Radio listening via mobile and smart speaker spikes in December quarter

Australians are listening to commercial radio on their phones and through smart speakers at a higher rate than ever before, according to Commercial Radio Australia.

The radio industry body reported that close to 2.5 million people, or 17% of the population across the five metro markets, used a mobile device to tune into the radio each week over the course of the quarter ending December 2020.

That number represented a 25% increase year on year, with the data derived from an average of the last three GfK radio audience measurement surveys of last year.

Listening was up an impressive 58% on smart speakers for the same period, with 1.04 million Aussies now using these devices to listen to the radio. Meanwhile listening via PC and tablet was up 27% to 1.2 million.

CRA chief executive Joan Warner said the data showed that radio is becoming more popular outside of traditional broadcast listening.

“The data is good news for the industry as it means more Australians are discovering that they can enjoy radio at any time of the day wherever they are across a range of devices and platforms from traditional broadcast to radio apps on smart phones,” she said.

Broadcast radio remains the most popular way of listening to radio, with 83% of people still tuning in via AM/FM frequency, while 27% are tuning in via DAB+ digital radio.

Warner added: “Broadcast radio remains the core and most important platform for the foreseeable future, but we are seeing some exciting growth in digital and streaming audiences as a result of investments and partnerships in these areas to make radio even more accessible across multiple devices.”


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