Commercial radio is attracting more listeners especially from their devices. Nearly 2.5 million people, or 17% of the population in the five metro markets, listened to live and local radio via their phones each week in the 2020 December quarter, according to Commercial Radio Australia. And the number of listeners tuning in via mobile was up 25% compared to the same period a year ago.

There were also increases in listeners tuning in via PCs and tablets, up 27% to 1.2 million, and smart speakers, up 58% to 1.04 million.

“The data is good news for the industry as it means more Australians are discovering they can enjoy radio at any time of the day, across a range of devices and platforms,” CRA CEO, Joan Warner said.

Data was taken from an average of the last three GfK radio audience measurement surveys conducted in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The research found that while broadcast radio continued to be the most common way to access radio, with 83% of people tuning in via AM/FM and 27% via DAB+ digital radio, mobile phones are the third most popular device used to listen to radio. Some 9% of listeners tuned in via a PC or tablet and 7% used a smart speaker.

However, the strong growth of 58% in the number of Australians listening via smart speakers came from a smaller base of 662,000 people in 2019.

Broadcast radio remains the core and most important platform for the foreseeable future, according to Warner. “But we are seeing some exciting growth in digital and streaming audiences as a result of investments and partnerships in these areas to make radio even more accessible across multiple devices,” she said.