When radio was first invented by Nikolai Tesla in 1893, it was primarily used to maintain contact between two or more ships at sea; today, the radio is a major source of news, weather and entertainment, and is popular because it is available to almost anyone. Initial radio designs were unable to transmit voices or music and were used to transmit Morse code.
The radio broadcasts most people are familiar with today didn't begin until after World War I. Until then, besides being a reliable form of communication between ships, the radio was used during the war to communicate to the front lines and top military officials. Once the war was over, communications in the United States and Britain began.
Radio caught on faster in Britain than it did in the U.S. Due to the devastation brought on by the war, Britain needed a way for its citizens to take their minds off their problems and radio provided the perfect release. Radio was used to transmit news, plays, music and discussion to people all over the United Kingdom and when word of radio's popularity spread to the United States, the country followed a similar path of broadcasting.
Today, radio remains extremely popular all over the world. Consumers can pay for premium satellite radio like Sirius/XM, and there are a variety of different radio stations to choose from.