Brown College Blog

5 Different Types Of Radio Stations

October 1, 2013 General 0 Comments

Different Types Of Radio StationsRadio was simple at the beginning. The very idea of broadcasting sound from one area to another was a marvel in itself, uncomplicated by endless types of frequencies, transmitters, programs, stations and more.

Today, radio is much more sophisticated. Technology has transformed radio broadcasting again and again. There are many types of radio stations now, all with different types of signals and purposes and legal statuses.

In case you’re not familiar with the major types of stations, take a look below.

National Radio – stations that broadcast nationwide, such as NPR, or National Public Radio. Rather than broadcast over a single station, NPR offers different stations across the country, reaching 26 million listeners every week.

Regional and Local Radio – broadcast to listeners in smaller areas, from within a community to across counties depending on the transmission signal. These are usually broadcast over AM or FM frequencies. Check a radio station locator to find stations near you.

Satellite Radio – broadcast by satellite signal rather than an antenna, allowing it to reach a wider area. The sound quality is also higher. You need a subscription to listen to satellite radio stations such as Sirius XM radio.

Internet Radio –streams audio via the internet rather than through a traditional signal. Internet radio is more accurately referred to as webcasting. Pirate radio is now decreasing because many groups and individuals who want to create their own stations can do so legally on the internet.

Pirate Radio – channels that aren’t regulated. These free stations are usually illegal due to the station’s format, content, or the location where the signal is broadcast or received. A group of men famously launched a pirate radio station in a boat off of the coast of Britain in the 1960s, where they were out of the reach of British radio regulations.

These aren’t the only types of stations. Can you name any others? Learn more about the radio industry at Brown College.


What do you think?