Industry News

New research highlights crucial role of commercial radio news during elections

New research published today (Tuesday 4th June) shows how commercial radio news provides listeners with highly trusted updates and has a unique ability to cut through with audiences, especially around elections.

Breaking News: How commercial radio cuts through with listeners in a general election explores the news consumption habits of commercial radio listeners, with a specific focus on updates during elections. With nearly two thirds of listeners (63%) concerned around the amount of false or misleading information resented as news, the new study highlights how radio remains the most trusted source of news (for 7 out of 10 listeners) across all media, as well as looking at how audience attitudes have changed over time.

Key takeaways from the research:

  • Radio continues to be the most trusted medium for news and is considered to be the most impartial and accurate news source during an election. Trust in radio news is also over double the level for social media. In the run up to an election, commercial radio is seen as the best form of audio for a quick summary of key events.
  • Commercial radio news cuts through to listeners during an electionencouraging discussion and debate, while acting as a catalyst for further discovery. Young people are most likely to discuss what they’ve heard on commercial radio with family and friends.
  • Commercial radio news has a unique ability to reach an important group of potential swing voters. Outsiders (over a third of commercial radio listeners who are least engaged with news) are more likely to say they don’t know who they will vote for in the upcoming election. This group is most likely group to turn to commercial radio as their primary news source, and their reliance on commercial radio news has grown since 2020.

Download Breaking News: How commercial radio cuts through with listeners in a general election here. A short summary of the report is here.

The research was launched at Tuning In North on 4th June – catch up now.

Radiocentre CEO Matt Payton said:

“With a general election just around the corner, accurate news updates are more important than ever and it’s clear that listeners continue to value the trusted news bulletins on commercial radio. The significant investment from radio broadcasters in their news teams all around the country is especially important, as audiences rely on the regular updates that they hear throughout the day.

Radio remains the most trusted of all media for news updates and commercial radio news bulletins continue to cut through, particularly with younger audiences. This is vital given the level of misinformation that can exist on social media. Commercial radio also has a unique connection to millions of listeners who are still undecided on how they will vote in the election and less likely to seek out news elsewhere.”