Radio leads audio consumption

Revealing insights from new study.

Radio is the key driver when it comes to audio consumption in Australia. These are the findings from a new study into digital audio, social media, mobile and podcast habits of Australians.  The Australian Infinite Dial Study commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and Triton Digital, provides new insights into what Australians are consuming online.  The research, from global firm Edison Research, is patterned on the longest-running survey (1998) of digital media consumer behaviour in the US.

“The study explores the penetration of online digital audio and social media in Australia and looks at the technology that Australians are using and it’s interesting to see how Australia compares to the US,” Edison president Larry Rosin said.  Key findings indicate that radio is the leading audio option across multiple platforms in the marketplace, with 85% of people having listened to an AM/FM broadcast and online or DAB+ station either via free-to-air broadcast or online in an average week, compared to Spotify 21%, Podcasting 10%, Pandora 8%, Apple Music 6% and Google Play All Access 2%.

CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner said: “The radio industry continues to innovate across all platforms and this study allows us to start comprehensive trending of our listeners as their audio and platform preferences evolve.  We have our Share of Audio study that looks at how much time is spent on online and on free-to-air audio, that looks at the percentage of respondents who consume each type of digital platform, as opposed to time spent listening.”

Other key findings include:

  • Twice as many people are listening to AM/FM radio (on-air and online) than all online audio streaming services each week (85% vs.43%).
  • 89% of Australians use AM/FM sometimes when in the car and nearly 50% use an AM/FM radio almost every time they are in the car. With 36 vehicle brands in Australia including DAB+ digital radio, 10% of people use DAB+ radio almost every time they are in the car.
  • Despite new ways to listen to AM/FM/DAB+ radio, 79% of the population have one or more radios in their home.
  • 72% of Australians are familiar with podcasting (60% USA) and 29% of people have listened to a podcast.
  • 17% have listened to a podcast in the last month, with 25-54 year olds making up the largest share of monthly podcast listeners. On average, six podcasts are listened to each week by those who are weekly podcast listeners.
  • 73% of Australians have used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music; 59% have used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music in the last month and 44% in the last week.
  • 80% of people currently use social media and 9 in 10 of those aged 12-54 years are current users. Facebook awareness is highest (98%), followed by Twitter (95%), Instagram (94%) and Snapchat (84%). Awareness of all these social media brands is higher in Australia than the US.
  • Facebook is more likely to be the most-used social media brand among 12-24s in Australia than the US (58% vs. 39%), however Snapchat is less chosen as the most-used among this group in Australia than the US (16% vs. 31%).
  • Penetration of smartphones and tablets in Australia is been greater than the US, however penetration of internet connected TVs is higher in the US.
  • 88% of Australians own a smartphone, with ownership highest amongst 12-24 (95%) and 25-54 year olds (95%). Ownership in Australia is 7% higher than the US (81% overall).
  • 53% of people own an internet-connected TV, with ownership highest amongst 12-24 (71%) and 25-54 year olds (60%).
  • Netflix is the most popular on-demand video service, with 35% of Australians having access to a subscription.

The Australian Infinite Dial study was conducted in February and March 2017 and uses a nationally representative survey of 1007 people and is a random probability telephone sample, comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of Australians aged 12 and older.

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