Radio and Podcasts: The Future of Listening

2020 has brought about some of the most challenging times due to COVID-19. Many businesses that count on face-to-face interaction have suffered due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders. However, radio and streaming have seen an incredible increase. The world is going through an unprecedented time and now, more than ever, everyone is counting on technology to keep them informed and entertained. 

What impact has COVID-19 had on radio and podcasts?

The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent social distancing guidelines has provided a (more) captive audience eager to consume content, whether it’s via a streaming service like Netflix, podcasts, or internet talk radio. With more people stuck inside and looking for a new show to binge or podcast to listen to the need for new content is rising. 

According to a Nielsen survey, adults over the age of 18 in the United States are listening to as much or more radio since the COVID-19 outbreak began. In the same survey, listeners said that they felt that radio hosts helped them stay informed, stay connected to the community, and feel less panicked. 

VoiceAmerica has seen an increase of 43 new radio shows since the beginning of 2020 with even more on the horizon with hosts to provide educational content to listeners. This new focus has caused companies and brands to adapt to service their consumers and advertise to this new audience. Less time being spent outside has meant more companies are focusing on radio and television advertisements to engage and target their consumers. 

Why do consumers choose radio and podcasts?

Radio has been around for over 100 years and the technology is always adapting for every audience. Podcasts are a more recent development as a society, but their focused channels help keep consumers entertained and informed. Here are a few major reasons people are choosing to listen to content. 

  • Trust has been a huge factor that has caused radio to be so dependable. Right now, most national news media is seen as untrustworthy by a large portion of the population. However, the attitude toward radio is the opposite. Most people trust their favorite hosts to keep them calm and in the loop of information critical to them. 
  • Balance is a critical component to radio. A lot of television and news can be very heavy and dedicated to the negativity, but radio is a great outlet to keep consumers informed on critical news while keeping them entertained with music or a great host. 
  • Variety is a great advantage to radio and podcasts. With so much content available and channels to choose from, listeners have a wide range of sources of information and entertainment. Consumers have full control of what they want to listen to and choose from a massive range of topics and hosts. 
  • Availability and accessibility keeps radio and podcasts a top source for content. Services like VoiceAmerica allow people to listen to their favorite shows on-demand. 
  • Local coverage is a huge benefit to radio. A study conducted in March 2020 by Nielsen uncovered that over 60% of listeners trust their favorite radio hosts to provide them accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 and resources available to them. 

Radio and podcasts are reliable and trustworthy news and entertainment sources with on-demand options for listeners to catch up. Radio and podcast listening is only going to continue to grow in the future for listeners and businesses. 

What are the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on radio and podcasts? 

With 8 out of 10 people listening to radio the same or more than ever before, radio is set to continue to grow. Businesses have begun to move their advertising strategies to focus on more radio and streaming platforms to capture the at-home audience. Nielsen data suggests that media consumption will raise up to 60% due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It’s critical to embrace technology and find ways to create captivating and engaging shows. VoiceAmerica hosts have been using conference technology to create engagement with their listeners, guests, and other hosts to ensure they’re creating educational and entertaining content,” said Ryan Treasure, VP of Broadcast Operations at VoiceAmerica. 


COVID-19 changed the world for many businesses and industries with limited contact and plans to work from home for the foreseeable future. Many businesses will continue to grow and adapt to use radio, podcasts, and streaming as a source of advertisement, engagement, and education.

About VoiceAmerica

VoiceAmerica, the pioneer of digital radio programming since 1999, is the original digital broadcast company for the production and delivery of Live Internet Talk Radio programming and continues to be an industry leader in Live Internet Talk, podcast audio creation, production, and distribution. VoiceAmerica creates and distributes over 500 unique and innovative radio programs that engage millions of listeners worldwide. Five diverse VoiceAmerica network channels distribute live programs daily that reach a growing domestic and international audience. 

Listen live at VoiceAmerica Variety, VoiceAmerica Business, VoiceAmerica Health,  VoiceAmerica Empowerment, VoiceAmerica Influencers, and on our Apple and Android devices. 

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