AM Radio Is Becoming Static
I have not thought much about AM radio since I signed on with SiriusXM. There just is no programming for me on AM radio. Yet, a story about AM radio stopped me in my tracks: The headline said, “Automakers are pulling the plug on AM radio.”
I know AM radio listenership is dramatically down but removing the terrestrial radio from cars would be the death knell to the medium. So, I did a little research and the news on AM (and even FM) in cars is not good. For starters, electric motors generate radio frequency interference (RFI) in the same wavelengths as amplitude modulation (AM) signals. So, the electromagnetic noise from the electric motors would cause you to hear nothing buy static—it would be like listening to an AM station in a constant lightning storm.
BMW and Tesla are already eliminating AM radios. GM will follow, touting an in-car 4G alternative for streaming music.
The Detroit News reports that it may not be long before AM/FM radios will disappear from all new cars. Manufacturers are focusing on smartphone integration for music streaming.
Locally the ratings tell a struggling game: There are six AM stations in the Cedar Rapids radio market (the 204th market in the county). According to Nielsen, the most listened to AM radio station has a 4.5 rating for spring 2020; next is 1.7, followed by many half-points or hash marks.
The future is arriving faster and faster for the internet of things integration into every aspect of our lives. And it is hard for most established media to keep up.