2021 Trends And Talking Points


(By Randy Lane) As you prepare your show for the first week of the new year, here are several cultural trends and talking points to relate to your content.

2020 and 2021Trends

  • Giving was up sharply in 2020. Multitudes of people gave their time and money volunteering. Radio stations and shows raised thousands of dollars for numerous causes including food for struggling families and individuals all over North America.
  • Nostalgia was the top mindset and continues into the new year. Formats like Classic Hits and Classic Rock had a huge resurgence. Listeners are also still seeking familiarity, upliftment, and human connection.
  • The business world shifted online. Covid continues to limit and in some markets make in-person contact impossible. Engaging with your audience digitally has become a priority for your show and radio station.
  • Remote work is here to stay. That will vary by market and format. White-collar formats and markets will have higher percentages of people working from home which affects drive-time listening.
  • Video meetings, job interviews, seminars, conventions, and live events now rule the day.
  • Unemployment continues to be the highest since the 2009 recession. A post-holiday Covid spike looks inevitable. That of course will create more lockdowns that will impact employment.
  • The top 3 podcast downloads in 2020 were:
  • News
  • Comedy
  • True crime
  • 2020 Google Searches:
  • The top trending “how to cope with” question was loneliness.
  • The search for foster dogs was the highest ever.
  • “how to vote” was searched more than any other year.
  • “how to change the world” was searched twice as much as “how to go back to normal.”

January Talking Points

  • Dry January: Ditching alcohol in the first month of the new year is an annual tradition for many people. This is an opportunity to create a storyline for some show cast members. Storylines are an excellent way to increase TSL.
  • Physical fitness: Starting a fitness regimen is still an antidote for over-indulging over the holidays. This is another opportunity for cast storylines that could include weight loss goals. It would also be relatable to have a personal trainer or other health experts on your show.
  • Goals/Resolutions/Intentions/Declarations: Enhance your character by sharing some of yours with listeners.
  • What Does Your Brand Stand For?: In her entrepreneur.com article, Lisa Barnett cofounder and president of Little Spoon outlines the importance of this brand element.
  • Super Bowl gatherings will be smaller and confined mainly to family and close friends.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here