Radio Stays Strong As Podcast Listening And Smart Speaker Use Grows, Says Study

Radio Stays Strong As Podcast Listening And Smart Speaker Use Grows, Says Study
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Radio has retained its place as the most used audio platform, while awareness and use of podcasts has increased steadily over the past year, and ownership of smart speakers has doubled, according to the findings of the 2019 Infinite Dial Australia Study released today.

The comprehensive study of audio and digital media behaviour by global firm Edison Research found that 83 per cent of Australians are now aware of podcasts, up from 78 per cent a year ago.

Fifteen per cent of Australians listened to podcasts in the last week, up from 13 per cent a year ago and 10 per cent in 2017.

More than half of those who have ever listened to a podcast have listened to a radio show podcast.

Use of radio remained strong across multiple platforms, with 83 per cent of the population aged 12 and over listening in the last week, little changed from 85 per cent when the research was first conducted in Australia in 2017.

Edison Research president, Larry Rosin commented: “The study shows that audio in Australia is the same kind of dynamic space we see in America.

“Australian radio retains a large audience while streaming and podcasting continue to grow and new devices create new opportunities.”

Ownership of smart speakers more than doubled to 13 per cent of the population (up from 5 per cent in 2018), but has some way to catch up to the US, where 23 per cent of people own a smart speaker.

Commercial Radio Australia CEO, Joan Warner said: “Podcasting in Australia is still in the early stages of take-up, but we expect it will follow the trend in the US, where there has been a significant jump in weekly podcast listeners over the past year.

“Interestingly, the 15 per cent of Australians who listen to podcasts weekly listened to an average of six in the last week.”

The radio industry has invested significantly in podcast development and last year set up a cross-industry Podcast Committee to spearhead the understanding and growth of podcasting in Australia.

The latest Edison research shows radio continues to be the most used audio source in the car, with 85 per cent of Australians listening to radio and 12 per cent listening to podcasts in the car in the last month.  Listening to CDs and owned digital music in car declined.

Key Australian findings include:

  • Radio is the most popular audio platform with 83 per cent of Australians surveyed using AM/FM or DAB+ in the last week
  • Radio dominates in the car, with 85 per cent of those who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month listening to radio, while 38 per cent listened to a CD player, 26 per cent to online audio streaming services, 21 per cent to owned digital music and 12 per cent to podcasts
  • 22 per cent of Australians listened to a podcast in the last month (32 per cent in the US)
  • 52 per cent of Australians who have ever listened to a podcast have listened to a radio show catch-up podcast
  • Awareness of the Australian radio industry’s free mobile app Radioapp has increased to 19 per cent, and is now nearly on par with the long-established international TuneIn app (20 per cent)
  • Overall 83 per cent of Australians use social media, with a slight decline in Facebook use (71 per cent) and an increase in Instagram (44 per cent) and WhatsApp (31 per cent)
  • Smart speaker awareness has grown from 62 per cent a year ago to 82 per cent currently, while ownership has increased from 5 per cent to 13 per cent
  • Brand awareness of smart speakers in Australia shows Google Home leading with 77 per cent awareness, compared to Amazon Alexa at 45 per cent and Apple HomePod 45 per cent.

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