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Are We Listening? Radio during COVID-19

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As Canadians adapt to spending more time at home, consumers’ lives and media habits continue to change. Radio Connects recently issued a report* showing how these changes have affected radio. Some of their key findings were:

  1. Radio has retained 88% of its reach compared to the weeks leading up to the COVID-19 crisis
  2. At home tuning has increased from approximately 50% to 66% of total minutes
  3. How people are listening is changing, with streaming increasing across all key demos
    • Smart Speakers have seen the largest increase in listening (up 24% for adults 18+)

Why is it that Canadians are changing their habits to continue to listen?

When they asked Canadian listeners:

  • 74% agreed, “radio has been doing a good job keeping me up to date with the latest information about the pandemic”
  • 66% said, “radio has been doing a good job telling me about local businesses I can support right now”
  • 54% felt, “radio helped to ease me through some of the more difficult days”

What about hearing from advertisers?

  • 78% of Canadians say, “it is reassuring to hear from Canadian companies at this time”
  • 78% of Canadians said, “I want to hear about sales, discounts, and reduced shipping on items I frequently purchase”

So are we listening?

Despite all the changes to Canadians’ routine, radio remains a part of our lives, one that listeners are willing to adjust their habits in order to incorporate.

Consumers are open to hearing from brands, especially those taking an active role to help during this crisis. In fact when asked:

  • 86% of Canadians said, they “believe brands have an enormous platform to do good while still earning profit”
  • 82% of Canadians said, “Canadian companies that take an active role during this crisis will have gained a loyal customer in me”

What does this mean for advertisers?

With the consumer appetite for radio advertising still there, and less brands in market, there is a unique opportunity for advertisers to work with stations to increase share of voice, while working with reduced budgets, to ensure a meaningful connection with consumers. Advertisers who are able to do that now will build good will that will extend beyond the current crisis and may be able to increase your share of market.

 

An op-ed by Breanne Scott

 

*Report Sources: Numeris data, Maru Reports and Angus Reid Forum surveys

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