Radio listening grows as behaviours shift

Mar 2020  RadioWorks Blog

radio listening

As we enter another week of isolation, many perhaps did not anticipate a sudden rise in radio listening. And yet, it seems that a growing number of people are turning to radio in times of need. Each week, we continue to see significant growth across the medium, with stations posting notable increased listening. Altogether, this indicates that radio is a vital resource for those stuck at home, in search of comfort and reassurance.

More people are listening to radio for mood-boosting and trusted information. In the UK alone, 83% of listeners agree that radio keeps them informed and 63% state that it improves their mood, as reported by Bauer Media. The group also saw a 9% growth in listening via traditional DAB. This points to positive things for the medium and reinforces the longstanding strength of radio.

Stations have also seen a change in listening patterns via online connected devices. Global noted a significant rise in connected radio listening, with reach up 15% and hours up 9%. Smart-speaker listening also grew by 11% year-on-year. Similarly, last weekend (21-22nd March), Bauer saw 15% more people listening via connected devices (smartphone, desktop/laptop, smart speaker combined).

The following stations have reported growth further to the Covid-19 outbreak:


LBC’s reach is up 43% and listening hours up 17% year-on-year between 9th and 17th March.

TalkRADIO has shown a 20% increase in their total listening hours and 16% reach week-on-week. Breakfast on talkRADIO has also increased via online listening by 14% over the past two weeks.

Heart’s audience is up by 11% since 8th March year-on-year, with more listeners tuning in to breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden.

Scala’s reach has increased by 34% between 16th and 22nd March. Scala’s hours are also up by 24%. Other notable reach increases include Country Hits (8%), Absolute Radio (7%), Hits Radio (7%), Jazz (6%) and Magic (4%).

Virgin Radio reach is up 7% week-on-week, which is largely driven by the breakfast show, currently up 40% vs the previous 8 weeks.  Virgin Anthems also saw week-on-week improvement.

Smooth Radio’s audience has increased by 12%. Listeners are undoubtedly lured by the station’s calm and comforting programming.

As the temporary norm evolves we’ll keep updating you with the latest news and why radio is such an important tool in light of the current climate. For more information, please contact the RadioWorks team




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