Why is radio so powerful?

A large amount of people would argue that print is dying, or even dead. Some people argue that radio is dying also, however this is not true. Radio still continues to be the most powerful media platform, beating out T.V and print.
One reason why radio is still so powerful after it’s commercial birth in 1973 is that it is very is to access and pay attention to. You can’t watch T.V in your car, nor can you read a newspaper in your car, but you can listen to the radio. You can listen to the radio passively and still take in the information that i puts out. It is this reason that makes it so powerful, radio can essentially be everywhere.
Another reason radio is still such a powerful advertising tool is that it taps into our greatest tool as humans, our imagination. With T.V an image is blasted into our face, we are practically told what to think and how to visualise things. T.V can put things into our head that we haven’t even thought about. The difference with radio is that we create those images, we decide how something is being said. There have been countless times where I’ve heard someone’s voice on the radio and then seen in real life and been shocked at what they look like. Radio is open to interpretation by anyone. No two people will have the same image from a radio advert.

RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) is a organisation dedicated to finding out how many people listened to what radio station and when. However in my personal opinion, these numbers are drummed up slightly. Every fifteen minutes RAJAR records how many people are listening to said radio station. This means that me, listening to Radio 1 for an hour, counts as four people, so the figures aren’t as accurate as they can be. Here are an example of some figures from RAJAR that are measured quarterly:

  • BBC Radio 1                                    11,271
  • BBC Radio 2                                    14,457
  • BBC Radio 3                                      2,083
  • BBC Radio 4                                    10,521
  • Capital Birmingham                              470 (Measured Hourly)
  • Free Radio                                            802 (Measured Hourly)
  • talkSPORT                                         2,919
  • BBC WM                                               225 (Measured Hourly)
  • XFM London                                          417
  • Heart WM                                              775 (Measured Hourly)
  • Heart London                                      1,798


1 thought on “Why is radio so powerful?

  1. Hi Luke, I think your analysis of how Rajar works is a little awry! If you listen for one hour or ten hours, you are but one listener. The reason that each quarter hour is measured is to see who is listening when and for how long,

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