The past year has seen a great deal of uncertainty and upheaval. This experience affects different people in different ways but the longing for a shared experience and emotional support is a widespread and natural response.
For millions of people across the country during the pandemic, radio has been a great place to find this type of companionship and reassurance. Radiocentre is the industry body for commercial radio in the UK and has been looking at different ways that radio has been able to play this role and become a force for good for listeners.
According to research among some of our 36 million listeners, radio listening has been significantly boosted as workers spend more time at home. People are increasingly turning to radio for company and emotional support – nine out of ten respondents said they listened to commercial radio because “it keeps me company”, eight out of ten because “it makes them happy,” while nearly 85% said listening to the radio “improves my mood.”
As the national lockdown continues, the research also suggests that radio is playing a valuable role in supporting people’s mental wellbeing during enforced isolation.
A Force for Good
Now in its tenth year, World Radio Day is an annual celebration of the different ways radio connects and supports listeners. This year World Radio Day falls on Saturday 13th February and there’s even more reason to celebrate the role of radio across the UK.
The Government clearly recognises radio’s importance, as in December last year they announced a £1.1m industry support package. Of this funding, £300k went to the Audio Content Fund for a special Winter Loneliness Support Round. Grants have now gone out to 19 projects that will reach over seven million listeners on more than 100 radio stations.
There is a treat ahead packed with incredible radio content, delivered by dedicated teams of professionals. As you tune in to your favourite stations on World Radio Day on Saturday, you’ll be one of the nine out of ten adults that tune in each week for music, news, information, entertainment and, most importantly, company.
All this week Radiocentre is celebrating World Radio Day, exploring the positive impact radio has had this year and asking people to share their examples of how radio has been a force for good by posting with the hashtag #ForceForGood and tagging @Radiocentre.