Podcast listening grows significantly as radio remains strong, says Infinite Dial report

Thirty seven percent of Australians aged over 12 are now listening to podcasts each month, according to the latest Infinite Dial 2021 report conducted by Edison Research.

That number grew from 25% the prior year, with the findings coming from Edison’s latest study of digital media behaviour in the first quarter of 2021.

The latest Infinite Dial study was presented by Edison Research president Larry Rosin virtually this year, and he noted that 2020 was a year of change for listening habits.

On podcast growth in Australia, Rosin suggested that Australia is finally catching up to the US in terms of podcast listening, despite awareness having generally tracked ahead.

He said the jump from 25% to 37% of Australians listening to podcasts monthly is a sign that “big players in the podcasting space have put big resources behind the promotion of podcasting.”

Weekly listening is up from 17% in 2020 to 26% in 2021. Furthermore, the study found that the Australian podcast listener consumes an average of five podcasts per week and that podcast listening is now primarily at home (87%), compared to in-car (59%), walking around (51%), and on public transport (39%).

Despite the leap forward for podcasting, radio listening remains strong among Australians. AM, FM and DAB+ radio still reaches 86% of people each month. That figure has remained almost unchanged for three consecutive years.

Infinite Dial – Listening to Radio Content in Last Month [click to enlarge]

The study also looked into digital radio listening and found that for those who tune in online, the majority listen through the station website (46%) or app (44%). Meanwhile, 23% listened through smart speakers

“It was an interesting year for in-car consumption in Australia,” Rosin added. “There were disruptions and people spent less time in their cars and were commuting less, spending more time at home.”

Despite that, radio remains the dominant form of audio entertainment for Australians when they’re driving or riding in cars. 84% listened to radio, which was way ahead of own music (41%), CD (39%), other online streaming (39%) and podcasts (30%).

Infinite Dial – Monthly Podcast Listening [click to enlarge]

Smart speaker ownership spiked in the latest report as well, with 26% of Australians now owning at least one, the majority being Google devices.

Meanwhile, Spotify continues to dominate the market in terms of online audio streaming services. Spotify isn’t just the most used, it’s also the service people are most likely to pay for, with 65% of users paying for the service.

42% of people surveyed use Spotify each week, with Rosin admitting it remains a “one-horse race” in Australia. YouTube Music was used by 16% of people weekly, and Apple Music 8%.

Rosin concluded: “Broadcast radio and the content it creates continues to serve enormous numbers of Australians.

“People are adopting digital, but they are adding on time spent with digital options to time spent with broadcast audio. We’re not really seeing digital tear into time spent with broadcast radio.”


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