Half of people listen to the radio when they’re lonely

Thursday February 13th marks UNESCO’s World Radio Day, which celebrates the radio as a way of educating people, providing information, and even saving lives.

And 47% of Brits put on radio to keep them from feeling lonely – new research by Pure, the world’s leading digital radio brand, reveals alongside the announcement of its new product, the StreamR Splash.

The research, which polled 2,000 Brits, reveals the extent of loneliness felt by Brits across the country. Despite living in an increasingly connected world, 1 in 5 of those surveyed say that they don’t feel connected to the people around them. The average Brit feels lonely for two days a week, and 1 in 4 (23%) say they will sometimes go days without speaking to anyone. 1 in 10 also admit that they only speak to other people at work.

But for many, radio is the saving grace. 1 in 4 (25%) say they listen to radio stations (DAB and satellite) that they know when feeling lonely – just for the familiarity of the voice they’re listening to. More than a third of people also like to put on the radio as background noise, to use as a coping mechanism when feeling lonely.

In the age of digital streaming, Brits still feel a strong connection to the radio as they search for the latest music – in fact, the average Brit will discover 8 breakthrough artists a year by listening to their radio.

When it comes to daily habits, people surveyed say they most often listen to radio driving on the way to/ from work (42%). Whilst around 50% of people listen to radio whilst on the go, during daily activities and whilst doing manual labour. For example, gardening (11%), manual labour (14%), 15% walking or on the train to and from work, and 11% in the shower. A third also say that they listen to the radio once or twice a day. The most popular time to listen to the radio is 11am.

This research is unveiled as Pure announces the StreamR Splash, the smaller sibling to the recently launched StreamR – creating a range of smart radios with built-in digital radio, Bluetooth and Amazon Alexa functionality. Data shows the connection people have to DAB+ radio as it comes third (32%) in the line-up of entertainment when they are feeling lonely – with 1 in 3 saying it acts as a digital companion. Males say they are more likely to take a smart radio on travels with them than females (34% males vs 25% females). Likelihood to travel with a smart radio increases with age, with 25-34s saying they are 60% likely vs 13% for 65+s.

The research also reveals the nation’s top 10 favourite radio presenters:

  1. Sara Cox

  2. Jeremy Vine and Zoe Ball (tying for second!)

  3. Chris Evans

  4. Roman Kemp

  5. Nicky Campbell

  6. Chris Moyles

  7. Eamonn Holmes

  8. Nick Ferrari, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Gregg James – all for eighth!

  9. Emma Barnett

  10. Justin Webb

Adrian Bruell, Head of Product at Pure, said: “Radio has played a big part in many people’s lives, and continues to do so today, as these results show us. As a brand, we’ve been redefining radio, offering people more options to listen how they want to. Whether that’s in the shower, outside gardening or out on a walk, radio is there for people when they need it.”

Dr. Becky Spelman, behavioural psychologist, said: “Loneliness affects people in different ways, and there are various ways people try to counter it, including listening to a familiar voice on the radio or TV. From a psychological point of view, having access to new music, discussions around the news or interviews at the touch of a button is an important way of dealing with loneliness.”

StreamR Splash is available to buy from the Pure webstore and Amazon from Thursday 13th February. For more information, please visit: www.pure.com/streamr-splash.

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