Radio and specialist mags enjoy boost as nation confined to homes

Radio: keeping people informed and connected
Radio: keeping people informed and connected

Research from Bauer Media finds people remain positive despite wholesale changes to daily life.

One in six people (17%) said they were listening to more radio as they adjust to staying at home, research from Bauer Media has found.

A similar proportion, 15%, said they were using devices such as smart speakers more to listen to radio.

According to the study, 83% of people said listening to the radio helped them stay informed, 70% said it made them feel in touch with the world, 63% said that it improved their mood and two-thirds said it delivered trusted news and opinions.

The data comes from Bauer's Insider panel, a group of 5,500 influential Bauer consumers that have opted in to take part in regular surveys. The data was gathered on Thursday 19 March, before the government announced the current lockdown policy, meaning the figures may not represent attitudes today – with the possibility that the appetite for radio is higher now that people have been instructed to stay at home at all times.

Bauer also found a significant increase in the consumption of certain types of magazines, with 31% of people reading more special-interest titles, 28% more music, film and entertainment publications, 21% more TV-listings titles and 14% more women’s lifestyle magazines. Overall, 6% of people said they were reading more magazines and newspapers. 

Writing in Campaign yesterday (Wednesday), Paul Burke argued that radio has an increased role to play for advertisers, given the changes to life and the challenges involved in other forms of production.

Abby Carvosso, group managing director at Bauer Advertising, said: "This research will prove invaluable for our advertisers as it gives a detailed view of how consumers are reacting and coping, and the role that media plays in their new daily routines. 

"Our Bauer brands have similarly adapted to ensure constant delivery of interesting and useful content to our loyal listeners and readers – for example, our radio stations are being broadcast from home and Country Walking’s #Walk1000Miles campaign has produced guides on walking safely during crisis. 

"We will continue to track our consumers’ behaviour and share our insights with all advertisers and customers. By updating them with the newest data and working with them on the tone and timing of messaging, we can help our advertising customers to deliver the most relatable and relevant campaigns that can gain cut-through in this challenging, constantly evolving situation."

Bauer's research also asked general questions about people’s attitudes and behaviours. It found that the majority remained positive, with only 25% of respondents feeling pessimistic, while an overwhelming 93% said they were not worried about creating a new daily routine.

Two-thirds said they were washing their hands more regularly and thoroughly. Just over half said they were taking walks and spring-cleaning, while a third have turned to gardening and home improvement.

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