Commercial radio audiences in Australia have seen a strong lift over the last four weeks as coronavirus restrictions were eased over most of the country.

New data from a GfK Radio Pulse e-diary survey released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), shows commercial radio’s average weekly metro audiences were up 7.1%, reaching almost 12 million people; this represented an increase of 786,000 listeners a week compared to the second radio survey of the year, released in April.

Commercial radio reached 82.4% of Australians, which compares to 76.9% in the last survey and 77.3% for the whole of 2019.

CRA chief executive Joan Warner said, “Listener numbers increased throughout the day, with breakfast up 1.5%, drive up 5.5% and the afternoon daypart (midday to 4pm) attracting an average weekly audience of nearly 8 million people – the kind of figures usually reserved for breakfast.”

“Listening at home continues to be well above trend,” she continued. “Nearly 65% of people listened at home each week and 59% listened in the car.”

The numbers also show a spike in weekend listeners, with commercial radio reaching a cumulative audience of almost 10 million from Saturday to Sunday, a rise of 17% compared to the last survey.

The current numbers were gathered from May 17 to June 13, the start of the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in most states – Victoria said people could leave their homes for recreational reasons from May 13, and New South Wales and Queensland from May 15.

All metro cities saw audience numbers rise, and across age groups, commercial radio on average reached 92% of 10 to 17 year-olds each week, 78% of 18-24s, 81% of 25-39s, 84% of 40-54s, 84% of 55-64s and 79% of those aged 65 and over.

The Pulse survey was commissioned by industry body Commercial Radio Australia to provide data while official radio surveys paused due to the effects of coronavirus.

The latest survey involved a representative sample of 2,240 participants who reported their radio listening for each quarter of an hour in an e-diary, either by using a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Standard radio surveys use much larger sample sizes, with the majority of those taking part (70%) using paper diaries, while some 30% complete e-diaries. Official radio surveys will begin again from July 26 to September. 

Sourced from Commercial Radio Australia