Three Ways COVID-19 Changed Listening Patterns


By Bruce Roberts
Special to RBR+TVBR

When stay-at-home orders first went into effect across the globe, radio broadcasters found themselves facing a changed landscape. Many stations were concerned about the hit they would take with the rise in remote work and the loss of drive-time listenership.

Even with significantly fewer people commuting to and from work every day, a Nielsen survey conducted in Spring 2020 found that 83% of Americans were listening to as much or more radio than they were before the pandemic.

Radio audiences are growing, and they’re as engaged as ever, but they’re also listening in new ways. Audio streaming services like Spotify and Pandora had already sparked a shift toward digital streaming and on-demand, but as more individuals tune in using smart speakers or mobile devices rather than car radios, digital platforms are becoming increasingly popular with audiences and increasingly important for broadcasters.

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