ARN research reveals how listeners connect to radio

The research was commissioned by ARN as part of its Connected Insight series to better understand audiences

New research commissioned by Australian Radio Network (ARN) provides unique insights into how audiences engage with content, connect with on-air talent and use radio and other key media at transition points throughout their day to elevate their mood and re-energise.

The research found audiences experience a strong positive emotional connection with radio which they use to get them moving in the morning, battle the midday lull and re-energise on the commute home. This challenged the traditional view of how drive time radio was used by audiences to wind down, with the research showing audiences now look to wind down after 9pm with a focus on TV and on-demand streaming services.

The research was commissioned by ARN as part of its Connected Insight series, to better understand audiences, create tailored listening and content experiences and put insight at the core of advertiser solutions.

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The research identified the media channels and content formats that audiences use most to uplift them throughout their day, including Facebook, music streaming, radio, reality TV and TV streaming – which aid in uplifting emotion and evoke positive emotional sentiment through the ups and downs of the day.

Also key to the research was to explore how audiences connect with on-air talent. Participants identified a very strong feeling of connection with on-air talent – they represent “super friends” – people who are funnier, more entertaining and more interesting than their actual friends. Participants said they felt they had been “let in” on the intimate details of presenters’ lives and this builds strong and personal connections.

Of the research, ARN CEO Tony Kendall said: “At ARN, a deep understanding of our audiences is at the core of our strategy. Whether it’s our listeners or clients, our success as a business is measured by the strength of our content and commercial offering and how well we meet their needs.

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“Radio is much more than audio and in the past five years it’s exploded across multiple platforms, particularly with social, and understanding how audiences engage in this dynamic environment helps us to deepen the relationship we have with that audience.

“These findings help ARN further develop our content offering as we look to increase the time our audiences spend with us across all platforms. By better understanding what uplifts audiences, and when and why audiences are looking for content, we can curate our content and deliver audiences the content they demand through multiple touchpoints and align advertiser solutions.”

Of the research findings ARN’s national agency sales director Matthew Granger said:

“This in-depth study, in partnership with Pollinate, is the first in a series of research ARN will be conducting as we look to further unpack how and why audiences engage and connect with content.

“This series of research deepens ARN’s ability to deliver market-leading, insight-led solutions for our clients.”

The findings are the first release from ARN’s Connected Insight Series, powered by research agency Pollinate. ARN and Pollinate are in market presenting these findings to key agencies and clients.

About the Research:

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The research was carried out by Pollinate, an independent research agency, and collected both qualitative and quantitative data from participants.

Participants provided direct insight into their lives, habits and opinions on a range of topics, via custom-built surveys to give ARN a deeper understanding of its audience.

This study was conducted using online diaries where 40 participants were asked to record their emotions across a five-day working week and explain what role content and media played. Researchers also carried out 12 two-hour, in-depth interviews to gather stories and look deeper at the connection points. Substantiation was conducted via a 1,600-person quantitative study to establish metrics.

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