Australia Has Overtaken the US as one of the Most Advanced Podcast Markets in the World
There are a lot of stats out there on podcasting, but one of the most robust and trusted reports comes from the annual Infinite Dial survey from Edison Research. This year’s report has revealed that the audio space is continuing to grow in Australia, with podcasts hitting 40% monthly listeners among Australians 18+, up from 37% in 2021 and higher than 38% in the US. What does this mean for the audio industry? Will this trend continue? What are the drivers behind these figures? How can you leverage the power of podcasts on your media plan? Read on to find out.
Earlier this year, The Infinite Dial US was released, which revealed that for the first time in 17 years (since the study started), monthly podcast listening dipped slightly from 41 million (2021) to 38 million. However, this trend has not been replicated in Australia, revealing that we are a nation of podcast fanatics, overtaking the US in monthly listeners for the first time.
CRA chief executive officer, Ford Ennals, says, “The 2022 Infinite Dial results show that digital audio in Australia is booming while radio continues to be the leading choice of audio both at home and in the car. Since the pre-pandemic days of 2018 the percentage of Australians who listen to audio online every month has grown by nearly 50% to 78%.“
Nearly 15.6 million Australians, or 71% of the population aged 12+, listen to online audio weekly, up from 66% in 2021 and 46% when the study first started in 2017.
The average time spent listening to online audio increased to 13 hours and 31 minutes per week, up from 12 hours and 11 minutes a year ago.
The number of Australians listening to online audio overall each week has climbed by 8% over the past year to 78%.
Overall, radio continued to be the most popular form of audio with 80% of Australians having listened to radio via AM, FM, DAB+, live streaming or catch-up podcasts over the last week, holding steady with 2021.
Radio station smartphone apps overtook station websites as the top source used to listen to radio online, with half of those who listen online using an app, up from 44% previously. Forty-four percent listened via a station website and 24% used a smart speaker.
Edison Research President Larry Rosin said: “The Australian radio industry continues to show far more robust resilience in the face of competition than what we see in other countries.”
Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of seven hours and six minutes per week listening to podcasts, up from five hours in 2021.
Weekly podcast listeners subscribe to an average of eight podcasts, and listen to an average of seven podcast episodes, per week.
Podcast listening through in-dash systems took a jump as 13% of podcast listeners in Australia age 12+ say they listen through an in-dash system, up from 8% in 2021.
83% of podcast listeners listen in the car, whilst 60% listen in their car, 50% on foot, 29% on public transport, 27% at work and 19% at the gym.
69% listen on their smartphone or tablet, 14% on their computer, 13% on their car entertainment system and 4% on other devices.
What is driving this growth? The evolution of audio technology is one driver, with smart speaker ownership, connected cars, use of radio station apps on the rise.
Audio tech penetration
Twenty-eight percent of Australians 12+ own smart speakers, up from 26% in 2021.
The Google Nest is the dominant brand, with 23% of Australians owning one, down one percentage point from 2021.
Ownership of Amazon Alexa and Apple HomePod gained some percentage points, as the Alexa increased from 3% to 5%, and HomePod from 1% to 2% year over year.
The mean amount of smart speakers per household is 2 (up from 1..9 last year).
24% of people who own a smart speaker own three or more. 25% own two and 51% own one.
59% of Australians listen to more audio since they got a smart speaker - it reminds and encourages people to listen to more audio.
SCA CEO Grant Blackley said, “The digital transformation of Australia’s audio industry is growing at a sensational rate as people embrace a myriad of digital audio platforms for listening to live radio streaming and on-demand podcasts. The vast array of quality content from news to sport and crime to entertainment, is underpinned with trusted Australian voices as people look for a more personal in-ear audio experience. The reach and effectiveness of the ever-expanding audio marketplace is increasingly garnering more consumer attention and advertiser interest.”
The podcast industry is in a golden moment of creativity and innovation, from content creation by publishers and hosts, to listener discovery and advances in the technology we use to consume.
What does this mean for podcast advertising?
The podcast audience is not only large and growing, but getting more and more attractive to brands: Listeners tend to be young, affluent, and educated, and generally open to advertising. Advertisers may have more difficulty accessing younger audiences who are more likely to use technology like ad blockers across other forms of digital media. As the industry continues to evolve, so does the ability to get robust results from podcast advertising. The podcast industry has adapted to provide detailed and insightful data to take podcast advertising from guesswork to science.
The information from this year’s Infinite Dial is highly beneficial for Australian businesses small and large as proof points of where to invest. To learn more about leveraging the most immersive media contact us anytime.
About The Infinite Dial
The Infinite Dial® survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2022, is a high-quality telephone survey and includes a nationally representative sample of 1,001 people. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians ages 10 and older. For comparison to the U.S. Infinite Dial, this presentation uses data for those age 12 and older. The data is weighted to 12+ population figures.