AM Radio – A Dying Wavelength?

Jackson Nielsen

With the development of all of the different streaming services that are now offered to the public came the popularization of pay to listen music streaming through various apps such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. With the success of these platforms, the amount of people listening to radio has appeared to dwindle but the radio wavelengths have always been there for those who wished to listen. However, this may be going away in the future. According to the editorial board of The Washington Post, the move away from AM radio may happen sooner than some would have thought. 

According to the editorial board, “​​automakers, including BMW, Mazda, Volkswagen and Tesla, are starting to remove AM radios as standard equipment from new electric vehicles — and Ford was on the verge of removing them from all new vehicles before backtracking under pressure from broadcasters and their allies”. The reason for this being that there are difficulties with electric cars and their abilities to pick up AM radio waves as well as the cost of the AM radios. But a bi-partisan bill that will require car manufacturers to keep AM radios in new models of cars was brought before the Senate. The reason for this being that The Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on the AM radio waves to broadcast their alerts.

Although “there are nearly 4,200 AM stations across the nation, and more than 82 million Americans per month listen to them”, I believe that the radio is a dying piece of technology within the future of cars. Personally, I can’t remember the last time I used the radio in my own car. Instead, I opt to stream music through Apple Music. But that is not to say that radio does not still have a place. But according to the article, the age of AM radio listeners is much older and the number is slowly dwindling. So it may not be totally out of the picture to see AM radio stations being forced over to FM, where there are much more listeners, and AM radio may cease to exist. But for now, AM radio is here to stay and those who enjoy their early morning talk shows can rest easy knowing they won’t have to give it up any time soon. If you would like to read the article I referred to in my analysis, you can visit it using the link below.

Congress, don’t touch that AM radio dial — at least not yet