We're listening to radio for longer during lockdown

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 20 April 2020

Radio listening is up, despite nation-wide restrictions taking out the sector’s main channel of in-vehicle listening.

People are tuning in on average for around 1 hour and 46 minutes longer per week compared to the weeks prior to lockdown, according to new figures by GfK, releaed by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA). The figures look at a three-week period before government restrictions compared to a three-week period during restrictions.

The increase in listening comes despite commutes, which have been cancelled as people stay at home, previously being the main way people listen to radio, at 64.2% according to figures released by CRA in January.

Now, nearly 1.4 million Australians are listening to radio at home during lockdown, with time spent listening to radio at home up by more than four hours each week, accounting for a 61% share of listening, up from 43% pre-lockdown.

“There is no doubt that radio is reaching Australian audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says CRA boss Joan Warner.

“While their place of listening to radio may have changed during this crisis, audiences remain loyal and are seeking out familiar and trusted voices on radio to give them the latest live and local news and provide them with entertainment no matter the time of day.”

Breakfast and drive-time slots are still attracting audiences, with increases of 10 minutes and 12 minutes respectively for the 5.30-9.30am weekday and 4-7pm weekday slots.

Meanwhile, time spent listening between 9am-4pm has jumped by just over an hour compared to the same period before restrictions, while time spent listening from 9am-4pm Sat-Sun has increased by over 35 minutes within the same three-week to three-week comparison.

While share of listening at work dropped to 15% during lockdown restrictions, compared to 19% before restrictions, the amount of time spent listening by those at work has gone up by over one hour. And while share of listening in the car has seen a 13% decline, the increase in people listening at home has exceeded the decrease in share of listening in both of those areas.


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