With more than 17 000 participants taking part, the survey has shown that communities are increasingly relying on radio to bring them reliable news, information and tips to help deal with the virus and its effects.

A significant finding was that more than 90% of respondents said that they were more likely to listen to radio during this time and over 40% at each station said they were already consuming more radio than they used to before the Coronavirus crisis started to escalate.

According to the survey, listeners also shared what types of content were most relevant to them, with more than 50% wanting to hear more information on numbers of cases and related Coronavirus updates.

The survey also showed that listeners are looking for more information from their radio station on health and safety guidelines, as well as tips on how to handle their 'new normal'.

According to the radio stations, radio has historically always been the go-to medium for communities to turn to in times of upheaval and crisis as they look for news and education. With high levels of audience trust, Radio's local relevance also increases audience dependence.

Other findings shared by the respondents included insights on how they will be spending their money. The results indicated that:
  • 50% will be choosing online grocery shopping
  • 50% will be ignoring luxury brands
  • 70% will be shopping less often, but buying more than usual, and
  • 80% of respondents were self-isolating immediately after President Cyril Ramaphosa's first COVID-related address and before the lockdown was announced.

What does this mean for radio in South Africa right now?

  • People are particularly eager to hear news, information and alerts
  • Brands who provide services that will become a necessity or that interest listeners will be particularly relevant, and
  • Radio can provide brands with the best opportunity to reach different communities with the correct messaging at the right time.
According to the survey, this global health crisis is unprecedented and all brands are facing new challenges and difficulties — many of which pose a threat to their revenue and cash flow.

As radio is a cost-effective platform for people to access, radio stations are "perfectly positioned to provide brands with successful campaigns". Brands need to, however, be very conscious of their messaging to local communities. Opportunities exist for brands operating in e-commerce, health and wellbeing, as well as education.

The survey, overall, indicates that radio performance is increasing during this national crisis and is on the frontline of information sharing on-air and online.

For more information, visit www.kagisomedia.co.za.