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Survey proves radio remains a beacon of hope amid the chaos

Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio have commissioned a survey on listener attitudes and habits during the coronavirus crisis, which has proven that radio remains one of the strongest mediums amid the global pandemic.
Credit: Leo Wieling on Unsplash.com.

With more than 17,000 participants taking part last week, the surveys have shown that communities are increasingly relying on radio to bring them reliable news, information, and tips to help deal with the virus and the fallout from it.

The most dramatic finding was that more than 90% of respondents said they were more likely to listen to radio during this time, and over 40% at each station said they were already consuming more radio than they used to before the Corona crisis started escalating.


Listeners also shared what types of content were most relevant to them - with more than 50% wanting to hear more information on numbers of cases and related Corona updates.

The survey also showed that listeners are looking for more information from their radio station on health and safety guidelines, as well as tips on how to handle their “new normal”.


Radio has historically always been the go-to medium for communities to turn to in times of upheaval and crisis as they look for news and education. With high levels of audience trust, Radio’s local relevance also increases audience dependence.

Other findings shared by the respondents included insights on how they will be spending their money:

  • 50% will be choosing online grocery shopping;
  • 50% will be ignoring luxury brands
  • 70% will be shopping less often, but buying more than usual.
  • 80% of respondents also indicated that they were already self-isolating immediately post President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first Covid-related address and before the lockdown was announced.


What does this mean for radio in South Africa right now?

  • People are particularly eager to hear news, information, and alerts.
  • Brands who provide services that will become a necessity or that interest listeners will be particularly relevant.
  • Radio can provide brands with the best opportunity to reach different communities with the correct messaging at the right time.

This global health crisis is unprecedented, and all brands are facing new challenges and difficulties, many of which pose a threat to their revenue and cash flow. As radio is a cost-effective platform for people to access, radio stations are perfectly positioned to provide brands with successful campaigns.

Brands need to, however, be very conscious of their messaging to local communities. Opportunities exist for brands operating in E-commerce, Health and Wellbeing, and Education.

Radio is indeed alive and well during this national crisis and is on the frontline of information sharing on-air and online.
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