Jan 15

How did Pandemic Affect Radio Listenership

By Admin | 2021-01-15 05:14:53



The pandemic may not have been kind to the world, but it did have a sizeable difference in radio listeners. Other media sources may have hit the iceberg, but not the conventional medium of reference, radio. Throughout history, radio has proved to be a go-to option in terms of crisis that adapts easily to catastrophe situations.

Furthermore, the advent of radio technology, more than a century ago, paved the way for television transmission, mobile telephony, and WIFI technology, etc. After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, a system was set up that enabled emergency text messages that helped the affected people. One of the ways this project was made successful was through local radio that helped in advertising the project among thousands, or even millions of individuals.

Fast forward to 2021, radio has again stood out to be a perfect contender amid the pandemic situation of COVID-19. It has managed to be an essential medium to keep people informed about the virus, its spread, and affected areas.


Backing off with Statistics

Spain recorded an increase of radio consumption during COVID-19, according to a study by Rodero (2020). Most of the listeners explicitly tuned in for one to two hours a day, with the peak slots mentioned to be in the mornings.

The radio consumption increased when the lockdown was placed in certain areas of the country. It shifted the listening timings from morning to midday and evenings. However, not to our surprise, the broadcasters suggested that the music stations suffered a massive decline in those times, while the news stations saw the highest increase.

The upward spiral in radio consumption was not only seen in Spain, but Radiocentre in the UK recorded an average timespan of 1 hour and 45 minutes on the commercial radio. The numbers on BBC have also been put on the pedestal, seeing a whopping increase to 18%. Other countries include:

  • The number of commercial radio listeners in Italy increased by 2.4%
  • The United States of America saw an enormous 28% increase in radio listeners
  • In Chile, every four out of five people opted to listen to the radio at least once a week
  • The average time on commercial radio in Australia saw the numbers rise to 1 hour and 46 minutes per day
  • India saw a 23% increase, which now amounts to 82% of the entire population listening to the radio
  • A survey by the National Bureau of Broadcasters have estimated that 36% of the people in South Africa have admitted that they are listening to the radio more during times of pandemic


How is the Radio Helping in Preventing COVID-19

Radio has leaped into action and shaped up to be a huge help for panic-stricken people around the world. The following ways are helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and assist the people who are affected by it:

  • Creating Connections

Near of far, radio is helping people create connections by giving broadcasters a place to learn about each other’s locations.

  • Emergency Funding

To help the communities that need it the most, radios are broadcasting the voices of needy people so that the rich can flock to one side and assist by donating emergency funds.

  • Development of Broadcaster Hotline

Opposing to emergency funding, broadcaster hotlines are being set up across the country with live programs.


Final Words

Suffice to say, 2020 has not been a kind year to many and the pandemic is still far from over. But at the same time, commercial radio has proved to be a blessing for most people. Millions of lives have been changing through health and nutrition practices. Furthermore, the support funding, development at a distance, mapping out new strategic plans, and new projects have allowed people to tackle COVID-19 more gracefully. All of it, through the help of radio.

In conclusion, be it a time of crisis or a wondrous breakthrough in science, radio has always been at the front to dismiss modern media. The role of radio has been seen in different initiatives around the world, allowing means for acts of solidarity to help the affected. In the current time of dismay, radio is still playing a major role and it will continue to do so, in good times or bad, because tradition has a knack for beating the conventions.