Besides being a powerful political tool radio (and in the last twenty years television) is a great commercial tool. The first sponsored program ever was broadcast in October 1922 in New York. Still at that time the radio as purely non-commercial. There were no breaks for advertisements, sells. However, commercialization suddenly begun in 1926, and by the beginning of the 30s the sales of network time reached 27mln $ in the US. Still there were no advertisements… In the next years revenues grew bigger and bigger, ads appeared, but still made up less than 30-40% of the total revenues.
Until the mid 60s radio revenues grew higher each year and advertisement earnings were a significant amount of money. However, television little by little "stole" a big part of the audience of radio and of course its revenues. It was not a surprise that television won much more audience since it offered more than radio could. People could watch sports games live; they could see the news, not only hear them, etc. Revenues were high!
Today, one can watch on the television: soccer games, pictured with 15 different cameras; real wars live; thousands of movies in hundreds of different genres; one has an access to hundreds of channels in many different languages through satelite television; there is already a digital television, where one can for example choose from which camera exactly to watch the F1 race... The revenues are enormous! Just some 30 sec. advertisement on channels like Eurosport or CNN costs more than 10,000$ and in prime times, or during special events the price doubles, triples... The big channels' owners are some of the richest people in the world: Ted Turner (CNN's boss) and Rupert Murdock (SKY's boss) are just two examples. There is no doubt that television is one of the most profitable industry at the end of the 20th century.
Radio nowdays has lost a big part of its glory, but still is an important and powerful media. That comes from the fact that it is much cheaper and easier to listen to the radio than to watch the tv. One listens to the radio while in the car, in the morning when one's in a rush and cannot follow the pictures, etc. Revenues are not as high as in television, but still advertisements and sponsored programs make most of the broadcast time.
a History 10 project by Boyan Raichev and Javor Marichkov (10/5)