How does it ‘sound’? Audiences, broadcasters, and managers on visual radio in Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In recent years, radio broadcasts on social media have extended to visual radio broadcasts (e.g. Facebook Live) that support a continuous display of viewer comments in real time. Based on 65 semi-structured in-depth interviews, this study presents for the first time the perspectives of the main actors in the visual radio scene: viewers, broadcasters, and radio executives. Findings show that broadcasters generally believe that the recent visual changes to radio, forced by the changing media environment, have an adverse impact on the radiophonic medium. In contrast, radio executives, who set policies, believe that radio must maintain a presence in the visual, viral interactive online space. For viewers, visual radio meets diverse needs, generates enjoyment, and offers the added value of interactivity and enhanced sense of activity resulting from new access to ‘behind the scenes’ of radio broadcasts. This study demonstrates how the theory of technological determinism is reflected in practice, in the radiophonic medium’s adjustments to the features of the new era – visibility, lost anonymity through increased exposure, potential for viral dissemination, and real-time responsivity – despite the fact that these features are contrary to radio’s unique fundamental features. Despite this innovative turn, all actors – executives, broadcasters, and viewers – believe that radio broadcast consumption remains dominated by the traditional in-car audio format.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1054
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Audience
  • Facebook live
  • convergence
  • mass communication
  • new media
  • qualitative study
  • radio
  • social media


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