The Infinite Dial Australia 2020 study released today by Edison Research shows 82% of Australians aged 12 and over listened to radio over the air, online or via catch-up podcasts in the last week, holding steady with last year’s 83% figure.
The research was conducted in the first quarter of 2020, prior to the lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic, and is a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,014 people aged 12 and older, with data weighted to national 12+ population figures.
Twelve per cent of the population listened to radio online in the last week, up from 10% a year ago.
CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said Australian radio was leading the way compared to other countries where the Infinite Dial study was conducted.
“Australian radio continues to perform strongly, with 82% of people listening weekly. This compares to 65% in the US, 69% in Canada and 62% in Germany,” she said.
Podcast listening continued to grow steadily, with 17% listening to a podcast in the last week, up from 15% in 2019 and 13% in 2018, and while this lags about 2 years behind the US, it appears on track to get to 20% within the next two years.
Weekly podcast listeners listened to six podcasts per week on average. Smartphones and tablets were the devices used most often to listen to podcasts – with 85% listening this way versus 11% using a computer.
Edison Research president Larry Rosin, said it was possible that Australians had yet to be exposed to enough bespoke podcasting that was more relevant to the population, and that Catch Up Radio podcasting was probably more successful here because of Australians bigger radio consumption.
Smart speaker ownership also continued to grow steadily, with 17% of survey respondents owning at least one, up from 13% a year ago. Google Home is the most popular brand. Once again these numbers lag behind the US where smart speaker ownership is now at 27%, but again the continued growth mirrors the US experience of a couple of years ago suggesting sales will continue to grow here.
In the car, 83% of those who had been in a car in the last month had listened to AM, FM or DAB+ radio, 33% had listened to online audio streaming services, 32% had listened to a CD player, 19% had listened to owned digital music and 14% had listened to a podcast.
Rosin said smart speakers present an exciting new pathway for audio consumption. “The audio space is extremely dynamic today, creating opportunities and threats for all players.”
The Infinite Dial Australia is a comprehensive study of digital media behaviour and has been running since 2017.
It was commissioned by CRA, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) via their PodcastOne subsidiary, and Triton Digital.