Does talk radio make us happier than music?

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 29 October 2020

Talk radio can enhance happiness compared to listening to music, according to research by Nine and The Lab.

Nearly one-third of new listeners to Nine’s talk-radio platform attribute it to increasing their sense of happiness.

Twice as many talk listeners as music radio listeners said the talk medium provides them with a sense of feeling connected to others.

More than two-thirds (68%) of talk radio listeners use it to understand issues more fully and seek out more than “soundbite” knowledge.

The research, with more than 200 video blogs, 20 hours of face-to-face conversations and more than 1000 survey respondents from talk radio and commercial FM listeners, set out to better understand audience needs, motivations, behaviours and why people listen to talk radio.

“The recent GfK radio survey revealed we were headed in the right direction with the content strategy for 2GB, 3AW, 4BC and 6PR,” says Nine Radio managing director, Tom Malone.

Nearly 80% of respondents said talk radio helps them make sense of the world, which makes for an incredibly powerful proposition for brands to not only engage at a personal level but challenge consumer mindsets.

Andy Moore, strategy director at The Lab Insight and Strategy: “What was interesting about this research was how multi-faceted people’s relationship with talk radio is – it plays both a functional and emotional role in people’s lives. They use different shows, presenters and devices to fulfil different needs throughout the day.

“It was also interesting to learn how people’s relationship with talk radio evolved over the year. For many, especially the younger or newer listeners, they came into the format looking for information, news updates and big-event coverage but stayed for the in-depth analysis, expert opinion, slices of life and feelings of connection it gave them to others in their community.”


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