Whether it’s applying photo filters on Snapchat or sharing playlists on Spotify, new media behaviors are typically embraced by younger, more tech-savvy consumers first. Once a medium has become mainstream for the younger generation, it usually begins to trickle up to the older age groups. It is common for teenagers to introduce their parents to new music services or for children to teach their grandparents how to shoot a selfie. But does this age trend occur in the same direction for every platform, in every market?
In the latest findings from The Infinite Dial Australia 2020 report, Edison Research revealed a steady and continued growth in podcasting awareness and usage. Awareness of the medium rose even higher this year as 87% of Australians age 12+ reported being familiar with the term “podcasting,” up from 83% in 2019. When broken out by age group, we see that nearly all of those age 12-54 are aware of podcasts (92%).
Overall, one-quarter of Australians age 12+ have listened to a podcast in the last month, with 35-54 year-olds reporting marginally higher monthly listening than their younger counterparts (31% to 28%, respectively). Monthly listening is half as large, however, among those age 55 and older, with only 14% of this age group saying they listened to a podcast in the last month.
Australians age 35-54 are also the most likely to be weekly podcast listeners, with 22% saying they listened to a podcast in the last week. This compares to the 18% of those age 12-34 and is nearly three times higher than the 8% of those age 55 and older who listened in the last week.
So what can these data tell us about the future of podcasting in Australia?
Well, we can see that unlike other media, podcast consumption is not being led by the youngest Australians. Instead, it’s the 35-54 year-olds who are driving the monthly and weekly listening. This is likely due to higher listening of AM/FM/DAB+ radio among this age group, coupled with a perception that podcasts are simply previously-aired radio programs available on-demand. But now that Spotify has become a hotspot for podcasts, we should expect to see an increase in podcast listening among 12-34 year-olds, Spotify’s core audience.
The second takeaway is that there is still plenty of room for growth among those age 55 and older. Despite the lower monthly and weekly podcast listening, the majority of those age 55 and older are already aware of the medium. Frequently reminding this group to listen, offering podcast discovery resources, and most importantly, creating more content for this demo could go a long way in increasing their consumption.
The Infinite Dial® Australia survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, is a high-quality telephone survey and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,014 people. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised of both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians ages 12 and older. The data is weighted to 12+ population figures.
About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space. Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers. allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.