New Research Shows More People Are Listening To Radio Than Spotify

4 July 2024 | 4:38 pm | Ellie Robinson

"The results show Australian radio continues to go from strength to strength."


Radio (Supplied)

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has published its annual Infinite Dial report, assessing trends in Australian radio consumption – and how it compares to music consumption through other formats – over the past year.

Findings from the study, conducted by Edison Research, show that Australia’s commercial radio market is stronger than some pundits have reported in recent times – according to the data, radio reaches 81 percent of the country’s population (some 21 million people), an incredible 27 percent more than radio in the US. Altogether, it’s said that five times more Australians listen to the radio than ad-supported Spotify.

Bucking the idea that young people no longer care about the radio, the study showed that radio reached 82 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds over the last week. 25-to-54-year-olds fared slightly better with 84 percent tuning in, while the figure slumps down to 79 percent for those aged 55 and up.

Furthermore, 25-to-54-year-olds are listening to more radio online, increasing their streaming efforts by 100 percent over the past three years. Podcasts are also doing incredibly well, with listenership increasing by 20 percent over the past two years; as it stands, podcasts are streamed in Australia more than anywhere else in the world. It helps that smart speaker ownership has doubled since 2020, now matching the US.

Most Australians’ commutes are also soundtracked by the radio, with 76 percent of people more likely to tune in to a live broadcast over other sources of music. Radio consumption via streaming in cars has also risen by 75 percent in the last two years. For comparison, it’s reported that 50 percent of drivers listen to music through streaming services, and 30 percent still listen to CDs.

Speaking on the 2024 Infinite Dial report – which you can read in full hereJo Dick, CRA’s chief commercial officer, said the findings represent “significant engagement across all demographics, proving Australia is a world-leader for radio listening”. She added: “The results show Australian radio continues to go from strength to strength, delivering content to audiences whenever and wherever they choose to listen.

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“Radio continues to be a popular and important part of people’s everyday lives, but the findings are also timely reminder of why we need to work with both government and industry to ensure that radio remains easily and reliably accessible in connected cars and on smart speakers.”

The sentiment was echoed by Edison Research president Larry Rosin, who said in his own statement: “The Infinite Dial 2024 Australia study demonstrates the strong global position of the Australian audio industry, with robust engagement across different platforms, including traditional AM/FM/DAB+ radio, online radio, and podcasts. These findings underscore the industry's ability to adapt and innovate, providing diverse and compelling audio content for listeners.”

Meanwhile, last month saw the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) release its Radio Fair Play report, laying out significant benefits the Australian music industry could see if the government removed caps on the royalty amounts commercial radio companies have to pay to license the music they air.