Radio stays strong, podcast listening and smart speaker use grows : Infinite Dial

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 at the Mumbrella Audioland conference in Sydney.
The comprehensive study of audio and digital media behaviour by global firm Edison Research found that 83% of Australians are now aware of podcasts, up from 78% a year ago.
Fifteen percent of Australians listened to podcasts in the last week, up from 13% a year ago and 10% in 2017 and 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% of the population aged 12 and over listening in the last week, little changed from 85% when the research was first conducted in Australia in 2017.

Edison Research President, Larry Rosin, says, “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% of the population, from 5% in 2018, but has some way to catch up to the US, where 23% of people own a smart speaker. 
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive office Joan Warner says, “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% 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% of Australians listening to radio and 12% listening to podcasts in the car in the last month.  Listening to CDs and owned digital music in car declined.
The Infinite Dial Australia Study, commissioned by CRA, Southern Cross Austereo via their PodcastOne subsidiary, and Triton Digital, is based on the US Infinite Dial, which has been running since 1998 and is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behaviour in the US.


Key Australian findings include:

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

The Infinite Dial Australia Study was conducted in the first quarter of 2019 and is a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,021 people aged 12 and older. 
Edison President Larry Rosin is in Australia this week presenting findings from the third Australian study to commercial radio stations and media agencies in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and to the Mumbrella Audioland conference in Sydney. 
Findings from the study can be downloaded at when available.

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