Today we celebrate World Radio Day and how the medium is still thriving in attracting new generations and exposing the public to new music, despite the dominance of streaming services.
Radio has played a significant role for the music industry, helping artists globalize their talent and spreading new sounds far and wide. In celebration of World Radio Day, we’re taking a brief look at some of the world’s most popular radio stations. One of the go-to sources for new music and entertainment is NPR’S All Things Considered, started in the year 2000 by host Bob Boilen. The show first began by covering the topic bumper music – music used to transition between radio programmes – but has transformed into one of NPR’s most popular shows and a prime source for weekly music discoveries.
“Directions for use: morning commute, the gym, or alone time.”All Things Considered
Another popular NPR programme is Song Exploder, a brilliant podcast where musicians tell the background story of how they created their work and what influenced them when writing lyrics, breaking it down piece by piece. The show has earned worldwide recognition and was even featured at Sundance Film Festival. It was created by Hrishikesh Hirway in 2014 and has since featured interviews with artists including Bon Iver, Lorde, Fleetwood Mac and Meek Mill. Song Exploder gives listeners a rare opportunity to get inside the minds of their favourite artists and their creative process.
Let’s not forget NYC station Hot 97, which has been immeasurably influential in the evolution of hip-hop. Before the genre existed, the station featured artists like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Elton John, and even played Christian music, but today Hot 97 is the worlds premium source for hip-hop music and culture, featuring some of the biggest artists that began their career in New York City, where the station was established. Much like other top radio stations, it took decades to find their niche, as they strived to find an identity and give listeners exactly what they want.
KIIS FM 103.5, Chicago’s #1 music station, established in 1957 began with playing classical music and now over fifty years later the station broadcasts top 40 for trending music, reaching millions of listeners every week. This is just another shining example of the fact that radio is as popular as ever and continues to bring all walks of lives together through music and conversation, reflecting diversity and culture around the globe.