Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) audio on demand platforms are breaking all listener and download records as audiences turn to radio as a trusted platform for news and information but also social connection and comfort during the COVID-19 health crisis, wherever they are.
SCA has also unearthed some interesting statistics on consumer behaviour as many of us now work from home.
Radio is the most consumed platform as SCA listeners work from home at 66 per cent.
For the month of March, listening on demand, including live radio streaming, on mobile, smart speakers and podcasts has exceeded all past records.
In addition, SCA’s own Research team found through its independent studies that one in four of SCA’s audience is consuming more radio than they did prior to the COVID-19 outbreak; more than a quarter of SCA’s audience expects to consume more radio in the next month; 66 per cent of SCA’s audience who are working from home will be listening to radio; 40 per cent of SCA’s audience expects to consume the same amount or more podcasts in the next month; and 64per cent of SCA’s audience expects to consume the same amount or more music streaming in the next month.
“We have now comfortably eclipsed the previous all-time monthly streaming record to reach 9.11 million and it’s unprecedented that news makes up 10per cent of that figure, It’s also great to see podcasting has grown 55per cent month on month,” SCA Chief Content Officer, Dave Cameron (pictured), said.
“Our current listener behaviour is showing that our audiences are already, and will continue to, rely on audio to stay updated, informed, connected and comforted. SCA’s content teams have also pivoted to produce some fantastic content to keep listeners happy and to enjoy music or a laugh in these anxious times, as well as a series of random acts of kindness. I’m incredibly proud of our team who are working really diligently to keep listeners informed and entertained.”
SCA Head of News & Current Affairs, Natasha Jobson, said:“Since early March we have gone with a ‘COVID-19 facts first’ approach, carefully avoiding the hype and scaremongering and offering only the most legitimate information possible.
“A revised rostering system now allows our journalists to focus on writing, audio editing, interviewing and reading roles – with a large portion now doing that from their ‘home newsroom’ set ups. We are mobilised to deliver news from anywhere, for anywhere. We are sharing findings from SCA’s research team with listeners, such as their biggest concerns around COVID-19 and also some lighter information, such as the most popular board game to play whilst at home – Monopoly for the win!”
SCA Chief Sales Officer, Brian Gallagher, said: “Radio has a unique ability to reach and connect with communities and is an essential platform in emergency situations, such as our recent bushfires, floods and now COVID-19. As a broadcast and streaming business, we have the technology and systems in place to broadcast through these challenging times without interruption to our services.
“People turn to radio as a companion and for social connection with trusted and much-loved voices. We continue to listen to our audience via our research panels to gain insights into their listening and purchasing behaviour, attitudes towards COVID-19 and to the new world of working from home. As a result of this ongoing research, our advertising partners are able to pivot their messages to ensure they cut through in challenging times.”