Radio Listening in Australia is Resilient; Podcast, Online Audio Listening Grows
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The audio landscape in Australia is defined by growth in internet-only audio listening and podcast listening, while traditional radio listening remains strong. These findings are part of The Infinite Dial® Australia 2020, a comprehensive study of digital media behavior in Australia released today by Edison Research, the leading provider of high-quality survey research about audio in the U.S. and worldwide. The study was fielded before the COVID-19 disruptions.
The Australian Infinite Dial Study is commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) via their PodcastOne subsidiary, and Triton Digital, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio and podcast industry. This marks the fourth annual release of the study in Australia, and is part of the continued expansion of The Infinite Dial®. The study is the longest running survey of digital media consumer behavior in U.S., and now includes surveys in Canada, Germany, and South Africa.
AM/FM/DAB+ radio content, including live content and catch-up podcasts, continues to reach large numbers of those in Australia age 12+. Eighty-five percent of those in Australia age 12+ have listened to at least 15 minutes of AM/FM/DAB+ live content or catch-up podcasts in the last month, down minimally from the 87% recorded last year. Over-the-air remains the preferred delivery mechanism of such content: 80% of those in Australia age 12+ have listened to AM/FM/DAB+ content over–the–air in the last week. Twelve percent of those in Australia age 12+ have listened to AM/FM/DAB+ content online in the last week.
“For radio, the findings underscore the importance of being easily accessible on multiple platforms and devices as consumer behavior evolves, but ultimately it’s the content and unique service radio offers that drives listener loyalty,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
Reported time spent listening to online audio has increased for the fourth year in a row. Online audio listeners in Australia age 12+ spend an average of 12 hours and 37 minutes listening to online audio per week, up from just over 11 hours last year. The smartphone is the device the vast majority of online listeners use to listen, with 83% of those in Australia age 12+ saying they use a smartphone to listen to online audio. Fourteen percent of those in Australia age 12+ say they use a smart speaker to listen to online audio, up from 8% last year.
One-quarter of those in Australia age 12+ have listened to a podcast in the last month, up from 22% in 2019, yet still behind 37% of those age 12+ who are monthly podcast listeners in the U.S. Awareness of podcasting in Australia surpasses what is seen in the United States, as 87% of Australians are familiar with of podcasting compared to 75% of Americans.
“Australia continues to be one of the most exciting markets in the world for online audio and podcasting,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “We are pleased to partner once again with Edison Research, CRA and SCA to unveil another year of insights and trends.”
Smart speaker awareness continues to grow, with 85% of those in Australia age 12+ being aware of smart speakers, and this year’s report shows 17% of those age 12+ own one of the devices (up from 14% last year). The number of smart speaker owners who own two of the devices has almost doubled since last year’s survey: 32% of smart speaker owners own two devices compared to 16% in 2019.
“Each year we have performed The Infinite Dial Australia we have seen how audio is changing and adapting to new technologies,” says Edison Research president Larry Rosin. While podcasting and smart speakers, along with other new developments, continue to see growth, Australia also has an extremely resilient broadcast radio industry that outperforms as compared to what we see from other countries around the world. We are proud that all players in the audio space can use this information to help guide their understanding of this dynamic sector.”
According to John Musgrove, Head of Research and Insights at SCA, “In its four years the Australian Infinite Dial® report has become as much a currency for the industry as the oft–quoted U.S. version. Comparing the two countries indicates how healthy the Australian audio industry is and how strong and consistent its growth continues to be regardless of other challenges. Audio goes with us all day, every day, and this report confirms how broadly Audio accompanies and impacts Australian lifestyles.”
Other key Infinite Dial 2020 Australia findings include:
- At–home is the location most Australians have consumed a podcast. Eighty-one percent of podcast listeners in Australia age 12+ have listened to a podcast at home and 45% have listened in a car/truck.
- 85% of podcast listeners in Australia age 12+ most often listen to podcasts on their smartphone/tablet or portable device, 11% listen to podcasts most often on their computer, and 3% listen most often on an in-car entertainment system.
- Of the total 12+ population in Australia, 14% own a Google Home smart speaker, and no other smart speaker brands have more than 1% ownership.
- 33% of those in Australia age 12+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month have used an online audio streaming service, up from 26% last year and just 8% two years ago.
- AM/FM/DAB+ is the audio source used most often in car: 66% of those in Australia age 12+ use AM/FM/DAB+ most often. Eleven percent listen to owned music most often and 19% listen to internet-only audio most often.
The Infinite Dial® 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.