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The advancement of technology in the 21st century has sent a ripple effect throughout all products and industry. Things that were once considered impossible are easily accessible, and things that were once expected to last forever have become obsolete. How has this technology effect impacted the radio industry? Depending on who you ask, you may think that radio has also been forced into eventual extinction. However, U.S. radio industry facts and statistics depict a different narrative.


Research shows that radio is the 3rd most powerful medium in the U.S. 54 percent of the U.S. population are reached every day by radio, while 61 percent are reached through online radio. Since 2010, radio station revenue has remained balanced at about 14 billion dollars per year. Despite claims and concerns of diminishing listeners, radio stations expect a spike in annual income this year, and by 2021, radio revenue is expected to top $16 billion.

Depending on who you ask, you may know that the advancement of technology has improved radio advertising. Due to the expansion of online radio, stations have been more capable of finding and honing their niche. This allows advertisers to choose the station that their target audience tunes into, as well as provides them full insight and control on their campaigns. Radio advertising is even better for small businesses. Not only are you able to target your specific audience within a particular location, but studies show that advertisers can expect an average of 11.8x return per dollar spent on radio ads.


Radio reaches more than 235 million Americans weekly. Radio has been an extremely effective medium for advertisements since its launch, and today is no different. Although radio is frequently expected to become outdated, here are three reasons why radio advertising will continually succeed.

  • Resilience: Not many things can claim resilience like radio can. As the first electronic mass media, radio has consistently been expected to fall. When television was invented, it was thought that the radio would, for sure, become obsolete. Instead, the radio was incorporated in the car, and AM stations became a staple for sports enthusiasts. Now, as internet and technology take hold, radio is transforming to fit in the world around it.
  • Local: This is one of the most significant advantages to radio. Reach is critical in the world of marketing and advertising, and local stations allow you to narrow down and define your audience and overall reach.
  • Creative: Radio offers the opportunity to be unique. You can be serious, funny, memorable, and all of those things at once.


Mitch Levy has spent nearly 30 years in radio and sports broadcasting after earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse. Read more of his advice for the radio industry or check out his Twitter!