As schools open in a new and uncharted world shaped by COVID-19 restrictions, parents, more than ever before, are feeling the need to find balance between their work and home lives. Working parents are in the unique position of engaging and educating children at home through remote learning. “Am I doing enough? How can I perform at work while keeping up with my kids’ classes? Math didn’t look like this when I was a kid!!” These thoughts run through parents’ minds as they grapple with the realities of navigating their days. This is all in addition to their growing concern over the increasing time children are spending in front of a screen. Pew Research Center’s recent study states more than 71% of parents are concerned about increasing kids’ screen time due to COVID restrictions around social activities and schooling.
Enter Audio. An oasis in the midst of the chaos from conflicting schedules and challenging responsibilities. Audio works unlike any other media. It entertains and educates children while stimulating their minds. It connects parents with likeminded communities and brings trusted, friendly voices into homes. The latest research from MRC Entertainment shows that audiences who are increasingly concerned about home and work life balance lean into Audio as a companion to get them through the day — whether working or spending time with children.
Among households with kids, classical, jazz and K-Pop listening has been climbing, confirming parents’ preference for Audio content to create shared experiences.
Parents are also welcoming opportunities to attend virtual Audio events, offering brands numerous opportunities to connect with audiences in genuine ways that build brand equity. More than one-third (36%) have attended a virtual concert in the past two weeks. And the number of families logging into virtual events will continue to surge. A notable 60% of households with kids say they are likely to attend a virtual show in the next two weeks.
These events create powerful brand building opportunities for advertisers. Their efforts meet consumers in a virtual world of sound and are not lost on audiences. Parents notice and favor brands who sponsor virtual events and platforms.
Entercom’s partnership with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is one such example of a virtual initiative that connects brands with families. Entercom’s over-the-air and digital channels bring listeners to Guy Harvey’s Virtual Marine Education programs and the brands that support these unique learning experiences. While children learn through virtual underwater tours and workshops with scientists, parents can focus on their work or join the fun.
Virtual events connect families to communities near and far, giving them an instant sense of belonging and drawing them into unique experiences. And numerous new touchpoints that extend through the day give brands the opportunity to stay top-of-mind, by earning crowds’ appreciation and trust.
Families’ preference for Audio content is a testament to the universal and evergreen qualities of the medium. Audio can be as diverse as people’s interests and as immersive as a well-told story. It helps organize when there is much to juggle. Listeners find thoughts and activities fall into place, as Audio comforts and energizes their minds. In a time when the new feels restricted and the familiar is far, Audio brings balance and helps households be homes.
 Pew Research Center, July 2020
 COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on the Entertainment Landscape – Releases 5 & 6, June-July 2020