Food for thought: Did Video Actually Kill the Radio Star?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there was a time when people didn’t own television sets. They couldn’t stream trashy reality TV shows on their laptops, and they most certainly didn’t have TiVo. And while life without your favourite shows might be unthinkable, it was a reality in the dark ages, and in the not-so dark ages too, come to that.

But the question remains: did video kill the radio star (note song reference below)? Can we really blame poor old videos for the decline of radio?

Granted, back in the day music videos perhaps made listening to songs more appealing with the added feature of watching your favourite Beatle (Harrison) on screen. And sure, even today, I̶ ̶a̶d̶o̶r̶e̶ you adore Michael Bublé’s vocal cords far more when you can see his sauve self in a suit and tie.

So, when you really come down to it, should we really be blaming the evolution of music television for a possible decline in radio?

Source: TheBugglesVEVO (1979). Copyright Island Records Ltd. Video Killed The Radio Star. Retrieved from:

I say ‘possible’ because my research only really skimmed the surface of the information out there on ze inter-veb. You obviously have to factor in internet-radio nowadays, not to mention the increased availability of radios (compared to the dark ages – everyone has one in their car for one thing), and then I suppose it’d be relevant to focus on the increase in population too. In the 1920s, for example, when radios were really the bees patellas, radio ownership was still fairly pitiful. As is the case with publishing nowadays, I’m told. Or jumpsuits. Seriously people, I don’t care if Elle says orange (jumpsuits) are the new black, unless you’re Jessica Hart or Vanessa Hudgens, just don’t do it!  1

But, I digress– the real question here is why people read a paper newspaper? Or was it “why we watch TV when we can stream everything?” Wait, wait, wait.

Oh right, radios! So really, is video to blame? I mean, next I’ll hear people singing about how YouTube killed the TV-star! Or how the Kindle killed paperbacks, and iTunes killed CDs!

If you liked this post, drop me a comment, if you didn’t like it definitely drop me a comment, and if you really loved it, like it, share it, or tell your grandmother about it. 


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look up ways to recycle old CDs (‘upcycling’ they’re calling it nowadays).

1  Or if you’re reading this from behind rusted bars, or the cast of ‘Orange is the New Black’


Author: Akanksha Singh

Twenty-something travel addict || Likes: coffee, sarcasm, the Oxford comma, blue skies, and cobblestone roads. || Dislikes: rudeness, carrots, and pigeons (read: winged-rats with satanic eyes).

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