UK commercial radio pulls in record audience ahead of Covid-19 lockdown

Roughly 36.3m people tuned in to commercial radio each week in the first quarter — the highest figure ever recorded.

The sector’s average listening time was also up year on year to 13 hours per week, while share of listening hit 47.8 per cent, compared to 45.7 per cent in the first quarter last year. The figures primarily cover the period before the full UK lockdown, which came into effect on 23 March.

However, radio listening was up even before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown as millions of Brits began to work from home. But while audiences are rising, commercial radio stations are battling a downturn in advertising revenue amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Christian Polman said: 

Not surprisingly, results for this first quarter show us that this year will be significant for digital radio. With fewer people commuting, podcast listening has been down but the abundance of platforms available to the public is keeping radio channels in tune with the shifting listening habits of consumers. Listening via smart devices has also likely helped make radio more resilient.”

 

To read the article in full on CityAM, click here.

First featured on 14/05/2020.