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More Than 243 Million American Adults Listen To The Radio Each Month

radio day

Each year on August 20th, National Radio Day recognizes the great invention of the radio.

Several inventors had a part in the invention of the radio in the late 1800s and not just one person can be credited with its beginning. To make the radio a reality, it required several different inventions and discoveries including both transmission and reception methods as well as technology.

In fact, the radio’s inception required an international effort. The research of German Heinrich Hertz proved electrical could be transmitted wirelessly. The multiple patents of the prolific inventor Nikola Tesla provided the radio with the Tesla coil. Born in Croatia, Tesla also contributed many patents involving alternating current advancing the science and production of numerous inventions. When it comes to the first commercially available wireless, Guglielmo Marconi receives the honor.

  • In 1906 The first radio broadcast of voice and music purely for entertainment purposes occurred. Reginald Fessenden transmitted the program from Brant Rock, Massachusetts for the general public to hear. The Canadian born scientist would go on to many more successes in his lifetime.
  • Lee de Forest. Born in Iowa in 1873, would become the chief scientist for the first U.S. radio firm, American Wireless Telephone and Telegraph. Lee de Forest’s invention of the Audion vacuum tube made live broadcasting possible.
  • As wireless came alive, the first broadcast stations began airing programs in the 1920s. News and world events were the first items over the airwaves.
  • Radio ownership grew from two out of five homes in 1931 to four out of five homes in 1938.
  • According to FCC statistics, at the end of 2012, there were more than 15,000 licensed broadcast radio stations in the U.S.
  • Radio stations in America which can be searched by zip code, call letters and format at http://radio-locator.com/
  • On October 1, 1999, the first satellite radio broadcast occurred. Worldspace aired the broadcast in Africa.
  • Radio has always been a “call to action” medium. At any given time of day 20% of people surfing the net are also listening to radio and are one click away from clicking on your brand or looking up your business online.
  • The all-Christmas radio station, www.foreverchristmasradio.com, is now in its 14th year of broadcast.
  • Rush Limbaugh is nearly deaf. He had a cochlear implant around the turn of the century which gives him some ability to hear.
  • Howard Stern is a brown belt in Japanese Shotokan karate.
  • Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh share the same birthday (January 12).
  • 62% of shoppers are listening to the radio an average of 14 minutes prior to shopping.
  • One 30-second TV commercial in the 2015 Super Bowl will cost $4.5 Million. The same advertiser could fund a full, 52-week, national campaign on radio for that price.
  • In 1920, the world’s first commercial radio station, KDKA, went on the air in Pittsburgh.
  • FM Radio made its first appearance in 1939.
  • Radio is the leading reach platform: 93% of us listen to AM/FM radio over the airwaves, which is higher than TV viewership (88%), PC use (50%), smartphone use (83%), and tablet use (37%)
  • More than 243 million American adults listen to the radio each month.
  • Audiences are becoming more diverse with more than 44 million Hispanic listeners and more than 34 million Black listeners a month
  • Top Formats:
    • 1) Country
    • 2) News/Talk Commercial and Non-commercial Combined
    • 3) News/Talk Commercial


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