Infinite Dial 2021: Australians embrace digital audio, podcast listening soars

More Australians are embracing digital audio post the pandemic, with podcast listening soaring over the past year and more people listening to radio using apps, catch-up podcasts and smart speakers, according to the annual Infinite Dial Australia 2021 study, released today by Edison Research and Commercial Radio Australia. 

Overall, 86% of Australians aged 12+ listened to radio over-the-air, online and via catch-up radio podcasts in the last month and 37% have listened to a podcast in the last month.

About 5.6 million Australians, or 26% of the population, are weekly podcast listeners, a 53% increase over the 2020 study that was conducted prior to the pandemic lockdown.

Smart speaker ownership also increased sharply. Twenty-six per cent of the population owns a smart speaker, a 53% increase compared to 17% a year ago.

“Australians have continued to embrace radio through this period of unprecedented disruption and are listening both live and online through multiple sources, including apps, catch-up podcasts and smart speakers,” said CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner.

“Radio has been extremely resilient in reaching mass audiences, while the uptake of podcasts has accelerated rapidly, positioning the industry well for continued growth and innovation in this area.”

The number of Australians 12+ who listen to online audio weekly including radio, internet-only services and podcasts, increased to 66% of the population from 63% a year ago. The average time spent listening to online audio was over 12 hours per week.

People who listen to AM/FM/DAB+ radio online use multiple sources: 46% listen through the radio station’s website, 44% listen through a radio station’s app, 38% listen through an aggregator app or website, and 23% listen through a smart speaker. This was the first time Infinite Dial reported on radio listening through smart speakers. Google Nest is the most popular brand, owned by 24% of the population, while 3% own an Amazon Alexa- enabled speaker.

Edison Research President Larry Rosin is “excited to present this new information to those in the audio space in Australia and we hope they can use it to move their businesses forward in 2021 and beyond. One of the key takeaways is the growth in podcast consumption in the last year.”

The fifth annual Infinite Dial Australia survey was conducted by Edison Research using a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians. The research was commissioned by CRA, Southern Cross Austereo/LiSTNR and Triton Digital. The report is available here.



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