Radio listening soars during coronavirus crisis

"The public are turning to radio in times of crisis"

Radio listening figures have experienced a boom as a direct result of coronavirus, new figures suggest.

Global, which owns Capital FM and LBC, has said online listening rose by 15 per cent in the last week, with many favouring the radio over streaming apps.

In contrast, data from US analytics companies suggests that use of streaming apps such as Spotify has dropped by about 8 per cent.


“These figures indicate that the public are turning to radio in times of crisis,” a Global spokeswoman told the BBC.

The BBC has also said that streaming of its radio stations has risen 18 per cent since last week.

As people across the UK begin working from home as a result of coronavirus, it has been suggested that they have listened to the radio for “companionship”, which has resulted in the boom.

Spotify. CREDIT: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

US analytics provider Alpha Data said streams in the US has dropped some 7.6 per cent during the week of March 13 to March 19 when many Americans first self-quarantined and other non-essential outlets and businesses closed across the country.

A similar slump was also seen in album sales and digital song sales. Physical album sales dropped by a staggering 27.6 per cent, digital album sales fell by 12.4 per cent, and digital song sales plummeted by 10.7 per cent.


This comes as the UK became the latest country to announce strict coronavirus lockdown measures for the country.

In a TV address from inside 10 Downing Street, Johnson said UK citizens must stay at home except to shop for food and medicine, for only one form of exercise per day, and to travel to and from essential workplaces.

It followed Johnson’s call for pubs, restaurants and bars to close over the weekend.