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Rajar Midas: live radio still dominates

Rajar Midas: live radio still dominates

Live radio is still dominant amongst adults aged 15 and over, Rajar’s measurement of internet delivered audio services (Midas) report has shown.

The report revealed an audio overview, wave on wave trends, as well as the relative prominence of live radio, listen again, podcasting, on-demand music services, devices and time spent in “an increasingly multiplatform and multidevice world”.

In its audio overview, it showed live radio made up 71% share of adult listening, followed by on-demand music with 15%, podcasts with 5%, and then digital tracks and audiobooks with 3% each, CDs at 2% and listen again at 1%.

Weekly reach of audio types saw live radio take 88%, followed by on-demand music services with 34%, and then podcasts or downloads in third place at 19%.

When broken down by age range, live radio had a weekly reach of 91% of 35- 54 and 55+ age range, 85% weekly reach of 25- 34 and 74% amongst 15-24-year-olds surveyed.

On-demand music services had a significantly higher weekly reach amongst 15-24s with 71% compared to 50%, 32% and 15% for 25- 34s, 35- 54s and over 55s respectively.

Podcasts and downloads had similar weekly reach amongst 15- 24s, 25- 34s and 35- 54s ranging from 23% to 27%. Meanwhile this channel only reached 11% of 55+ on a weekly basis.

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Along age and gender lines, ‘listen again’ or catch up radio was revealed to be more favoured by older demographics, in particular those aged 55 years and over.

In addition, live radio and catch up radio listening was almost equally split between gender, while podcasting skewed towards male listeners.

More than half (54%) of all users of on-demand music platforms, which comprised Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime Music, users were aged between 15-34.

Live radio listening by time, activity, device and location

Rajar Midas also discovered the main activities that listeners would be carrying out while listening to different types of audio.

More than half of radio listening (56%) was while driving or travelling, 33% was while relaxing or doing nothing in particular and a joint 31% were doing household chores or eating, drinking and cooking. A quarter of live radio hours were done while working or studying.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of new music discoverers still considered radio to be the important for finding new tracks.

Earlier last month at Radiocentre’s Tuning In conference, Mark Barber, the industry body for commercial audio Radiocentre’s planning director, revealed “a seventh need state” for audio being “keep me company”.

DAB digital radio made up 46% of radio listening, followed by AM/FM Radio (26%), and voice activated speakers or other devices (11% each).

The highest share of live radio listening was done in the home (62%), with car/van/lorry, work or place of study and public transport, walking or elsewhere netting 22%, 14% and 2% shares respectively.

These ratios for activity, device and location changed for listen again or catch up radio, podcasting, and on-demand music.

Live radio listening started peaking around 8am Monday to Friday with listening to on-demand music, listen again or catch up radio and podcasts rising later in the day (see chart, below).

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Smart speakers dominate live radio listening

Voice-activated smart speakers registered a share of nearly three quarters of live radio listening (73%), compared to nearly a quarter of on-demand music (24%).

On the other hand, listening via voice activated smart speaker only made up between 1 and 2% share of listening to audiobooks, podcasting or downloads and listen again or catch-up radio.

The report said: “In today’s connected world, radio has transformed into a truly anytime, anywhere, anyhow experience.”

The data was drawn from a sample of 1,696 adults aged 15+ who completed a seven-day Midas diary in mid-September. This is the second wave of reporting since the pandemic, and the data has been “rolled” with the respondents from Midas Winter 2021.

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Mike Terry, private, private, on 23 Oct 2022
“There are two statements in this report that I find it difficult to reconcile: First statement: DAB digital radio made up 46% of radio listening, followed by AM/FM Radio (26%), and voice activated speakers or other devices (11% each). Second statement: Voice-activated smart speakers registered a share of nearly three quarters of live radio listening (73%), Surely they can’t both be correct?”

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