Australian audiences are turning to radio as a source of information, entertainment and connection during the COVID-19 crisis, with nearly 3 in 4 Australians aged 18 and over listening to the radio as much or more during the pandemic, according to the listening public figures compiled by GfK and released today by Commercial Radio Australia.
23% of Australians aged 18 and over now listen to the radio more, with the largest increases in listening being seen among younger people. Among those aged 18 to 34, 29% increased their listening to the radio, as did 27% of those aged 35 to 44. This is compared to 20 percent of people aged 45 to 54, 15 percent of people aged 55 to 64, and 16 percent of people 65 and over.
In this rapidly changing landscape, audiences are increasingly turning to radio as a source of accurate and timely information. 72% of listeners agree that they trust radio to provide them with up-to-date information on COVID-19, 68% saying they see radio as a good source of information on COVID- 19.
Radio presenters are also seen as offering an extra layer of authenticity and precision, with 63% of listeners saying they trust the information they receive from their favorite radio presenters.
Not surprisingly, given increasing government restrictions, where and how people consume radio is changing. A third of radio listeners (33%) now listen to the radio more at home, while listening at work remains stable. Interestingly, while 23% of people say they have decreased their listening in the car, 18% actually say they listen more than before, because social distancing requirements reduce trips on public transport.
When it comes to the way they listen, the growth is evident regardless of their choice of device. People who listen to more radio through their respective devices include 52% of smart speaker listeners, 32% of AM / FM listeners, and 27% of DAB + radio listeners.
“We have seen time and again that radio is an essential service with a vital role to play during emergencies such as the one we are currently experiencing with COVID-19 and the recent bushfire crisis. Beyond being a source of accurate and up-to-date information, radio is a source of comfort and connectivity for the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people isolated or limiting social contact. In fact, 62 percent of listeners say radio makes them feel less alone and 64 percent say radio keeps them in touch with their local community., ” said Joan Warner, Managing Director of Commercial Radio Australia.
It is not only radio that has seen the public’s listening habits change. More than one in 10 Australians listen to more podcasts during the COVID-19 crisis. Unsurprisingly, the news and politics category accounts for 32% of podcast listeners, with comedy not far behind at 31%, reflecting the fact that many Australians are turning to audio media such as radio and podcasts for information. and as a source of escape. during a crisis.
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