisper reception, text information, and the ability to tag songs to use on your computer" (XM Radio, 2008, para 3). One needs to note the differences between XM as well as HD radio. In regards to HD radio, this occurs with both that of AM and FM channels. The radio station has to actually use HD in order for the HD receiver to work for the consumer. "Nearly 2,000 out of the nation's 13,000 terrestrial stations broadcast HD radio signals and HD radio receivers average 2% cheaper than traditional AM/FM radio receivers" (Harris, 2008, para 4).

Internet streaming is another means in which radio is broadcast. "Internet streaming is not listening to the radio in the car or by a radio system, but by a personal computer (PC) or via cell phone" (Bruno, 2004). In fact, the Internet is used daily from people all around the globe in a number of countries.

A typical consumer can now listen through the actual website, such as "The Steve Henry Show" (2011). For example, Elizabeth Mattke spoke about her latest book entitled, "Survival: A Memoir in Dealing with Rape and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." She did not once have to fly to Arizona, but did the broadcast from the comfort of her home (Mattke, 2011).

In regards to locations that use terrestrial radio, a person is able to stream through programming on-air (Bruno, 2004). However, this is not always the case in our society today. Many websites now make it possible for a person to listen online by creating "their own playlists of music and content" (Bruno, 2004). For popularity to grow, the radio station has to make it to where consumers can design what he or she would like to listen to at that given time (Bruno, 2004). The users' needs are not met all the time when it comes to rebroadcasting. "More than 20% of people like to control their own playlist. Also, 17% of people who consume online music listen to the radio because it is unavailable elsewhere" (Bruno, 2004, para 5). Furthermore, at least 14% prefer online as their means of accessing more music (Bruno, 2004). Now commercials occur more so within the actual radio station as well as online banners (Bruno, 2004). This makes advertisements grow annually as more websites get on the market (Bruno, 2004).

The last area worth mentioning is that of IPods as well as iTunes. "The users are able to listen to their music when they want and how they want" (Rust, 2008, para 4). One has to note that it is quite similar to that of advertising and business information (Rust, 2008). When podcasting occurs, this gives the consumer the ability to download information at their convenience (Rust, 2008). When the information is downloaded, the company automatically updates it (Rust, 2008). Furthermore, podcasts are downloaded via the internet (Rust, 2008). This is not the case for those that require a television (Rust, 2008). "Current market research shows podcasting is actually growing, 13% of the United States Internet users listen to podcasts, with more than 75% of those business people listening to them more than once" (Rust, 2008, para 7). Since this is a constantly growing, people are now able to stay current with the latest news in their local area or in another part of the country (Rust, 2008).

Assessment of Sources

One needs to discuss how the information was gained about this particular topic. This was done by a simple Google search and typing in the words "media convergence." When looking at the material, a theme popped out for the reader and that was the history of this phrase. As a result, the person chose to look up "radio media convergence." Immediately, the researcher discovered that there was much discussed about radio but not its origins. As a result, someone is able to seek to find ways on understanding the history of radio. This is a topic that is in high demand because not many know about this topic and it is a passion for the investigator of this subject.

As one can tell, the Internet was the primary source in which information was obtained. However, three sources were strictly websites. These are credible sites because one is a radio and the station frequently refers to Elizabeth Mattke. When looking at Elizabeth Mattke's site, the author has it set-up for her works, which makes her credible as well. However, the other radio station discussed is that of XM Radio, and upon clicking on the site, one will note that it is credible because it is an online station that is podcast for their audience. Usually the Internet is not considered dependable, unless the information provided is scholarly, but the information provided in this manuscript is reliable.

Everything else that is listed is articles. These are always reliable because of the scholarly aspect of them. One needs to note that a magazine was used as means of obtaining the latest radio information. This helped the researcher to grasp radio in a more efficient manner is considered trustworthy as well because the latest trends are discussed in this type of media that is portrayed to those who subscribe to it on a regular basis.


Radio has vastly evolved over the years and for the better. In the beginning, radio occurred by the use of a Spark transmitter. Since then, HD, podcasts, Internet and the iPod is available, especially that of iTunes. These are now digital and available through the use of satellites and the Internet. This allows the consumer to have much convenience when wanting to design their own songs to listen to on a regular basis. Current statistics have proven this. The same is true when it comes to business people. In fact, many professionals listen to radio stations to get the necessary advice to run their firm smoothly. For example, "The Steve Henry Show" provides a 5-minute business boost to help one's organization or book to grow to new heights and they have two featured speakers every week (Henry,…[continue]

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