With the weekend coming up, here’s Freddie Mercury of Queen with the song, Radio Gaga. We hope you enjoy the video. But what has this video got anything to do with the story? We say “everything”. Just as Queen’s song praised the radio, this story tells you how and why the radio has still survived.
Entertainment media becomes obsolete at the speed of light. VCRs, CDs, Walkmans-all have come and gone. But there’s one medium that’s been around even longer than all of those. And it’s still going strong today. It’s radio. And it’s all because of the automobiles.
According to BBC, it is because of cars that humans have been able to nurture a strong relationship with the radio, making sure that, even after 80 years of invention, it finds value in modern society. The reason? Few things in life require more attention than driving. When you’re listening to the radio, with its hands-off format for music and news that’s pre-curated by DJs, you can keep engaged on the task at hand, while still keeping your eyes on the road. And although satellite and digital radio threaten to kill terrestrial-based FM—and while self-driving cars threaten the existence of all radio—the medium has proven to be incredibly resilient, although its survival story hasn’t been a short or easy one.
Throughout the years, all the flashiest tech of the time has appeared on dashboards the world over—8-tracks, cassette tapes, compact discs—and yet all those have faded away. But, the radio’s stuck around. Even when the TV replaced the radio as a family pastime in the home, the inherent need for entertainment that’s fit for multitasking is what’s allowed cars to keep the radio alive.