Back in 1981, the English new wave band the Buggles famously warned about radio's demise in their hit song "Video Killed the Radio Star," and in the decades since, there's been no shortage of dire predictions about the industry. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of radio's death have been greatly exaggerated.
While classic radios and stereo systems of yesteryear are steadily disappearing from U.S. homes, 93 percent of Americans still tune in to the radio each week. Radio remains the dominant media in the car, and the rising popularity of voice-activated devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple's HomePod are fueling a new audio renaissance that harks back to an era when families gathered to listen to FDR's fireside chats and shows like "The Lone Ranger" and Jack Benny.
According to the Spring 2018 Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, an estimated 43 million people over the age of 18 in this country now own at least one smart speaker. By 2022, Juniper Research predicts that Americans will be using nearly 900 million voice-assistant-enabled devices across smartphones, tablets, PCs, speakers, TVs and carsa 95 percent increase over today.