ARN reports lockdown listening surge: Radio +10%, Podcasts +9%

“ARN remains a leader in audio, demonstrated by continued growth across our network offering.”

ARN has released data that shows continued audience growth across its radio and digital platforms and consolidation of strong audience numbers across on-demand and podcast.

ARN’s data from during Australia’s lock down period[i] – when Government measures were first put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and Australians were at home in unprecedented numbers – shows audio entertainment audiences, across all platforms, grew.

Radio streaming up 10% and digital engagement up 48%

ARN’s radio streaming has seen a 10% growth[ii], while its websites have experienced a 48% increase in traffic[iii], and social engagement has grown by 43%[iv].

As audiences’ audio consumption behaviours shift, ARN’s content teams have responded rapidly. This has included Breakfast Shows staying on air until later to meet the needs of audiences who are starting their day later and increasing the variety and depth of music played as people listen for longer during the day.

ARN’s chief commercial officer Pete Whitehead said: “It’s evident ARN’s audiences continue look to our trusted radio brands and talent to provide connection and normalcy. With people spending more time at home, we’re finding people are listening to radio to create an office ambience and to lift their energy, as well as providing them with information and updates.”

Music streaming up 7%

The growth trend continued across ARN’s iHeartRadio platform which saw a 7% increase in music streaming[v] across both Artist and Favourites radio.

“This further reinforces what we already know about the power of music and how audiences use music as a mood regulator to adjust or enhance how they feel,” added Whitehead.

ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network listening up 9%

ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network experienced a 9% increase in overall listening[vi] and a 14% increase in listening between the workday hours 10am and 4pm[vii].

Across the lockdown period, listening to entertainment and lifestyle podcasts – including travel, health and beauty – increased, showing a shift in audience interest towards wellbeing information and aspirational content. While streaming of news and comedy genres also increased, interestingly consumption of true crime and sports content has decreased across lockdown.  This content trend was mirrored across ARN websites where a 91% increase in page views[viii] across lifestyle content was seen.

Whitehead summarised: “ARN remains a leader in audio, demonstrated by continued growth across our network offering. Retaining strong audience numbers across radio, digital, on-demand, music and podcast platforms is testament to ARN’s comprehensive audio content offering for audiences and gives advertisers the best audio platforms to showcase their brands. We are committed to continuing to provide our advertisers with insights about our audiences evolving appetite for audio content, ensuring we deliver campaigns that engage listeners at the optimum time with the most effective content.”

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