GB on the radio

YouGov
August 12, 2020, 2:53 PM UTC

We take a look at Brits who listen to the radio with the help of YouGov Profiles

June 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of Guglielmo Marconi’s radio transmission; the first of its kind in the UK. More than a century later, radio remains an important broadcast medium despite the advent of television and the internet.

Having said that, our data indicates that Freddy Mercury may have been right to be concerned. Though the radio remains popular – 46% of Brits listened to between one and ten hours per week, according to YouGov Profiles - most consumers who tune in do just use it as background noise. Overall, 55% of listeners put the radio on while they’re driving, and a similar proportion (54%) said they’d used their car radio in the past 30 days. Three in ten listened while they were relaxing at home (32%) or doing housework (29%). A quarter (24%) listen while they’re cooking, while a fifth (19%) do so while working.

In terms of preferred programming, two-thirds of Brits (66%) said they’d listened to music on the radio in the past twelve months. A quarter (27%) tuned in to a news show or a talk and discussion show (23%), while a fifth (18%) said they’d consumed sports programming or entertainment and comedy (17%).

As for favoured stations, BBC Radio 2 is the most popular among the consumers in our sample, with a fifth (21%) saying they’d used the stations in the past 30 days. Heart and BBC Radio 1 come in a joint second, commanding 17% of the current listenership.

Our data also reveals some differences along gender lines: men are more likely to tune in while they’re working (25% vs. 19%), while women are more likely to listen while doing housework (39% vs. 20%). Female listeners are also twice as likely to put the radio on while they’re getting ready for work (12% vs. 6% of men).

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