Radio ratings analysis: Listening up during COVID-19 lockdown

• Nearly 1.4 million more people across Australia are listening to radio at home

Radio listeners are spending more time with radio throughout COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, listening on average for around 1 hour 46 minutes longer per week compared to the weeks prior to the lockdown, reports Commercial Radio Australia.

This is according to a GfK analysis of ratings data collected during GfK’s Radio Ratings Survey 2 period and looking at a three-week timeframe before the initiation of Government restrictions compared to a three-week period during the lockdown.

Nearly 1.4 million more people across Australia are listening to radio at home in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, with time spent listening to radio at home up by over 4 hours each week, accounting for a 61% share of listening (up from 43% pre-lockdown).

Australians are still turning to Breakfast and Drive radio programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Time spent listening to Breakfast and Drive radio across each week during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has shown stability in line with the usual robust results for those dayparts, with increases of 10 minutes and 12 minutes respectively for the 5.30am-9am Mon-Fri and 4pm-7pm Mon-Fri dayparts.

“There is no doubt that radio is reaching Australian audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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,” said Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner.

Increases in time spent listening during COIVD-19 restrictions have been seen across the board for all dayparts during lockdown, as audiences turn to radio to keep them informed with vital, accurate and up-to-date information.

During the COVID-19 restricted Monday-Friday work week, 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.

Although 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 1 hour. While share of listening in the car has seen a decline – down 13% – the increase in people listening at home has exceeded the decrease in share of listening in both of those areas.

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