Radio bite: the road to recovery


In research released in June, Bounce-back and Beyond, we explored spend intentions among commercial radio listeners. Restrictions had started to be lifted; many people had spent months indoors and finally had the opportunity to get out there again.

The purchase intentions of our listeners very much centred on the purchase types that had been most heavily impacted by lockdown; with restaurants, drinking establishments and holidays topping the list of things people intended to spend money on.

In our newest piece of work, Radio and the road to recovery, we asked listeners to reflect back on their spending over the months since lockdown was relaxed (June onwards) to see if spend intentions were realised. Intention did not line up with reality. In fact, the areas that people were more likely to spend money on were products rather than activities or travel – purchases that did not require mixing with others.

There could be several reasons for this. Products tend to be practical purchases and necessities, whereas activities and travel tend to be luxuries or big-ticket items. However, there are also some strong concerns about COVID-19, which appear to have influenced spend. Only 36% are relaxed about going out and over half are spending more time indoors due to COVID-19 fears.

But COVID disruption is also creating new opportunities for brands. It will come as no surprise that there was a large shift towards online shopping during lockdown. While this has declined slightly for grocery shopping, online shopping for other retail purchases continues to grow. We already know that radio is a great driver for online browsing, with listeners 52% more likely to include a brand’s name in their internet browsing when they are exposed to radio advertising it.

In addition, the upheaval caused by COVID has encouraged people to shake off deeply engrained purchase habits and experiment with new brands. Since lockdown began, 30% of commercial radio listeners have tried a new brand, which is 25% higher than non-listeners. One of the main reasons for switching is seeing or hearing the brand advertised, and commercial radio listeners are 54% more likely to be influenced by advertising in this way.

So maybe now is a good time to get into the habit of adding radio to your media mix.

Read more from Radio and the road to recovery on our website.

Watch our Planning Director, Mark Barber and Insight Manager, Kamilah Kamara present these new findings at Tuning In: Back to Business below


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