How long do you think local radio has before it goes the way of DVDs and dial-up Internet? Streaming services are growing in popularity, and it’s going to continue to grow. Eventually, all will abandon terrestrial radio in favor of online streaming (in their cars, on their phones, and everywhere else). Imagine growing old and talking about the halcyon days of radio, a time unlike the current landscape.
The reality is, streaming is very likely to take over radio. Vehicles are currently being sold with on-the-go Internet connections, so eventually even the car stereo will provide streaming services. And with unlimited and unfiltered free streaming services, such as HAKTradio, there’s very little that can stop this progression.
Streaming Outperforming Radio in Technological Advances
Terrestrial radio may have hit a wall in terms of growth and technology. Think about it, when was the last time your radio could do something new? Likely the introduction of broadcasting artists, song names, and DJ names was the last cool technology radio offered.
Streaming regularly changes its services to include all-new technologies, including attaching podcasts to websites. Almost every television station has a website with streaming services, as do most radio stations. Visitors can listen to broadcasts live, and even access older broadcasts, so everything is saved for posterity.
But, that’s not the best this streaming has to offer technology wise. Playlists can be auto generated based on your unique musical preferences using a sophisticated algorithm. This is a far cry from phoning the request line… In fact, it’s more user-friendly and therefore more entertaining than anything terrestrial radio has ever done.
Streaming’s Variety Outperforms Radio
On a standard radio dial, most (if not all) of the FM stations are music genre stations, such as top 40 and country. AM is rarely used, compared to yesteryear, but traffic reports, the news, and talk radio programs are still sometimes broadcasted. Radio towers will exist for many years to come, but its entertainment value is dwindling as streaming services are on the rise.
Terrestrial radio is limited to a hundred or so channels. Streaming, however, is completely unlimited. There are no bounds, and every artist’s catalog is available (although, many come at a cost). Often, a station is created based on your preferences, and that station is also fully customizable. The very real opportunity to hear only the music you want to trumps traditional radio every time.
Streaming is the Future
Perhaps, there’s no real need to feel sorry for radio because isn’t streaming radio? Only better? It’s basically a technological improvement on a service that has lasted forever. Seriously, radio remained popular through the development of vinyl, cassettes, CDs, and MP3s. It’s adapted to all forms of society, and it is still popular today. Perhaps it will surprise us, and somehow mitigate streaming and remain a recognizable force in the years to come.
For now, people will continue to listen to the radio because it’s readily available. Overtime, streaming will also become something that is always available, and then there’s no telling the future of radio (although, it’s a safe bet it’s not looking good for radio).