Nielsen: Radio Consumption Rises Amid Pandemic

Radio has been a comfort medium throughout modern history, especially during war and crisis. As more Americans stay home amid growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, media consumption, as repeatedly reported, is peaking.

New data from Nielsen found that among home entertainment options, 83% of consumers say they’re listening to as much or more radio as they were before the pandemic.

Similar to TV coverage during crisis, radio and on-air personalities present a connection to the real world that listeners gravitate toward and trust. Thus, Nielsen found 60% of Americans (18 and older) hold radio in high regard and trust it to deliver timely information about the current COVID-19 outbreak, according to a survey of 1,000 adults 18+ in the U.S. between March 20-22.

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“In a time of heightened uncertainty and disrupted routines, consumers are turning to radio as a trusted source of information and community connection, mirroring patterns observed during past regional and national disasters and weather events,” Brad Kelly, managing director, Nielsen Audio, said in a statement.

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Assessing the time consumers spend with media is critical for both radio stations and advertisers, regardless of whether the country is in a crisis. Americans are already spending almost 12 hours each day with media, and that time could grow by 60% among those who stay indoors, according to Nielsen.

Indeed, the research firm found that 92% of respondents said they were moderately or extremely concerned about COVID-19, with 42% saying radio helped them deal with the outbreak.

And while radio, podcasts and on-air personalities can provide listeners with information that is accurate and relevant to their markets, Nielsen contends advertisers can help listeners get what they need, as 46% say radio helps them know what stores are open and where to shop locally.

“Radio is a local lifeblood for millions of consumers and specializes in keeping audiences up-to-date and plugged into what matters most to them in their community,” Kelly said. “In this environment, it’s no surprise that people say they use radio as a major source of information and connection.”

SiriusXM and Netflix to Launch ‘Netflix Is a Joke Radio’ Channel April 15

SiriusXM and Netflix April 15 will launch “Netflix Is a Joke Radio,” a full-time comedy channel to air exclusively on SiriusXM channel 93.

It is the first time the streaming company has worked in unison with another major subscription media company to create a new outlet for their content, according to a SiriusXM press release.

The channel will feature highlights from top Netflix talent including Adam Sandler, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Gabriel Iglesias, Jerry Seinfeld, John Mulaney, Ken Jeong, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, Sebastian Maniscalco, Trevor Noah and Wanda Sykes.

“Netflix Is a Joke Radio on SiriusXM will be an audio extension of our award-winning stand-up comedy on Netflix,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “We are thrilled to feature some of the greatest and funniest performers in the world with highlights from Netflix shows as well as original programming that further celebrates the art of comedy, and we are excited to do this in partnership with SiriusXM.”

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“SiriusXM is delighted to become the audio home for Netflix’s blockbuster comedy programming,” said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM, in a statement. “Netflix has established itself as the unrivaled video source for stand-up, attracting the biggest names in the industry as well as break-out newcomers, and we’re eager to deliver SiriusXM subscribers access to their star-studded library, new specials, and original live shows.”

“I’ve seen the power of Netflix on their service for my own special, Stay Hungry, and now with their own SiriusXM channel, this opens up a whole new audience and it’s a great way to digest comedy on the run,” said comedian Sebastian Maniscalco in a statement.

In addition to featuring top comedy from Netflix’s established and up and coming artists, segments from future stand-up specials will debut on Netflix Is a Joke Radio, granting SiriusXM subscribers the chance to hear new material from ‘A’-list comics before anyone else, according to the release. The channel will also broadcast clips of Netflix’s comedy talk shows and other comedic content from the service.

The exclusive channel plans to introduce an original daily show, featuring celebrity guests and comedians discussing pop culture and hot topics of the day. The program will be recorded from SiriusXM’s new studios in Los Angeles.

SiriusXM’s comedy lineup also includes Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio Channel, for which Hart hosts a regular show, as well as a regular series with Ricky Gervais. In addition to original programs hosted by Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy, Jim Norton & Sam Roberts, Sebastian Maniscalco and Nikki Glaser, SiriusXM also produces audio documentaries on comedians such as Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Garry Shandling.

SiriusXM subscribers with streaming access can listen to SiriusXM’s 200-plus channels – including Netflix Is a Joke Radio – at home on connected devices including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, Sony PlayStation, Roku and Sonos speakers.

Netflix Partnering with SiriusXM for Comedy Radio

In a first for Netflix, the SVOD pioneer is joining SiriusXM to create a satellite radio-based comedy channel, dubbed “Netflix is a Joke Radio,” launching in early 2019.

The channel would be used largely as a marketing tool for Netflix’s expanding list of stand-up comedies – including this year’s “Chris Rock: Tamborine,” according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the move.

Netflix has a long history producing original stand-up specials, including most-recently with Amy Schumer and Dave Chappelle. It also streams original comedy-themed shows with Michelle Wolf, Norm Macdonald, Joel McHale and David Letterman. Previous original comedy shows featured Aziz Ansari and Chelsea Handler.

“We look forward to creating one-of-a-kind exclusive original comedy programming with existing and new Netflix talent,” Scott Greenstein, chief content officer at SiriusXM, said in a statement.