Commercial radio listeners tune in for longer while in lockdown

Commercial radio listeners tune in for longer while in lockdown

Since the start of the COVID-19 national lockdown, 38% of commercial radio listeners have been tuning in for an extra hour and 45 minutes each day, according to new research from Radiocentre.

These listeners are now tuning in for 26 hours a week on average, an additional 12 hours a week compared to the pre-lockdown average.

Launched during the Future of Audio digital event, the research – conducted by research agency DRG with a sample of over 1,000 commercial radio listeners – explores how the coronavirus crisis has changed listening behaviour in the short term.

Those who are newly working from home due to the lockdown are the group driving increased radio listening the most – 45% now listen to more radio, for an average of two additional hours each day.

90% of total respondents agreed that commercial radio is keeping them in touch with the outside world whilst social distancing, and 89% agreed that it kept them informed. A further 84% said that radio keeps them company.
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The research also found that listeners see radio as a “trusted” news source, with 68% agreeing that it delivers trusted news and 51% claiming to trust news on the radio more than other sources.

“With so many of us confined to our homes, either working or self-isolating, we are seeing shifts in media consumption across the UK,” said Siobhan Kenny, CEO at Radiocentre.

“In these strangest of times, we are all finding our own ways to cope, and I am grateful that radio is proving such a consistent source of comfort and trusted news to so many.”

Earlier this month, figures released by local and national radio stations revealed that the COVID-19 crisis is driving double-digit growth in online listening.

Radio giants Bauer and Global have reported a 15% rise in reach, with Global’s LBC up 43% online and Bauer reaching a record daily reach for Bauer Radio Streaming on Friday March 20, the weekend lockdown was first enforced.

Radiocentre has also launched a new advertising campaign to encourage advertisers to continue investing in the medium despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between 6 – 17 April Mediatel is hosting The Future of Audio – a free digital event to experience during lockdown. Click here for the full agenda, which includes live-streams, presentations and audio-themed editorial.

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