Radio is the name of communication through the use of radio waves and it is used for person-to-person communication as well as radio used for mass communication. These functions are still practiced today. A lot of people also associate the term radio along with radio stations that broadcast to the general public and radio wave technology is used in everything from television to cell phones by making it a primary conduit for person-to-person communication.
A Changing Industry
It is crucial to consider that radio has played a significant role in our lives for nearly 100 years. In the last century, it was started with a single station in Pittsburgh broadcasting the 1920 presidential election results. Now the radio industry has grown to where there are now over 15,000 stations. According to historical facts, radio has seen Americans through the 1930s through World War II, and up to the present day. Radio is the best source to provide information as well as entertainment to Americans from all walks of life. In fact, the USA and Tesla were one of the key players in radio technology development.
At the same time, almost a hundred years later, the radio itself has not changed; the industry that started with one station has evolved into a billion industry. Moreover, it also now faces some new challenges from technologies like the Internet and satellite services.
Since the beginning, the government is responsible to regulate the airwaves in order to ensure interference-free access. The Federal Radio Commission also evolved into the Federal Communications Commission that is also responsible for regulating all forms of communication in the United States, from radio to the Internet.
Furthermore, the FCC also plays an essential role in determining how the radio industry is structured because its FCC is responsible for seeing, radio stations serve the public interest and no broadcaster dominates a market.
The radio signals broadcast in two major ways based on radio waves. AM that stands for amplitude modulation and FM that stands for frequency modulation. Both ways are responsible for carrying the radio signals. However, AM signals are more likely to have that annoying static. The reason is that stations that broadcast mainly music tend to be FM stations, whereas talk radio is more broadcast on AM stations. Along with this, AM stations are also concentrated in the lower radio frequency bands as they appeared long before FM stations as well as in the beginning did not need a lot of bandwidth.
The Present and Future of Radio
Nowadays, radio has become more than Tesla or Marconi could have ever imagined because traditional radios and radio broadcasting have become a thing of the past. It is essential to keep in mind that radio has steadily evolved in order to keep up with current technology, with satellite as well as streaming internet stations gaining popularity. Now that radios are found not only in homes, they are also a staple in vehicles. In addition to music, radio talk shows have become a popular option for many. On the two-way radio’s front, the digital two-way radios also allow for one-to-one communication. It is fascinating to know that communication is typically encrypted for improved security. However, short-range radios have improved communications at worksites as well as handheld radios have become vital in sports, television production, and commercial airline operations.
As we know that the number of radio stations has grown, a wider variety of news, information, as well as music programming has appeared on the airwaves. These types of programming that a station airs are known for their formats. Formats are essential because they appeal to different audiences and also aid the advertisers to select the best stations in order to promote their specific products and services. However, some common formats of air in most major markets are:
- News, talk, and sports usually focus on information, events as well as conversation.
- Country music is responsible for combining classics and current hits.
- Religion includes talk and music ranging from gospel to classical hymns.
- Contemporary music is for the latest hits.
- Rock and alternative are a mixture of classic, modern, and alternative rock such as punk.
- Urban focuses on rap, and hip-hop.