The Radio Phenomenon: Our Soundtrack

Car RadioThe Country Music Association awards aired this week.

Putting aside the occasional Stetson and raffia straw hat, the confab was verging on a Pop music celebration.   “All About The Bass” opened the show, followed shortly by Steven Tyler, Ariana Grande, and closing with The Doobies.

There wasn’t a tractor, dog, train or pickup truck in sight, though Chevy was a prime sponsor.

What was phenomenal, in the true sense of the word, was the repetitive tribute to Radio.

The winners were both exuberant and humbled, and thankful, many to God, but nearly all of them to the radio industry that played their song.

In a world that is held tightly in the clutch of the Web, and Cloud, Radio is the phenomenon to be respected.   It hangs on.

A media report reveals that 84% of the 18-64 adult population watches Television over 4 hours a day.   In second place, 56% listen to Radio, over 2-1/2 hours a day.   The colossus Internet ranks third at 41%, for less than 2 hours a day.**

Somehow, the ancient invention of the 20th century persists to enjoy public subscription despite all the noise to the contrary.

Another report tells us what we could guess, that over 93% of the public listens to Radio.  More surprising, only 70% have Broadband Internet.

But here’s the real stunner: Country & New Country music is the #1 most listened-to format on the radio.   News and Talk shows rank second.   Pop Contemporary comes in third.

At this moment you may be asking yourself, there’s only one Country station where I can it be that popular?   As it turns out, the vote is split among 55 radio formats.

You may have already known this, but there is a fine definition between “Hot Adult Contemporary” and “Urban Adult Contemporary”.. quite set apart from 11 categories of Hispanic formats: “Mexican Regional”  to “Spanish Sports”.

Someone somewhere is very sensitive about whose group they join.

But a solitary Country holds its ground, with the biggest corral if you will, thereby capturing the single largest audience share.

Which brings us back to Radio.   Country stars count on it, and they call it out like an old friend.   As do all of us, from the morning wake up call, to the last broadcast we pause to hear before turning off the car’s ignition at the end of our commute.

It succeeds because it offers a reliable sound track to our lives, unlike Internet and TV which are greedy for our sole attention.   Admit it– you can’t drive a car and watch football, and you can’t read a blog while mowing the lawn.

Radio is always there, a generous background to our busy day.



Thanks for reading!   The reason I enjoy driving is, frankly, so I can listen to the radio!

**The link disconnected.  Here is a replacement! 



4 thoughts on “The Radio Phenomenon: Our Soundtrack

  1. Robert Churik says:

    Really interesting Phil, have a great weekend.

    Robert C. Churik Senior Sales Representative Catalog/Retail Solutions Group RR Donnelley 4101 Winfield Road Warrenville, Illinois 60555 630/322-6887


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