Radio Reigns Supreme in Battle for Ears

Staff Writer

The first major study of audio consumption in Australia has found that the entry of Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music have failed to make a dent on Australian radio’s dominance in the audio space.

That’s the findings from The Australian Share of Audio study, conducted by GfK. Australians spend an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes each day consuming audio including internet-only services, podcasts and online music videos.

This is the first of what will be an annual independent report into the evolution of the audio sector in Australia and follows in the footsteps of Edison Research Share of Ear study in the USA which has been tracking audio sector trends for two years.

Of the time spent with audio, Australians spend 2 hours and 12 minutes listening to live Australian radio, equivalent to a 64.9% share of listening.

Listening to their own music collections accounted for 13% of listening, while the combined streaming services Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music accounted for 9.2%. 

Online music videos such as YouTube accounted for another 3.7% of share of listening, and podcasts 3.5%.  Just 2.1% of listening is to TV music channels and 2.6% to “other audio” including audio books and music playing at various locations such as in the gym or in pubs.

The results were released today at the National Radio Conference in Melbourne.

“Australian radio is operating in a very competitive space with increasing competition from global players. As the major player in the audio category, it’s important for us to understand how the market is evolving, so that we stay on the front foot of emerging trends,”said Tony Kendall, chief executive of Australian Radio Network and chair of CRA’s Marketing and Brand Committee. “This study provides us with a snapshot of how and where Australians are consuming not just radio, but the whole audio category.”

The Australian Share of Audio study was conducted with a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 Australians aged 10+ in the five major capital cities, who completed either a paper or online diary for seven days during August 2016.

The study revealed Australian radio (AM, FM and DAB+) has five times the daily reach of the combined streaming services (69.7% compared to 12.4%). Australian radio has nine times the daily reach of Spotify and almost 25 times the reach of Pandora.

“Australians are sampling newer audio offerings, but they are still choosing to spend the vast majority of their time with live Australian radio,”said Tony Kendall.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said the findings showed radio was dominant across the day for all demographics, including younger listeners.

“The study found 10-17 year olds and 18-24 year olds spend three times longer listening to live Australian radio than Spotify and eight times longer than Apple Music and Pandora each day,”she said.

Commercial Radio Australia will launch a new industry marketing campaign next week off  the back of the research to position radio as the most effective audio medium for advertisers.  The six-week campaign will go to air from October 10 across 260 commercial radio stations nationally and will also utilise online, trade marketing and social media.

Four 45-second ads have been created which will focus on the facts surrounding the influence of live radio compared to the internet-only music services.


Joan Waner also announced earlier this rmoning that the industry  had united to launch RadioApp, a mobile app that offers live streaming of more than 250 Australian radio stations. The service will complement broadcast radio by making it easier to listen to radio on smartphones, tablets and connected devices.

“We’re committed to keeping radio the number one choice by making our content even more engaging and easier to access across multiple platforms,”she said.

View the Australian Share of Audio research and listen to the radio ads here


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