Instead of live award shows feeding off the energy of the audience, Hollywood has transformed to zoom shows and we’re gripping our seats on the latest radio drama, rather than binging our favourite tv shows.
The end result? Record listening figures. Global, who owns Capital FM and talk station LBC confirmed online radio listening has risen by 15%. Similarly, Nation Broadcasting, who own Nation Radio, and a network of local stations in Wales, as well as stations in England and Scotland, has seen increases across almost every one of its stations of around 40%, rising to 75% in some cases.
Why has audio been the trend of 2020?
The shift to remote work, home learning and distance from loved ones, saw a radical change to the system and the radio waves stood strong offering the latest information, much-needed company and some laugh out loud, head-nodding entertainment. As one of the most trusted and accessible forms of media, radio is thriving instead of simply surviving during the pandemic.
For many retired listeners who are the most vulnerable in the fight against the pandemic, radio offered a lifeline to reach out for help and connect with their local community. BBC Local Radio’s Make a Difference Initiative has helped get essential, items to terminally ill peoples, offering transportation for NHS workers and provide on-air tutorials to listeners for Facetime and Skype.
Additionally, some of the biggest artists in pop culture took to creating art from home. From Taylor Swift’s Evermore album to the Afropunk Festival moving online, the world turned to the arts for survival. The public took to the new material as a way of clinging to some form of normality to keep them company as they adapt to the new normal of staying home indefinitely. Not only did we see the interest in new material, as we hold onto memories of happier days, but the interest in music from better times also became the sound of lockdown.
With billions of us stranded from family members and inside for long periods of time, the National Record of Statistics reported that 69% of adults in the UK are feeling worried by the effects of the coronavirus. It’s no surprise that music has been a coping mechanism for many, given the well-known positive impact music can have on your mental health, whether it’s classical or heavy metal. In fact, Nature Neuroscience reported that when researchers scanned volunteers’ brains with MRI and PET machines, dopamine, the feel-good chemical, was 9% higher- similar to the reaction we experience when enjoying food or receiving money.
Not only are we eager to enjoy new music, but the creatives of the nation are also getting in front of the microphone and putting out their own content. Acast reported that during the first lockdown there was a 49% increase in new podcasts being created. Ranging from comedy shows, film reviews, concerts, parenting tips and advice for carers, podcasts are at an all-time high.
Thriving through the Pandemic
It’s no secret 2020 was not the start to the twenties we were all hoping for and it’s probably a year we’ll happily forget, but there’s no denying the creativity, optimism and adaptability we as a nation demonstrated to see us through to 2021. Between music, radio plays and talk shows, radio has connected people from all walks of life held together by the pandemic we’re all enduring. When a third of the working-age population found themselves jobless it saw a shift to home entertainment devices with radio reigning supreme to get us through lockdown after lockdown. For those who have been working from home for months on end, the living space becomes the workspace of your dreams. Unlike in a shared office space, you can transform your work area into a beacon of productivity and surround yourself with what will inspire you and not distract you. Sound plays a key in creating an invigorating area- remember the right song can leave you staring at a blank page all day or typing as fast as Stephen King himself!
A Trip down the Audio Waves
Sound has the strength to help you relive the good times and boost morale for the hard times. Between our Eversden portable Bluetooth radio for a musical shower, our Bowfell soundbar for an early morning workout to a full-blown sound system courtesy of Peterhouse Graduate to bring the party to the living room or even the RS pro to get the creative juices flowing, the team at Majority have all the bases covered to keep you connected throughout the lockdown.
We’re dedicated to making 2021 the year we grow the Majority family so we want to hear all about the sounds of your life. Is your life strictly podcast, podcast and podcast? Or is crafted the perfect playlist your life’s work? Leave a comment below to let us know your audio journey.