Study shows Australians can’t let go of radio
30.10.2019

Study shows Australians can’t let go of radio

Words By Christie Eliezer

It’s revealed that 61.3 per cent of daily listeners tune into the age-old device.

Two separate reports have shown how Australians’ audio listening habits are continuing to evolve. We’re spending an extra seven minutes per day listening to audio entertainment than last year and podcasts have overtaken listening to personal record collections.

More are turning to community radio, this year reaching a record 5.9 million listenership, whose primary reason is that 37 per cent of its airplay is Australian artists.

According to the fourth GfK Share of Audio study, released on October 19, in a typical day consumers spend three hours and 28 minutes listening to audio, seven minutes more than last year.

Radio remains the most popular choice, with 61.3 per cent of daily listeners. That is followed by music streaming at 15 per cent. Podcasts jumped into third place with a 7.3 per cent share of listening (up from 3.8 per cent previously), moving ahead of owned music, which includes CDs and digital purchases, on 7 per cent.

Despite more options for listening, Australians are clinging on for dear life to radio, spending an average two hours and seven minutes listening (up two minutes from last year). Music streaming was relatively steady at 31 minutes a day compared to 30 minutes a year ago.

Commercial radio has been investing heavily in original and radio broadcasting podcasting, and it’s clearly paying off . Time spent listening to podcasts rose to an average of 15 minutes per day from seven minutes a year ago. According to the study, podcast listeners are most likely to be under 40,managers and professionals, and parents with
children under seven.

Listenership is also up for community radio’s 450 stations, according to a report from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. It now has 5.97 million listeners a week, compared to 5.3 million in July 2017. Of these, 30.4 per cent tune in via DAB+ digital radio.

Average listening time is 15.7 hours a week, and 10.5 hours a week for those who access via digital. Awareness of community radio is also increasing, up to 77 per cent in 2019, from 74 per cent in 2017/8. The two top reasons given for consuming the sector are, 49 per cent for local news and news, and 34 per cent for specialist music as well as local voices and personalities.

CBAA chief executive Jon Bisset said of the new 5.9 million weekly listenership figure,

“This means one in four Australians are tuning in to community radio stations across the country for their local information, news and
personalities.”