Radio and Teenagers

Evangeline is a  homeschooler from Malaysia. Her interests are reading, writing, Wikipedia, music and entertainment. She hopes to take Mass Communications and aspires to work in the media communications sector.

Scenario One: The first thing that Teenager A does when he gets into the car is switch on the radio. He doesn’t only turn it on, but he also turns it on loud.

Scenario Two: Whenever Teenager B is on the internet, the website that he always enters in first is his favorite online radio website. Once he gets connected to it, for the remainder of his online time, he’ll be having the headphones plugged in.

Although Scenario One is a common scenario among teenagers, Scenario Two is also becoming increasingly common as online radio becomes more and more used by our internet-savvy teens.

Just for fun, I decided conduct a poll on my friends, asking them if they listened to the radio. 23 responded, with 19 saying that they listened to the radio. I decided to go further and asked how many listened to which type of radio: regular radio or online radio. Out of the 21 poll respondents, 16 listened to online radio.

Many parents might wonder what online radio is. Online radio is almost the same as regular radio, except that it is transmitted through the internet. The wonderful thing about online radio is that there are thousands of online radio channels of different genres available to anyone with an internet connection. You can get news channels, all types of music channels, college/university channels, and etc.

The question many parents might be having is: “Which type of radio is better?” I would think that the online radio is better. After all, I can get any type of radio I want and I don’t have to depend on where I am because in some places, radio signals aren’t that good. Also, I don’t have to bother about radio frequencies.

I was reading a report by Arbitron Inc. and Edison Media Research on online radio statistics and studies have in fact shown that the usage of online radio among Americans is steadily increasing.

Does that mean that regular radio would eventually fade out of the radio scene? It might, but I can’t see that happening at this point of time. Of course, in 20 years time, teenagers might all be using online radio and regular radio would be deemed as only for the “old-fashioned”.

What attracts teenagers to use radio? As a teen, what draws me to use radio is the free music. I don’t have to pay to listen to the newest chart-topping singles! Some radio stations (even the online ones) do play certain songs over and over again but then, what is 30 free songs compared to a few overplayed ones?

There are also teenagers who listen to radio to get the breaking news and even sports news! After all, what is better than cruising down the road and hearing the radio announcer say that your favorite football team has won their game?

In conclusion, for the big question and its final answer: Do teens listen to the radio? Yes, they do. But you’ll be surprise that when they say radio, they might actually mean online radio and not the radio that you think of!

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