Infinite Dial study shows radio remains the most used audio platform, despite the pressure from podcasting

While both the awareness and listenership of podcasts has risen in Australia over the last 12 months, radio has retained the crown as the most used audio platform, according to the third Infinite Dial Australia study, commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia, Southern Cross Austereo subsidiary PodcastOne, and Triton Digital.

The study of audio and digital media behaviour, released by Edison Research and presented at Mumbrella Audioland by president Larry Rosin, found that 83% of Australians are now aware of podcasts. That’s a 5% increase from 2018 when 78% were.

It also puts Australia in front of the US where 70% of consumers are aware of podcasting, but the figures change in consumption. In Australia only 30% of those surveyed had ever listened to a podcast, which is the same place the US was at five years ago. Rosin speculated this was due to the lack of native content in Australia, or additional concerns over mobile data usage.

15% of Australians listened to podcasts in the last week, up from 13% in 2018 and 10% in 2017. Of those listening, 52% have listened to a radio show podcast.

Radio remained the clear winner in the study, with 83% of the population aged 12 and over listening to radio programming in the last week. That figure has slipped 2% from 85% in Australia in 2017.

The study also found that the number of Australians who don’t have radios in their households hasn’t risen since last year – 24% of those surveyed said they had no radio in their home while 66% said they had one to three and 10% said they had four or more.

The other big winner from the research was smart speakers. 13% of Australians now own smart speakers, a massive jump from 5% in 2018. Australia still sits behind the US in this space where 23% of the population own smart speakers.

Google Home led the brand awareness of smart speakers in Australia with 77% awareness, compared to Amazon Alexa at 45% and Apple HomePod 45%.

In the streaming space, awareness of all platforms had risen, with 85% of Australians aware of Spotify and 83% aware of Apple Music, making them the top two platforms. Amazon rose to 48% followed by Google Play Music on 63%. Soundcloud, which has only been asked about this survey, sat on 42%.

48% of Australians said they had used Youtube for music consumption in the last week, putting Australia very close to the US which sits on 50%. On average, Australians spend 11hrs and 6mins using the internet for audio each week – an hour increase on last year.

In the car, online audio streaming was up, while owned music was down. This suggests consumers in Australia are switching from owned to rented music.

69% of those surveyed use radio the most in the car, compared to 12% of owned music, 15% for online music and 4% other.

Rosin said the results showed that Australia was the same dynamic audio space America is.

“Australian radio retains a large audience while streaming and podcasting continue to grow and new devices create new opportunities,” said Rosin.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner said the industry has been tracking the rise of podcasting and the new data is no surprise.

“Podcasting in Australia is still in the early stages of take-up, but we expect it will follow the trend in the US, where there has been a significant jump in weekly podcast listeners over the past year. Interestingly, the 15% of Australians who listen to podcasts weekly listened to an average of six in the last week,” said Warner.

The radio industry has already begun to follow the push for podcasts. Last year saw a cross-industry Podcast Committee set up to promote the understanding and growth of the medium in Australia.

The car remained the most popular place for Australians to listen to audio, with 85% choosing radio and 12% podcasts in the last month. Both CDs and owned digital music declined, CD to 38% and digital to 21%.


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