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Impact of COVID-19 on radio listening

Jo Loup Jan 31, 2022 1:15:00 PM

Since March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has radically changed where and how people work in Canada, as well as where and how they get news, entertainment and music.

At the beginning of the lockdown, tuning levels fell as many Canadians switched to working from home and weren’t listening to the radio in the car during the traditional daily commute. However, since the beginning of May, radio tuning started to climb.  Although it's not yet reached the pre-lockdown levels, the analysis is encouraging.

Our radio dashboard, built using Conex, shows the shifts in radio tuning across the country during this period. It includes ratings by market, weekly reach, hours tuned, out-of-home vs in-home tuning and streaming.

Here are some highlights for 2021

  • The Ind2+ AMA for all Toronto stations has been gradually climbing since April 2021 and in December reached its highest level since March 2020.
  • During June 2021, Ind2+ audience levels peaked in Calgary, achieving higher levels than Jan & Feb 2020.
  • Since March 2020, Ind2+ ratings across Montreal stations for Ind2+ have peaked in November, both in 2020 & 2021.
  • In home listening for Ind2+ in Edmonton has consistently been higher through the pandemic than it was during Jan – Mar 2020.
  • Radio listening via streaming for 18-49s in Vancouver has consistently been heavier through the pandemic than it was during Jan – March 2020.


Radio listening dashboard


Clients with radio PPM subscriptions can access the full dashboard either through Lens or the home page of InstarRadio PPM.