‘The power of radio is magnified during a time of crisis’
The above is a direct quote from Radio 1 host Greg James and I couldn’t agree with it more. In our ‘Razor Loves’ blog post from the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote about my new-found love for Radio 2. I’ve always been a radio fan but previously, it was only really used first thing in the morning to kick start my day. Fast forward a year and it now soundtracks my entire day. Since March 2020, Radio 2 has not been switched off. It’s the first thing my Google Chrome plays every morning and it’s probably the reason my energy bills are so high.
Radio is of course, a more traditional form of listening. It would be easy to assume that Millennials and Gen Z’s would straight up shun it in favour of on demand music they have complete control over and algorithms that are designed to meet their unique listening needs. But our own research across the media landscape has shown that many people my own age and younger share similar feelings to me when it comes to the topic of radio.
Screen fatigue quickly took its toll at the beginning of the pandemic. Moving around a series of different screens each day – from laptop, to phone to TV can feel exhausting. This fatigue has caused many of us to cut down on our screen time and take more pleasure from speech audio.
For many, radio is also providing a sense of companionship throughout the day. Homeworking means many of us have been deprived of the buzz of the office and background chit chat. In its absence, chatter from radio hosts and podcast stars are providing an alternative solution, helping to lift our spirts and fill the silence.
We’ve also had to carve out new rituals and routines that radio has played a fundamental part in. My lunch hour is marked by Jeremy Vine and end of work day signalled by the northern twang of Sarah Cox.
At a time when the day to day has become much more routine, we’re hungry for new. In an attempt to inject a small sense of excitement into our day, ‘new’ has come in a variety of shapes and sizes – new hobbies to sink our teeth into, new series to binge watch and also new music to escape to. Radio provides new music discovery and also rediscovery – Radio 2 serves up tunes that stretch across the decades from 80’s golden oldies to more recent chart topping KPOP. Where else can you get this mash up, all expertly blended together by the voice overlay of Ken Bruce?
These are small wins that are getting us through the days and as we begin our next lockdown, I’m thankful I have Radio 2 as my soundtrack.