The demise of radio has been predicted for 70 years, but it is still going strong - it is just more consolidated than it was in the past. Even college radio which, thanks to taxpayers, isn't under the same financial pressure as the corporate kind, has declined in popularity, because young people have been listening to the radio much less.

Yet since 2008, social networks have been changing that. Like much of college radio, it wasn't planned but they made it a feature as it happened. 

An analysis of 23 university stations in Spain found that college radio embraced social networking - and social networking embraced it back.  In social networks, “university radios maintain their identity associated the sound” because, although they are multimedia platforms, the radios prioritize posting links to audio contents, finds Lucia Casajús at Universitat Jaume I, whose thesis in late January was “University Radios and Social Networks”.

Video still hasn't killed the radio star, nor did social media. The latter may save it. Image: from "Video killed the radio star" by The Buggles, the first video played on MTV but which was not about MTV, it was about television in the 1950s. Even less well-known is that The Buggles were not the first to do it  - co-writer  Bruce Woolley of Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club recorded it first, with Thomas Dolby on keyboards. Then co-writers Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes formed The Buggles and made it famous. The video was directed by Russell Mulcahy, who went on to become the preferred director for many musical artists throughout the 1980s So, anything, Mulcahy killed radio more than television did. Credit: Island Records.

In Spain, Facebook and Twitter are most popular, with results similar to the US - Facebook will lead to more clicks while Twitter will show more activity. For content providers (like Science 2.0) retweets have little value, since it is advertising that keeps the lights on, while Facebook users participate more. In Spanish college radio, however, the audio social network iVoox was also a large component.

College radio didn't consciously choose to piggyback on social media, its participants did, in enough numbers that it then made sense to post contents on there. The crisis for commercial radio remains the same - if they sell an ad for radio, they can show 50,000 people listened to it, even if it was in the background. On Twitter and Facebook, clicks are all that matter, so social media can augment the usual strategy of providing content people want to hear but it can't be a strategy of its own. For college radio, however, online social presence can be more relevant to potential advertisers.