Active listening explains strong connection between over 65s and radio presenters
The age of streaming has fostered an environment where radio has more competition than ever for listeners, and while there’s been a lot said about how to stop young people turning away from the medium, music psychologist Dr Amanda Krause believes we should also be looking at why older listeners have much deeper connections to radio.
Speaking on ABC Radio Canberra, Dr Krause outlined some of the findings of her research into the relationship between over 65s and radio.
She found that older people were more likely to listen actively, and less likely to take radio for granted.
“You can turn the radio on, hear conversations, hear music, and participate in those conversations,” she said.
The connections that people over 65 had developed with radio went beyond just a desire for entertainment or information, explained Dr Krause.
“What I wasn’t expecting was how much some people feel bonded,” she said.
“These people are tuning in day after day, listening to the same people, and have a very close connection and a community as a result.”
The research also explained that older listeners were more likely to switch stations if there was a change in programming, due to the deeper connection they felt to presenters.
During the segment, a broader discussion of why people listened to radio began, with listener Justin calling in to say his 101-year-old mother had been listening to ABC Radio since it launched in 1932.
“It has been her constant companion every day since,” he said. “It got her through the Great Depression and the war years.”
Dr Krause hopes to take her research to radio personnel to help improve programming and the wellbeing of listeners.
“Maybe we can work together to create some really fantastic programming that considers how we can shape this for our well-being.”