Radio 2.0

Uploading the First Broadcast Medium

by Matthew Lasar


Fact: Pandora radio has more than 250 million registered users around the world and 81.5 million active users.

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Cover image for Radio 2.0

March 2016


Pages 185
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Media, Television, and Radio
  Popular Culture/General

Welcome to the uncertain world of "Radio 2.0"—where podcasts, mobile streaming, and huge music databases are the new reality, as are tweeting deejays and Apple's Siri serving as music announcer—and understand the exciting status this medium has, and will continue to have, in our digitally inclined society.

How did popular radio in past decades—from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats" in the 1930s through Top 40 music and Rush Limbaugh's talk radio empire—shape American society? How did devices and systems like the iPhone, Pandora, and YouTube turn the radio industry upside-down? Does radio still have a future, and if so, what will we want it to look like?

Radio 2.0: Uploading the First Broadcast Medium covers the history and evolution of Internet radio, explaining what came before, where Internet radio came from, and where it is likely headed. It also gives readers a frame of reference by describing radio from its introduction to American audiences in the 1920s—a medium that brought people together through a common experience of the same broadcast—and shows how technologies like digital music and streaming music services put into question the very definition of "radio." By examining new radio and media technologies, the book explores an important societal trend: the shift of media toward individualized or personalized forms of consumption.


  • Presents great stories about digital radio innovators and fascinating moments in the history of AM/FM that will explain to today's "Radio 2.0 generation" what radio once was—and what it could be again
  • Documents the transformative impact of technologies such as the iPod and Pandora music streaming that enabled a highly individualized music-listening experience and changed the meaning of "community" from those literally surrounding a person locally to invisible users on worldwide systems like Spotify and SoundCloud
  • Engages readers with interesting descriptions of new technologies and their possible applications plus stories about outrageous media figures in the digital age
Author Info

Matthew Lasar, PhD, holds a doctorate in history from the Claremont Graduate School and teaches history and media courses at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His previous books include Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network and Uneasy Listening: Pacifica Radio's Civil War. Lasar blogs about Internet radio at



"This is a remarkable work that is not only an academic textbook which is highly referenced and well-argued but also a highly readable book of general interest to the radio listener. It is certainlly the first book I have read which really analyzes the profound changes that have occured since the introduction of digital platforms. . . . I cannot recommend Radio 2.0: Uploading the First Broadcast Medium too highly. . . . [T]his books will bring you right up to date but leave you with the feeling that radio will be with us for a long time."—Radio User

"Although it is an academic book with many references it is written in a very engaging style. Highly recommended."—Communication, Journal of the British DX Club

In the News

FM Stations That Don’t Reach Far, but Reach Deep, The New York Times, 10/14/2016

San Francisco Chronicle, Gift ideas: Books, speakers and even radios, 12/7/2017

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