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Nearly nine in 10 Australian radio listeners consume as much, or more, radio over summer as they do during the rest of the year, according to the fifth annual GfK Summer Listening Report released recently.
“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 Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
The research showed radio consumption remained at high levels across the past five seasons studied. The first survey in 2018 found 88% of listeners listened to as much, or more, radio over summer, with a dip to 85% in 2019 before rising back to 88% in 2021 and 89% in summer 2022, probably helped by surging Covid outbreaks that disrupted holiday and travel plans.
“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,” Warner said.
Radio listeners also spent more than non-listeners — 29% of radio listeners spent more on groceries in summer compared to 16% of non-listeners, while 16% spent more eating out, compared to 7% of non-listeners.
An interesting trend to emerge this year was the increase in radio listening among younger listeners across different locations and on different devices. Twenty-five percent of those aged 10–24 listened to more radio over summer, with 27% listening more in the car, 20% listening more at home, 17% listening more at the beach and 14% listening more at work.
The under-25s were also more likely to listen with other people and believe radio enhances time spent with family and friends. One in three (35%) said they had discussed what they heard on the radio with others. In a sign of the continuing growth in digital listening, 40% of this age group used a smartphone to listen over summer, compared to 57% who listened on an AM/FM radio.
Listeners in regional Australia particularly value radio for news and information. More than one in two regional listeners said they listen to the radio for breaking news. At the same time, 76% rely on the radio in emergencies such as adverse weather events, and 66% 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+, conducted from Jan. 10–21, 2022.