What keeps FM radio honchos bullish during times of COVID-19

In a study commissioned by the Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) in the top 6 metro, 82 per cent of the people have been tuning in to radio during the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 crisis, with FM channels emerging as the second most credible source of information for the masses. According to the latest research carried out by AZ Research PPL across a sample size of 3,300 people among 18+ UA population, radio has a credibility score of 6.27, second only to the Internet, which is at 6.44, and TV at 5.74.

In fact, the radio industry has witnessed a listenership of 51 million people, which is nearly as much as television’s reach of 56 million and social media’s reach of 57 million. A few more noteworthy highlights of the research include radio’s at home listenership, which has increased by 22 per cent and has grown from 64 per cent to 86 per cent. The time that people spend listening to radio has increased by 23 per cent to 2.36 hours everyday during the lockdown, second only to television.

According to Anuradha Prasad, President, AROI, “It is very encouraging to note that Radio is evolving as one of most preferred and most credible source of infotainment. We are now almost catching up on TV in terms of audience, the rise of 23 per cent in total time spent per person on radio is phenomenal. We are grateful to all our listeners and look forward to help evolve this media into greater heights.”

Sharing his thoughts about the study, Abraham Thomas, CEO, Big FM, said, “The findings are in line with our expectations as we have been witnessing a sizeable increase in the response and engagement levels to our content since the outbreak of this crisis. Radio has led by example during this time and the feeling of knowing that you’re making a difference in the lives of the listeners is truly amazing. The high levels of trust on radio, high in-home listening and high listening on mobile habits have driven this surge in time spent and reach. We thank out listeners and will continue to be there for them, entertaining and informing them and together we will win this. I truly believe this is Radio’s finest hour.”

Commenting on these findings, Ashit Kukian, CEO, Radio City, said, “Since its inception, radio has maintained its widespread reach and due to its ease of accessibility, it has turned out to be one of the most accessed medium. With these latest findings, it yet again proves that radio is one of those mediums which has the power to create awareness on local and national issues. I take this opportunity to thank all on the forefront of helping the society in issues like the Coronavirus outbreak, which has turned out to be a global pandemic.”

Harshad Jain, CEO - Radio and Entertainment, HT Media Ltd and Next Mediaworks Ltd, added here, “ As the COVID-19 pandemic takes over the world, the role of entertainment mediums become all the more crucial. Radio being a critical medium has the dual responsibility of not only entertaining the listeners, but also ensuring that correct and genuine information reaches the country’s citizen. At a time like this, the power and effectiveness of our medium increases manifold. People are now tuning in to the radio sets more than ever for their daily entertainment needs and also to stay updated with credible information. With the entire country under lockdown, the listenership has shifted to in-home listening. The entire radio industry stands together in these tough times to successfully with the fight against Coronavirus.”

Commenting on the findings, Prashant Pandey, MD & CEO, ENIL, said, “I’m happy to note that as per the AROL research, radio listenership has grown strongly during the lockdown period. This is not surprising considering the amount of very useful information radio is giving on a daily basis. Radio is a strong medium for advertisers to use effectively now and always.”

Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, Red FM and Magic FM, said, “Radio has been playing a much bigger role, it has been able to unite the linguistic and ethnic diversity and connect people from all backgrounds with its numerous arrays of frequency. Radio offers last mile connectivity and the latest findings have proved once again that it’s a powerful and trusted medium to deliver messages to the audience . We would like to thank all our listeners who have supported us and believe in the power of radio.”

(Source: All SEC 18+ UA: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune & Hyderabad.)


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