Radio leads digital audio consumption in Australia

85% of people listen to an AM/FM via broadcast and online each week

Sean Davis

• A new study released by global firm Edison Research reveals the digital audio, social media, mobile and podcast habits of Australians
• 85% of people listen to an AM/FM via broadcast and online each week

The Australian Infinite Dial Study commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and Triton Digital provides new insights into what Australians are consuming online. The Infinite Dial research for Australia is patterned on the longest-running survey (1998) of digital media consumer behaviour in the USA and provides a profile of the 2017 Australian digital consumer.

“The Infinite Dial Australia explores the penetration of online digital audio and social media in Australia and looks at the technology that Australians are using and it’s interesting to see how Australia compares to the USA,” said Edison president Larry Rosin.

Key findings indicate in the new digital era radio continues to be the key driver of audio consumption in Australia.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said: “The radio industry continues to innovate across all platforms and this study allows us to start comprehensive trending of our listeners as their audio and platform preferences evolve. We have our Share of Audio study that looks at how much time is spent on online and on free to air audio, this study looks at the percentage of respondents who consume each type of digital platform, as opposed to time spent listening.”

Larry Rosin

Key Australian Infinite Dial findings include:

• Radio is the leading audio platform consumed by Australians with 85% of people having listened to an AM/FM or DAB+ station in an average week, compared to Spotify 21%, Podcasting 10%, Pandora 8%, Apple Music 6%, Google Play All Access 2%.

• Twice as many people are listening to AM/FM radio (on-air and online) than all online audio streaming services each week (85% v 43%).

• 89% of Australians use AM/FM sometimes when in the car and nearly 50% use an AM/FM radio almost every time they are in the car. With now 36 vehicle brands in Australia including DAB+ digital radio, 10% of people use DAB+ radio almost every time they are in the car.

• Despite new ways to listen to AM/FM/DAB+ radio, 79% of the population have one or more radios in their home.

• 72% of Australians are familiar with podcasting (60% USA) and 29% of people have listened to a podcast.

• 17% have listened to a podcast in the last month, with 25- to 54-year-olds making up the largest share of monthly podcast listeners. An average of six podcasts are listened to each week by those who are weekly podcast listeners.

• 73% of Australians have used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music, 59% have used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music in the last month and 44% in the last week.

• 80% of people currently use social media and 9 in 10 of those aged 12-54 years are current users. Facebook awareness is highest (98%), followed by Twitter (95%), Instagram (94%) and Snapchat (84%). Awareness of all these social media brands is higher in Australia than the USA.

• Facebook is more likely to be the most-used social media brand among 12-24s in Australia than the USA (58% v 39%). However Snapchat is less chosen as the most-used among this group in Australia than the USA (16% v 31%).

• Penetration of smartphones and tablets in Australia has been greater than the USA. However penetration of internet-connected TVs is higher in the US.

• 88% of Australians own a smartphone, with ownership highest amongst 12-24 (95%) and 25- to 54-year-olds (95%). Ownership in Australia is 7% higher than the U.S (81% overall).

• 53% of people own an internet-connected TV, with ownership highest amongst 12-24 (71%) and 25- to 54-year-olds (60%).

• Netflix is the most popular on-demand video service, with 35% of Australians having access to a subscription.

The Australian Infinite Dial study was conducted in February and March 2017 and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,007 people and is a random probability telephone sample, comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians aged 12 and older. The study in the USA has become the report card on digital audio and other digital media, and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, ad agencies, and the financial community.

The Infinite Dial study can be downloaded at

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