The Infinite Dial 2022 Australia

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Growth continues for podcasting and smart speakers; Radio sustains reach
Sixth Annual Infinite Dial Australia Highlights Audio Trends  

Findings from The Infinite Dial® 2022 Australia, a comprehensive study of digital media behaviour from Edison Research, show growth in several areas in the audio space as listeners adjust to life after COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Australian Infinite Dial is commissioned by major sponsor Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), with sponsors LiSTNR and Triton Digital® ,  Results were presented by Edison Research President Larry Rosin in a webinar earlier today. 

Monthly podcast listening hits 40% among Australians 18+, up from 37% in 2021. Weekly podcast listening is steady at 26%, the same as in 2021, and the same as weekly podcast listening in the U.S. 

Twenty-eight percent of Australians 12+ own smart speakers, up from 26% in 2021. The Google Nest is the dominant brand, with 23% of Australians owning one, down one percentage point from 2021. Ownership of Amazon Alexa and Apple HomePod gained some percentage points, as the Alexa increased from 3% to 5%, and HomePod from 1% to 2% year over year. 

CRA chief executive officer Ford Ennals said, “The 2022 Infinite Dial results show that digital audio in Australia is booming.  Since the pre-pandemic days of 2018 the percentage of Australians who listen to online audio monthly has grown by nearly 50% to 78%.  These results show that radio is the leading audio choice, and podcasts continue to capture the imagination and ears of Australian listeners with a staggering level of individual weekly listening of over seven hours every week.  With increases in the key drivers of growth such as smart speaker ownership, connected cars, use of radio station apps and great podcast content, we can expect to see this level of digital audio growth to be sustained.” 

In-dash audio systems see an increase, but AM/FM/DAB+ remains the audio choice of most when they listen in-car. Thirty-one percent of Australians 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month have an in-dash system that receives information/entertainment over the internet, up from 25% in 2021.  Eighty percent of Australians 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month listen to an AM/FM/DAB+ radio in car. Podcast listening through in-dash systems took a jump as 13% of podcast listeners in Australia age 12+ say they listen through an in-dash system, up from 8% in 2021. 

“Australians have continued to increase their listening to digital audio and podcasts,” said John Rosso, President & CEO, Triton Digital. “With nearly 71% of the population aged 12+ listening to online audio weekly, digital audio and podcasts have become major sources of informational, educational, and entertaining content.”

SCA CEO Grant Blackley said, “The digital transformation of Australia’s audio industry is growing at a sensational rate as people embrace a myriad of digital audio platforms for listening to live radio streaming and on-demand podcasts.  The vast array of quality content from news to sport and crime to entertainment, is underpinned with trusted Australian voices as people look for a more personal in-ear audio experience. The reach and effectiveness of the ever-expanding audio marketplace is increasingly garnering more consumer attention and advertiser interest.”  

Aside from the dominant presence of radio in-car, radio overall shows resilience and tremendous reach in this year’s study. Eighty percent of Australians 12+ are reached by AM/FM/DAB+ radio in the last week, both live and on-demand. Online listening to radio via a radio station’s app is up six percentage points year over year as 50% of online radio listeners use the station’s app v. 44% in 2021. 

Other key findings include:   

  • Weekly podcast listeners subscribe to an average of eight podcasts, and listen to an average of seven podcast episodes, per week. Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of seven hours and six minutes per week listening to podcasts, up from five hours in 2021
  • Smart speaker owners in Australia own an average of 2.0 devices
  • Weekly online audio listeners spend over 13 hours per week listening online
       

This marks the sixth 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 behaviour in U.S., and now includes surveys in Canada, Germany, South Africa, and the U.K. 

The Infinite Dial® survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2022, is a high-quality telephone survey and includes a nationally representative sample of 1,001 people. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians ages 10 and older. For comparison to the U.S. Infinite Dial, this presentation uses data for those age 12 and older. The data is weighted to 12+ population figures.