COVID-19: In troubled times, people turn to radio, says study

Updated: Apr 10, 2020, 08:46 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Study across six metros shows 82 per cent of people turned to radio for credible information, tuning in for over two hours every day

In the absence of other avenues for news, this man turns to the radio for updates on the current situation. File pic
In the absence of other avenues for news, this man turns to the radio for updates on the current situation. File pic

Locked in their houses amid the Coronavirus pandemic, Indians turned to one of their constant companions — radio — for credible news. According to a survey by AZ Research PPL of 3,300 participants across six metros, 82 per cent people tuned in to FM channels, which have emerged as the second-most credible source of mass information.

The survey found radio has a credibility score of 6.27, second only to the Internet, which is at 6.44. TV stands at 5.74. Radio's at-home listenership increased by 22 per cent to reach 86 per cent and the time spent listening to radio stands at 2.36 hours per day, a rise of 23 per cent.

Anuradha Prasad, president of the Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) said, "It is very encouraging to note that radio is evolving as one of the most preferred and most credible sources of infotainment. We are catching up on TV in terms of audience. The rise of 23 per cent in time spent per person listening to radio is phenomenal. We are grateful to listeners and look forward to helping evolve this media to greater heights."

The radio industry has a listenership of 51 million people, close to television's reach of 56 million and social media's reach of 57 million.

Ashit Kukian, CEO, Radio City, said, "Since its inception, radio has maintained its widespread reach and due to its ease of accessibility, it has turned out to be one of the most accessed mediums. The latest findings yet again prove that radio has the power to create awareness on local and national issues."

Harshad Jain, CEO, Radio and Entertainment, HT Media Ltd and Next Mediaworks Ltd. said, "Radio has the dual responsibility of entertaining and ensuring that correct and genuine information reaches citizens. At a time like this, its power and effectiveness increase manifold."

Abraham Thomas, CEO, Big FM, said the findings are in line with expectations amid increased response and engagement. "Radio has led by example and the realisation that you're making a difference in the lives of listeners is truly amazing," he said.

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