There is a quiet revolution going on. Although FM radio has been with us for many years now, like most other industries it is evolving and changing with the times to meet modern demands.
Nearly 250 million Americans tune into national and local FM radio stations each and every week. The reason why radio is so popular is because it is the ultimate portable entertainment. As a platform, FM radio offers current chat, music and local news, all free and at the touch of a button.
FM Radio and smartphones
Radio broadcasters are taking advantage of new technologies and are working closely with smartphone manufacturers and now many smartphones have built-in FM radios. Most built-in radios are ready to go, others need to be activated. If you’re unlucky enough to own a smartphone that does not have FM Radio, it is still possible to download one of many apps which will allow you to access FM Radio, but this does require an internet connection.
Broadcasters continue to offer more choices for listeners with HD Radio. HD Radio has more than 2000 stations which are near perfect in quality, providing crystal clear sound. There are also additional channels for foreign language, music and chat programming. There are no subscription charges but the listener does require a HD compliant radio.
HD Radio technology now includes “iTunes tagging,” which makes it possible for listeners to “tag” the tunes they like on the radio for purchase later from the iTunes store. HD Radio can also take advantage of advanced traffic information integrated into GPS devices using data supplied by the Broadcast Traffic Consortium and Total Traffic Network.
Radio Data System
FM Radio broadcasters are now able to provide digital data services instead of traditional analog FM by using the Radio Data System FM subcarrier. This was originally made standard and developed in Europe, but is taking off in the United States and is now regularly used for transmission of program-associated data such as song title and artist, as well as for traffic information.
Local radio has never been more popular and it is providing services on many different platforms. Now many local stations are streaming content online so when away from home, you’re able to keep up with your favorite hometown station even if you are in a foreign country.
National and local FM radio offers advertisers a huge audience to sell their wares to the general public. In recent years, this has become even easier as radio becomes more interactive with its listeners and can offer a much better quality of service with crystal clear reception in most areas. These are exciting times as newer and better technologies are being developed all the time to make FM radio a better experience for all.