Will ‘Generation Z’ spell the end of traditional terrestrial AM/FM radio?

future of radio
A new study from New York University paints a grim picture for the future of radio. Larry Miller, head of the Steinhart Music Business Program, says that traditional radio, by failing to adapt to the rise of digital formats, has not engaged with Generation Z — people born after 1995. He also warns that radio will continue to decline in popularity and relevance unless substantial changes are made.

The problem for the industry, in a nutshell, is that young people don’t listen to the radio. Young millennials only spend 12 percent of their listening time on radios, according to a 2016 Music Business Association study. On-demand streaming, such as Spotify or Apple Music, account for more than half of Generation Z’s daily listening.

People have been predicting the demise of radio forever,  but there’s no denying that the quality and selection is different music is far superior to analog FM.

There’s one place where radio is still king, however: in our automobiles. According to a 2015 Nielsen report, at least once a week 245 million people tuned in to the radio. But the average car was more than 11 years old in 2016, according to the Department of Transportation. Newer cars have digital options, from smartphone integration to services like Sirius.

Other highlights of the report:

  • Young people aren’t discovering new music on radio: “Younger music fans are increasingly turning to sites like YouTube to find new artists and songs, leaving radio in the lurch.”
  • New revenue models: “Broadcast stations pay no royalties to record labels for the use of master recordings.”
  • Gaming the ratings: “Nielsen’s current system, reliant on Portable People Meters (PPMs) in top markets, fails to take into account the passion a listener feels toward specific stations [and] under-samples younger and ethnic demographic groups.”

The National Association of Broadcasters, unsurprisingly, takes issue with some of the conclusions in Miller’s report: “Millions of Americans rely on radio for information and entertainment every week. Nielsen data affirms radio’s continued vitality. In the face of a constantly shifting media landscape, radio continues to have the broadest weekly reach among all media.”

You can read the full PDF report here: Paradigm Shift: Why Radio Must Adapt to the Rise of Digital.

Home Theater

No car? SiriusXM’s $8 a month streaming plan has everything but Howard Stern

SiriusXM is stepping into the streaming music ring with an $8 per month plan designed specifically for people who get their music via smartphones and smart speakers. It doesn't work on SiriusXM radios, and Howard Stern is extra.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.
Cars

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.
Home Theater

Amazon’s free Spotify competitor is here. Just ask Alexa

Just ask Alexa to play your favorite song. Amazon has launched a free, ad-based music streaming service to compete with Spotify's free tier on its popular Echo devices, aiming to bolster subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited.
Music

YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. What's changed, and should you subscribe?

Thanks to Google, YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. We explain what exactly a YouTube Premium subscription gets you, how much it costs, and break down if it's a good choice for you.
Deals

Get some bud-green Master and Dynamic wireless headphones for $50 off this 420

Looking for the best possible audio experience to pair with your favorite herb? Master and Dynamic has announced a special 420 edition of its gorgeous on-ear and over-ear headphones, which will be available for $50 off this 4/20.
Music

The best new music this week: Tallest Man On Earth, Cage the Elephant, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: The Tallest Man On Earth, Cage The Elephant, Lizzo, Pivot Gang, and Sad Planets.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek forms, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2019 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

Amazon drops prices on Bose speakers and sound systems by up to 50%

Amazon knocked $220 off the price of two Bose 301-V Direct/Reflecting bookshelf loudspeakers, a 50% discount. The 301-Vs are suited for music or for home theater systems. Amazon's sale also includes the Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System.
Home Theater

Dream on: The concert of the future is in Vegas, and Aerosmith leads the charge

Aerosmith has partnered with THX, L-Acoustics, 1More, and Mixhalo to provide fans with an unparalleled, tech-fueled concert experience for the band’s 50th anniversary. Here’s how this one concert series could shape the future of live…
Home Theater

Rock out, dance, or just nod along with the best Bluetooth speakers

The market is saturated with wireless audio solutions fit for any and all circumstances. Check out our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers available, whether you'll be listening in the kitchen or on a mountaintop.