What Listeners Expect from Radio in the Wake of George Floyd Protests

Extreme concern about the coronavirus has backed off its 50% highs seen in April and May and is now hovering around 35% – and should continue to decline, absent new outbreaks. And now the nation is gripped with new concerns arising from protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. A two-day sample (June 3-4) of over 1300 people nationwide, ages 16-54, shows strong support for peaceful protests and strong opposition for aggressive response to peaceful protesters.

Strong majorities say African Americans are treated unfairly by police, issues of police brutality and racial injustice affect everyone, and that police should be held accountable for actions that result in physical harm to citizens. The sample is about evenly split on whether police are treated unfairly by the community or whether police need more support from officials. Still, most say the protests are warranted. And, while most say they are afraid of violence associated with the protests, slightly more say they are afraid of violence by the police.

A separate sample of over 500 radio listeners nationwide, also ages 16-54, points to what listeners expect from stations in reaction to on-going protests. Nearly half want stations to share ways to keep community member safe, report relevant facts only and no opinions, and have conversations with listeners and community leaders. While only 41% expect regular reports on protests, just 33% want stations to keep things as normal as possible with little acknowledgement of the protests. Clearly, programmers will have to be able to ride the moment as we navigate these times.

Of course, this is national data across a wide demo. Results will vary by market, demo and ethnic composition. As always, you have to know your station’s audience in order to make the best decisions, but we hope these results will help inform those decisions in the event that station-specific data isn’t available. NuVoodoo can help provide custom research at the market level – with very quick turnaround for well-focused inquiries – reach out to us at TellMeMore@NuVoodoo.com for details.

Lisa Cobert and our research ops team will be updating this information and publishing it on our website at NuVoodoo.com for as long as the protests themselves remain a prominent part of our national conversation. We at NuVoodoo hope that discussions about racial inequality in our nation will be part of the conversation for a long time to come.