Did you hear the big news? This year, radio turns 100 years old, celebrating a century of bringing the tunes, news, weather and local information listeners love, all for free.
It’s fitting that this milestone is occurring simultaneously as our country grapples with an unprecedented pandemic – the power of radio to both inform and connect communities has never been more vital.
Broadcasters, like so many businesses, are struggling to stay afloat after seeing sharp declines in advertising. Advertising revenue allows radio stations to pay the rent, their employees, copyright royalties and the amazing public service they provide to the community. But when many businesses shuttered earlier this year – some never to reopen – that advertising revenue dried up.
In spite of financial challenges, local radio continues to do what they do best: holding fundraisers for local charities, food drives for the community, spotlighting small business to help them survive and providing listeners with a connection, especially as many Americans isolated at home.
It’s amazing to think that this service has been informing, inspiring and entertaining us for 100 years – all for free and available on the go. And thanks to investments in new technologies and platforms, like streaming and podcasting, the free, local radio you love plans to be around for the next 100 years.