Edison Research and Commercial Radio Australia have released the results of the the fifth annual Infinite Dial Australia study. Commissioned by CRA, Southern Cross Austereo/LiSTNR and Triton Digital, the survey was conducted by Edison Research from January through March 2021 using a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians.
The study data shows that more Australians are embracing digital audio post the pandemic, with podcast listening soaring over the past year and more people listening to radio using apps, catch-up podcasts and smart speakers, said a press release from CRA.
Overall, 86% of Australians aged 12+ listened to radio over-the-air, online and via catch-up radio podcasts in the last month and 37% have listened to a podcast in the last month, it reported. About 5.6 million Australians, or 26% of the population, are weekly podcast listeners, a 53% increase over the 2020 study that was conducted prior to the pandemic lockdown.
Smart speaker ownership also increased. Google Nest is the market leading smart speaker brand, owned by 24% of Australians, followed by Amazon Alexa (3%) and Apple HomePod (1%). Those who have adopted the technology own an average of 1.9 devices.
“Australians have continued to embrace radio through this period of unprecedented disruption and are listening both live and online through multiple sources,” said Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner. “Radio has been extremely resilient in reaching mass audiences, while the uptake of podcasts has accelerated rapidly, positioning the industry well for continued growth and innovation in this area.”
Another key finding was that the number of Australians who listen to online audio weekly including radio, internet-only services and podcasts, increased to 66% of the population from 63% a year ago. The average time spent listening to online audio was over 12 hours per week.
People who listen to AM/FM/DAB+ radio online use multiple sources: 46% listen through the radio station’s website, 44% through a radio station’s app, 38% through an aggregator app or website and 23% through a smart speaker.
The release noted that this was the first time Infinite Dial reported on radio listening through smart speakers.
“We are so excited to present this new information to those in the audio space in Australia and we hope they can use it to move their businesses forward in 2021 and beyond,” said Larry Rosin, president of Edison Research. “One of the key takeaways is the growth in podcast consumption in the last year.”