With people spending more time at home over the past year, they have been presented with many more opportunities to consume audio content of all types.
Though RAJAR has been forced to pause reporting, strong digital streaming figures and research from sources like Radiocentre and OFCOM all indicate commercial radio, and the wider audio market is flourishing. Some 26% of UK adults are listening to more radio (around 2 hours extra each according to Radiocentre); 15% are consuming more podcasts, and UK users streamed more then 20bn more songs in 2020 than in 2019.
Yesterday, I took part in a panel discussion at Campaign’s Radio and Audio Summit alongside Sam Austin, Group Audio Director from Goodstuff Communications; Jo McCrostie, Creative Director from Global and Sascha Darroch-Davies, Agency Partners Director from DLMDD, where we discussed some of the reasons why audio has proven so resilient during lockdown and how brands and stations have created a trusted voice throughout this difficult period.
We agreed that in many ways’ lockdown has played into radio’s traditional strengths – as a highly trusted source of real-time news and information, but also as a provider of escapism and entertainment. Radio has always been a companion to listeners, and many have needed that company more than ever.
In a worrying and uncertain time, advertisers always need to be careful to strike the right tone of message, and we talked about how audio’s flexibility – both in terms of short turnarounds and the variety of content and environments that are available – helps make this possible, and how this has not only energised established audio advertisers but also encourage brands who have not considered it before to explore the channel.
Finally, we talked about some of our audio highlights from 2020 – mine being the sheer amount of new content I’ve been able to discover (even if a lot of it was My Little Pony playlists for my daughters!)
Despite the perils of Zoom (my doorbell went halfway through!) it was a really enjoyable chat with some other audio champions. If you would like to hear more about how audio has adapted to lockdown, then please feel free to drop me a note at [email protected].
You can see the full agenda of the Radio and Audio Advertising Summit here.