In 1894 the president of the Royal Society, Lord Kelvin, predicted that radio had no future. The first radio factory was opened 5 years later.
After the invention of the transistor in 1947, several US electronics companies rejected the idea of a portable radio. They apparently said: “Who the hell would want to carry a radio around with them?” At the time, radio sets were rather large. When Bell Labs put the transistor on the market in 1952 they had few takers apart from a small Japanese start-up called Sony. Sony introduced the transistor radio in 1954. The rest is radio history.
Video never killed the radio star. In fact, today there are more than 33,000 radio stations in the world – more than 5 000 listed at Mike’s Radio World – attracting some 1.5 billion active listeners (the accumulative audience being much larger).
In the West, more than 80% of people listen to radio, one in three of them listening via the Internet. 18% have downloaded shows after they were broadcast by visiting the station’s web site. A staggering 42% of people listen via digital TV, with 36% using a DAB radio. 21% use a digital music player, while 82% use the good old analogue radio. Some 55% of Americans listen to radio in their car.