On Friday afternoons, celebrate having made it through the week whilst working and homeschooling with a burst of Kisstory turned up ridiculously loud to drown out the complaining kids because it isn’t Little Mix. Please tell me other people do this too?! 

This Saturday (13th February) marks World Radio Day 2021, and we’ve been reflecting on the impact that radio has had on us over the past 12 months. With rises in audio streaming and reported increases in time spent listening to audio overall it definitely feels as though there is something of a resurgence for the mediumBut what’s driven this and is radio now a force for good?  

We asked some of our Goodstuffers how radio has impacted them over lockdown….  

“Radio (Heart to be precise) has been my daily mood lifter. I run most days and Heart is most definitely my running companion to keep me upbeat and moving at pace. 

“Radio has given me moments of laughter in the low points of lockdown. 

“Radio is like having people in your living room without them actually being there, it’s comforting, friendly and fun, frankly, we all need that right now.”  

It’s clear to us that there is a common theme of radio being able to have that immediate impact on elevating our mood in these uncertain times and being that socially distanced friend that you are actually allowed to see. 

Radio’s fundamental ability to connect its listeners to the outside world has proven a powerful tool and has been recognised as a key contributor to the increase in hours over lockdownOur favourite radio presenters and podcasters have been a source of much-needed entertainment and escapism. The live banter on air emulates the office banter, which for those who are having to work from home has been a welcome addition to their new office. The conversational manner in which audio is delivered enables the presenter to be your friend in your ear when needed and the only welcome visitor into the home and our lives. 

And the benefits haven’t just been to listeners, with numerous advertisers trialing audio since lockdown began. At Goodstuff alone we witnessed 10 new advertisers to audio in 2020. We expect this trend to continue into 2021, and as the Ebiquity study ReEvaluating Media identified, a net figure of 19% of advertisers were planning to invest more in the medium in 2021 vs. pre-COVID 2020 budgets, which was the highest net shift for any traditional medium. 

This week Radiocentre are celebrating different aspects of how radio has been a force for good and today is focused on charities. We have experienced first-hand the power and success of working with radio and charities. In 2020 we were awarded the Campaign Media Grand Prix for our work with Samaritans and talkSPORT. By hijacking that relationship between listener and DJ to establish a trusted forum we normalised mental health conversation and encouraged help-seeking behaviour, among those in need, before it’s too late. The campaign would not have been as successful had it not been for that all important relationship between listener and their friend, the presenter 

Right now there is huge scope for the audio sector to not only play the friend in your home but also to deliver success for brands. Now is the time for audio to make the most of this resurgence and look to increase its percentage of the marketing pie. 

I’ll get back to Kisstory and homeschooling now!  

Sam Austin | Group Audio Director