Paddy Investigates Shifts in Lockdown Listening

Jun 2020  RadioWorks Blog

paddy says: Shifts in Lockdown Listening

Last week, we officially started trading using RAJAR’s latest data, and it got us thinking. Drawn by the fact that people are spending more time at home and consuming more audio content, we decided to talk to Planner/Buyer Patrick Gill to explore the latest trends and shifts in lockdown listening to hopefully shed some light on the area.

The ‘Covid’ Effect

The latest RAJAR data is trading as of last week. With the sudden changes we’ve seen this year, it should be noted that the new data reflects Q1. This means that we can see some of the impacts of Covid-19 taking an effect on where people are listening. From the early onset of Covid-19, stations like LBC may well have experienced an effect in listening just as the global pandemic was emerging. But remember, the latest figures do not reflect the listening habits that we’re seeing in lockdown. This is because the Q1 2020 release did not cover this period as the survey concluded just prior, due to guidance from The Market Research Society.

The ‘Lockdown’ Effect

While lockdown may not have been reflected in the last set of results, outside of RAJAR, we have seen many cases where the ‘lockdown effect’ has influenced commercial radio listening. Stations have seen a huge shift in listening patterns via online connected devices as more people tune in via laptops and smart speakers.

Both Global and Bauer have recorded a significant rise in connected radio listening since lockdown, with reach rising by 25% or more respectively.

Peak Listening Shifts

Online listening data is also pointing to new listening peaks throughout the day. Traditional ideas of radio as an early morning led medium have definitely been re-shaped in our new situation. Streamed listening data from stations show that ‘flattening the curve’ is also happening to radio in the media day, with 10 am to 4 pm holding on to listeners from breakfast much more than before.

A particular highlight we’ve heard about just recently is Virgin Radio who ran a promotion on early breakfast (4-6 am) and received a whopping 18,000 entries in 3 weeks. The current unusual circumstances clearly haven’t stopped people from engaging with content – they love it, no matter what the time of day.

Lockdown With Voice

The other effect of lockdown has been a big increase in the usage of smart speakers. As we spend more time at home, the convenience offered by Alexa has been amplified. According to Voxly Digital, over half of voice users in the UK are using their smart speakers more frequently than before and 40% say they plan to use voice more once the crisis is over. With usage up and more and more people embracing their voice companions, the opportunities to create a unique brand experience have increased.

In closing, consumer demand for audio is rising. How, where and when we listen during the day are noticeably shifting. Understanding these shifts can be overwhelming, but luckily as the temporary norm evolves, we’ll keep you up to date with the latest news and why audio is such an important tool in light of the current climate. For more information, please contact the RadioWorks team.




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