Radio via Stereo or via Mobile Phone? Radio has always been heralded as the most far reaching form of media. It has however undergone many technological changes globally over the last ten or so years. Zimbabwe not being an exception.Not too long ago, fixed radio receiver sets were used for both reception of transmission on either Frequency Modulation or Short Wave. They were also used as the main technological platforms to play vinyl records (also popularly referred to as LPs), cassettes and Compact Discs.
It however appears that the advent of Information Communications Technologies, these mediums of transmission or recording music for stereos are now increasingly a thing of the past.Enter, the era of memory cards, flash sticks, and transmission of radio via live streaming on the internet or as is now most popular in Zimbabwe, via the mobile phone radio receiver function.
Because among all mediums of communication radio broadcasting has the widest coverage, these new technological developments are significant.In Zimbabwe, it appears radio listenership has remained high despite a survey showing that there has been a decrease in the sale of stereos according to local stereo appliance businesses in the capital.
According to statistics released by Zimbabwe all Media Product Survey (ZAMPS) in 2013, traditional radio is still vibrant in terms of listenership with 55 percent of all radio listeners while only 29 percent are using cell phones. It is however likely that the figures going forward will increase with the continued expansion of ICTs for mobile phone radio listeners.
“Technological advancement has seen a reduction in supply as the demand goes down due to the use of mobile phones with radio antennas. This is very high in the urban areas where the network is good as compared to rural areas,” said a shop assistant from TV Sales and Hire.Radio continues to grow in consumption as it has the ability to cater for the young and aged though different programmes, the use of multiple languages while some of the merits is that one can listen to radio doing other tasks unlike newspapers and television which needs more attention.
The use of mobile phones has replaced stereos due to their capacity of doing multiple things simultaneously.One can use a mobile phone to surf on the Internet, calling, radio, shooting photos and videos at the same time while it is also cost effective.Speaking to a radio listener who also commented on the use of phones as radio frequency receivers, it appears that cell phones are viewed as more private, portable and therefore convenient. “I think the era has passed when a family could budget to buy a stereo. Mobile phones are more flexible as you can see I’m listening to the radio on the go on my phone, on the other hand I can do it without disturbing a person next to me, narrated Kudakwashe Nzuma, a young resident in Harare.