Nearly nine in 10 radio listeners consumed as much or more radio over summer as they do during the rest of the year, as surging Omicron outbreaks disrupted holiday and travel plans, according to the fifth annual GfK Summer Listening report released today.
The study found 91 per cent of listeners consider radio a great source of information over summer, and while many were forced to spend time in isolation due to COVID, 66 per cent listened to radio to feel connected.
“Radio is synonymous with an Aussie summer, and while this was a particularly challenging summer for many people, they stayed connected to their communities through radio,” said chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner.
The research showed radio consumption remained high across the past five seasons the research has been conducted.
The first survey in 2018 found 88 per cent of listeners listened to as much or more radio over summer, with a dip to 85 per cent in 2019 before rising back to 88 per cent in 2021 and 89 per cent in summer 2022.
“The summer listening trend has proven to be consistent both pre- and post-COVID, through emergencies such as floods and bushfires, and whether people are at home or away from home,” said Warner.
This year – despite the pandemic’s impact on movement and spending – 89 per cent of radio listeners said radio kept them informed when out and about, while 65 per cent said they listened to radio at their holiday destination.
Radio listeners also spent more than non-listeners – 29 per cent of radio listeners spent more on groceries in summer compared to 16 per cent of non-listeners, while 16 per cent spent more eating out, compared to 7 per cent of non-listeners.
Interestingly, radio listening grew among younger listeners across different locations and on different devices.
Twenty-five per cent of those aged 10-24 listened to more radio over summer, with 27 per cent listening more in the car, 20 per cent listening more at home, 17 per cent listening more at the beach and 14 per cent listening more at work.
The under-25s were also more likely to listen with other people, and believed radio enhanced time spent with family and friends. Thirty-five per cent said they had discussed what they heard on radio with others.
In a sign of the continuing growth in digital listening, 40 per cent of this age group used a smartphone to listen over summer, compared to 57 per cent who listened on an AM/FM radio.
Among those aged 40-64, one in five listened to radio on a smartphone and 16 per cent listened to more radio at home this summer.
Ninety-three percent of listeners in this older age group said radio is a great source of entertainment over summer, 76 per cent said radio is a great companion.
Regional listeners particularly valued radio for news and information. More than one-in-two regional listeners said they listen to radio for breaking news, while 76 per cent rely on radio in emergency situations such as adverse weather events, and 66 per cent said radio is the place they turn to for updates on local news and events.
The GfK Radio Insights Summer Listening report is an online survey with a nationally representative sample of 1274 Australian respondents aged 10 and over, conducted from January 10 – 21, 2022.
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