Commercial radio audience grows as coronavirus restrictions ease

The GfK Radio Pulse involved a representative sample of 2,240 participants

Commercial radio’s average weekly metro audiences have climbed by 7.1% to nearly 12 million people during the past four weeks, as coronavirus restrictions have eased, according to a GfK Radio Pulse e-diary survey released today.

The research shows commercial radio listeners are up by 786,000 people per week, compared to the second official radio survey of the year that was released in April.

Commercial radio reached 82.4% of Australians in the latest study, compared to 76.9% in Survey 2 and an average of 77.3% for all of 2019.

The GfK Radio Pulse survey was commissioned by industry body Commercial Radio Australia to provide data to the market while the official radio surveys are on hold due to the impacts of COVID-19.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said the survey was good news for the industry.

“Listener numbers increased throughout the day, with breakfast up 1.5%, drive up 5.5% and the afternoon daypart (midday to 4pm) attracting an average weekly audience of nearly 8 million people – the kind of figures usually reserved for breakfast,” Warner said

“Listening at home continues to be well above trend. Nearly 65% of people listened at home each week and 59% listened in the car.”

The GfK Radio Pulse also highlighted a spike in weekend listeners, with commercial radio reaching a cumulative audience of nearly 10 million from Saturday to Sunday, a rise of 17% compared to Survey 2*.

The survey was in-field from May 17 to June 13.  Victoria announced people were able to leave their homes for recreational purposes from May 13 and in New South Wales and Queensland from May 15.

Each metro city saw increases in commercial radio listeners – in Sydney, the cumulative weekly audience was up 343,000 compared to Survey 2. Melbourne audiences increased by 175,000, Brisbane by 77,000, Adelaide by 71,000 and Perth by 120,000.

Across the age groups, commercial radio reached on average 92% of 10-17 year-olds each week, 78% of 18-24’s, 81% of 25-39’s, 84% of 40-54’s, 84% of 55-64’s and 79% of those aged 65 and over.

The GfK Radio Pulse involved a representative sample of 2,240 participants who reported their radio listening for each quarter hour via an e-diary using a computer, smartphone or tablet. This differs from the standard radio survey methodology, which comprises a larger sample size, with 70% of participants using paper diaries placed in households and 30% completing an e-diary.

The official radio surveys will resume with Survey 6, which will be in field from July 26 to September 19, with results to be released on September 29.

Source: GfK Radio Pulse, June 2020, People 10+, Mon-Sun 5.30am-12mn, Cumulative Audience, unless otherwise stated. Place of listening figures are based on Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, *Weekend figures 12mn-12mn Sat-Sun. Figures are compared to GfK Radio Ratings Survey 2 2020, SMBAP, People 10+, Mon-Sun 5:30am-12mn, Cumulative Audience, unless otherwise stated.

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