Like the printing press before them, television and radio have revolutionized mass communication. The proliferation of these modern mass media meant that a signal could be sent out to anyone within broadcast range who possessed the equipment to pick it up. This was a vast change from the physical delivery necessary to connect print media like books and magazines with readers. Once the mechanical infrastructure was in place at both the broadcasting and receiving ends, no further physical connection was necessary between the two.
Advatages for Broadcasters
Among the many advantages for broadcasters is the instant nature of these media. News and current events stories ca be served to the viewer live and from the location of the event, differing from newspapers, which can at best print a special edition within several hours.
Likewise, entertainment programs can take advantage of the audio and visual capabilities of these media in ways that print media cannot, bringing stories to life in viewers' living rooms. These media allow broadcasters to create a sense of intimacy and loyalty with the presenters of the programs, which can be used to draw repeat audiences and entice advertisers.
Advantages for Audiences
Prior to radio and television, it was necessary for audiences to gather in a central location to hear live music, watch a movie or see a play. Broadcast media brought an ever-changing variety of entertainment into the home for the first time in history. Unlike the phonograph, which required that new recordings be purchased to expand the device's repertoire, television and radio audiences simply needed to turn the dial to access an unprecedented variety of programs.
The immediacy of news and public information programming is important to audiences as well. Action can be taken quickly when important news is broadcast, and in emergency situations, broadcasting can be dedicated to potentially lifesaving instructions from government officials.
Advantages for Advertisers
Unlike advertising in print media, advertisers in television and radio can present a face or voice to represent a company or product. This can be accompanied by an array of production techniques, such as music and special effects. All of these elements combine to increase trust, intrigue, excitement or whatever emotion the advertiser desires. In addition, television allows the advertiser to demonstrate the product, rather than simply talk about it.