New research released today by Nine and leading research agency, The Lab, has revealed that nearly one-third of new listeners to Nine’s talk-radio platform attribute it to increasing their sense of happiness.
Twice as many talk listeners as music radio listeners said the talk medium provides them with a sense of feeling connected to others, while 68 per cent of talk radio listeners use it to understand issues more fully and seek out more than “soundbite” knowledge.
This highlights that the audience is both open-minded and seeking to be challenged in its view. Spanning more than 200 video blogs, 20 hours of face-to-face conversations and over 1000 survey respondents from talk radio and commercial FM listeners, the research set out to better understand audience needs, motivations, behaviours and why people listen to talk radio.
“The recent GfK radio survey revealed we were headed in the right direction with the content strategy for 2GB, 3AW, 4BC and 6PR,” said Nine Radio Managing Director, Tom Malone.
“The objective of this research is to provide deeper insight about what actually drives, motivates and inspires our talk listeners, and how this correlates to the way marketers and media buyers need to think differently about talk radio in the media mix.
“Nearly 80 per cent of respondents said talk radio helps them make sense of the world, which makes for an incredibly powerful proposition for brands to not only engage at a personal level but challenge consumer mindsets.”
Andy Moore, Strategy Director at The Lab Insight and Strategy, said: “What was interesting about this research was how multi-faceted people’s relationship with talk radio is – it plays both a functional and emotional role in people’s lives. They use different shows, presenters and devices to fulfil different needs throughout the day.
“It was also interesting to learn how people’s relationship with talk radio evolved over the year. For many, especially the younger or newer listeners, they came into the format looking for information, news updates and big-event coverage but stayed for the in-depth analysis, expert opinion, slices of life and feelings of connection it gave them to others in their community.
Key shifts identified in the research include:
1. Cultural Tension > Talk as Resolution
• 2020’s dystopia, loneliness and lack of substance in human connections has created a connection deficit among Australians. Respondents turned to talk radio as an antidote, with over 49 per cent feeling more connected and 55 per cent feeling more involved and stimulated from listening. The research also identified an uplift in new listeners’ mood triggered by talk radio content.
• The profile of listeners to talk radio is mixed, with progressive listeners now accounting for 24 per cent of respondents. Some 33 per cent of all respondents highlighted a desire to be challenged by the content they are served. The research also identified a shift in listener demography, highlighting a younger, increasingly affluent audience, with growth in key ethnic groups.
3. Audio Explorers
• Talk radio is guiding listeners to explore audio options across more digital platforms than FM music radio (49 per cent versus 30 per cent). This digital exploration is also opening up their talk radio options, with 21 per cent highlighting that they listen to more than one Nine Radio talk station.
4. Community Evangelists
• Talk radio was a clear connector for listeners to their communities, a means to want to help others, support local business and give something back. Respondents attributed talk radio to being more influential over major life purchases, financial contributions to ongoing costs and larger purchases. Listeners also said this information empowered them to make better decisions and use the information to help others (40 per cent more useful then FM music formats, 35 per cent).
5. It’s an Emotional Thing
•55 per cent of respondents said they listened for the human stories and insights into people’s lived experiences, 69 per cent believed more than ever that the role of talk radio provided a voice for Australian people, and 37 per cent listen because it makes them laugh.
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