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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, millions more Brits have turned to radio, regarding it as a trusted source of breaking news and instant information, a study shows. And it’s the younger audience who are tuning in more, with 62% of 18-34s suggesting they are listening more than pre-pandemic.

Despite the older population not changing their habits that much, on average over a third of Brits say they have listened to the radio more during the pandemic, and home-working seems to be a key factor, with over a fifth listening whilst having breakfast or during the workday itself, aiming to recreate their office atmosphere from home.

Interestingly, where we listen really varies between the young and old, with 18-24s being far more likely to listen in the shower (20% vs an average of 5% age 45+) and 18% enjoy the radio as a bit of background music whilst eating dinner (vs just 6% of those 45 and over). 27% of 18-34s are listening to the radio on a traditional radio device due to convenience, with 19% suggesting it is more accessible and 17% suggesting the sound is better than on other devices.

The new research comes as Pure, experts in digital radio, surveyed 2,000 Brits to launch a campaign for World Radio Day 2021, in order to champion the great things that radio does for us and to identify the ways radio listening has changed in the past 12 months.

Throughout the pandemic, national and local radio has been listened to fairly equally, with 63% listening to national and 45% to local stations, and both for similar reasons.

Brits have listened to nationals to get the latest news (52%), to be entertained (49%) and to listen to their favourite music (46%). The top three are also the same at local level. But it seems our bonds are strong with local radio, as over a fifth listen to have some sort of companionship throughout the day and to feel connected to their local area (12%).

Another quarter listen to speech radio for a friendly voice, company whilst working from home (11%) and trusted content (24%). Results show we are also being educated whilst listening, with some people in Wales even listen to it for Welsh lessons!

When it comes to the most-loved presenters in the UK, the oldies are still the goodies for the most-part.

  1. Ken Bruce

  2. Roman Kemp

  3. Zoe Ball

  4. Chris Evans

  5. Jeremy Vine

  6. Nick Ferrari

  7. Amanda Holden

  8. Chris Moyles

  9. Bush & Richie

  10. Alexander Armstrong

Peter Ogley, CEO of Pure says: “Radio has never been so important in keeping us connected with the wider community and further, and to keep us feeling supported and comforted. Radio presenters are a constant, trusted voice for listeners and we can’t champion the importance of supporting your favourite stations enough”.

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