For the next number of weeks our bulletin will take a deeper dive into some of the key findings from our Sound Affects 2 – Audio Revival research series.
This week we’ll focus on the first of the six themes that came out of the research – that radio is still king when it comes to audio choice. When comparing radio with podcasts and streamed music we found higher levels of both engagement and recall. 75% were able to recall something they heard on radio versus 63% for both podcasts and streamed music. 58% felt engaged with radio versus 55% for music and 51% for podcasts.
The car remains the most popular place to listen to the radio with 69% of listeners saying they listen there, followed by a physical radio (48%) and the growth segments such as smartphone (39%), laptop (32%) and smart speaker/ speakers (25%).
Listeners are switching on to be informed and entertained with 63% tuning in for news programming and 61% tuning in to hear music. Interestingly the survey found that more Irish adults tune into radio to listen to music than to a music streaming service.
There’s also a real trust and connection with the radio with a third of respondents saying they feel like radio presenters are friends while 49% said they would be sad if a presenter left a radio show they listen to. This connection was confirmed in our panel discussion when FM104 presenter Emma Nolan told the story of a listener getting in touch to say her new baby recognised Emma’s voice on the radio. This was after a pregnancy that was spent listening to Emma while in lockdown, something the listener described as her life being “just me, you and my pregnant belly”.
These emotional connections were also discussed by fellow panelist Mike Cass, Head of Content for Virgin Radio who spoke about the impact of not only big name presenters like Chris Evans and Graham Norton but of all presenters. He talked about how he works with presenters to ensure this connection by keeping the conversation relevant and treating it like a conversation with a friend. He described wanting the radio station to be the party that you know you should leave because you’ve an early start the next day but you just can’t drag yourself away because you’re engaged and enjoying yourself.
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