COVID-19: 32% of Australians listening to the radio more than before

• 72% of Australians are listening to the same amount of radio or more

Close to 3 in 4 Australians who are 18+ are listening to radio the same amount or more during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to audience listening figures compiled by GfK and released today by Commercial Radio Australia.

23% of Australians 18+ are now listening to more radio, with the greatest increases in listening seen in younger audiences. Of people aged 18-34, 29% have increased their radio listening, as have 27% of people 35-44. This is compared to 20% of people aged 45-54, 15% of people aged 55-64 and 16% of people 65+.

72% of listeners agree that they trust radio to give them up-to-date information about COVID-19, with 68% stating that they see radio as a good source of information about COVID-19.

 63% of listeners said that they trust the information they receive from their favourite radio presenters.

A third of radio listeners (33%) are now listening to more radio at home, while listening at work remains stable. While 23% of people say they have decreased their in-car listening, 18% in fact report listening to more than before, as social distancing requirements reduce travel via public transport. 

People listening to more radio via their respective devices include 52% of smart-speaker listeners, 32% of AM/FM listeners and 27% of DAB+ radio listeners.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner said:

“We have seen again and again that radio is an essential service with a vital role to play during emergency situations such as the one we are currently experiencing with COVID-19 and the recent bushfire crisis. Beyond being a source of accurate and up-to-date information, radio is a source of comfort and connectivity for audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people in isolation or limiting social contact. In fact, 62% of listeners say that radio makes them feel less alone and 64% say that radio keeps them connected with their local community.

Also, Over 1 in 10 Australians are listening to more podcasts during the COVID-19 crisis. With the news and politics category accounting for 32% of podcast listeners, with comedy not far behind at 31%.

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