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Radio has gone through a number of changes throughout the years due to audience demand. From being a source of news with your family to listening to your favorite tunes while driving to work. As the world and people have evolved, our need for radio has altered as well.
As the decades fade, a format of radio either disappears or evolves. Different groups of people and different generations develop different needs for radio. Early on as the radio was used more of as a information guide, families usually only had one radio per household and listening to it meant gathering together as a family. The formats included the news, variety shows, comedies, dramas, comic adventures, and music. The radio then would be what television and internet are today.
This type of radio was mostly based in the 1920's through the 1950's where the country was dealing with issues such as World War II to The Great Depression to The Civil Rights movement. As the Civil Rights movement progressed, African American audiences soon began to show their own identity through radio. Before, their music was usually stolen and passed as the music of white musicians.
The genres of Rock, Alternative, Hip-Hop, Rhythm & Blues --- and other genres that branch off of these such as Punk Rock, Adult Alternative, Rap, and Soul --- have progressed more in the later 20th century with audiences separating their identities further. Each genre represented a different group of people and radio used this to an advantage to "ensure that they reach the audiences segments that are the most attractive to their advertisers" (Media Now Textbook). The more genres, the more people listened to radio. This meant more profits.
Now, the generations of people have become so hi-tech that they need their radio to be in the form of wireless networks and mobile communications. With television evolving as well, radio has evolved into many different forms. You can listen to radio just about anywhere, not just in a box surrounded by your entire family.