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Radio – During and after COVID-19

2020 has been an unprecedented year for almost everyone and radio is not an exception. Every plan was thrown out of the window. Everything turned upside down. Total chaos, total confusion. Positive became the most negative word. Nothing went right.

But there always lies an opportunity in atrocities and that is what radio did during 2020. Radio was judged as the second most credible medium after print. And print faced a little logistics problem in the initial days of COVID-19. So, the most credible as well as accessible medium in 2020 was radio.

Why radio is the most credible and popular

Radio is one of the most local mediums of communication. It connects with listeners effectively because RJs of any live radio station discuss news and other topics which are for the people of the local area.

They aired updates, news, and views of the local authorities in their voice live. And these authorities belong to their cities, talked about the live updates of their cities so the element of interest and credibility is added.

How radio handled COVID-19 and the way forward
The initial 2 months of COVID-19, entire nation was locked. No new movies were released. On TV the repeats of the shows started since new production was halted. And people were stuck at home were both paranoid and hungry for enough content on TV so to divert them from negativity and to kill their fee time.

Radio came to rescue at this time. Even though the RJs too could not reach their studios due to lockdown, most radio stations developed facility in such a way that RJs could do their shows from home. The new software installed in laptops of RJs connected their links directly with the transmission tower.

Radio stations broadcasted message of the Prime Minister of India live across the nation so to reach every nook and corner of the country.

On-ground events and public appearances of RJs, one of the most important elements of popularity of a channel were also put on hold. So, radio stations used video formats to their best. They connected with several celebrities on video calls and broadcasted the chat show on radio. To give a visual appeal, RJs also streamed the video chat with celebs on social media.

Webinars, digital exhibitions, and digital lead content made a perfect recipe for any advertiser to reach out to consumers locked in their houses as it offered them a combination of radio (local mediums of communication) and digital (hyper-local mode or reach).

Future of radio broadcasting
COVID was a disaster but it helped the radio medium with:

  • Increase in listeners;
  • Added credibility of medium;
  • Evaluation of combination of radio plus digital deliverables to advertisers; and
  • Content partnership with Podcaster like Spotify, Stortel.

This gave radio enough impetus to take a giant leap. Radio professionals are all geared up to take this medium to the next level. Partnership with podcasters will help with compelling content for listeners to tune in to radio.

The tried and tested use of technology to broadcast radio from outside of studio will help channels do much effective outdoor shows. The synergy between digital platforms like social media and digital music apps and terrestrial radio will help advertisers to get a holistic solution to their audio communications need. Thus, 2021 and beyond is destined to be a time for radio industry.

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