Podcast may be audio’s fastest-growing channel, but even fans of the on-demand medium can’t stay away from live AM/FM radio. A new survey, conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by iHeartMedia, shows 82% of podcast users also listen to broadcast radio on a weekly basis. In addition, radio continues to be the No. 1 audio choice for Gen Zs with podcasts replacing online video as a daytime escape for many during work and school. Among their older siblings, the study finds podcasts now represent almost 10% of audio listening among Millennials.
The fact that podcast listeners are also turning to AM/FM stations shouldn’t be all that surprising considering the survey’s data shows just how dominant broadcast radio is among the various audio options. It reaches more consumers than any other media both daily and weekly. The data shows broadcast radio reaches 85% of consumers on a weekly basis, surpassing all other channels, including social media (68%) and live television (56%). The new research also shows radio has two times the daily listening of streaming services, reaching 69% of consumers compared to streaming music’s 34%.
Ipsos conducted the study in March 2019, surveying a nationally representative sample of 6,016 consumers aged 13–64 who listen to one or more audio platforms at least once a week.
Entitled “Day in the Life Audio Journey,” the research paints a portrait of the expanding audio landscape with listeners enjoying more audio content across an array of platforms including broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts and smart speakers. The multi-platform study explores daily audio usage and habits of Americans and captures when, where and how these various generations are consuming audio.
‘Listening More And Watching Less’
Reinforcing data from Nielsen’s recent “Audio Today” study, the new Ipsos research shows all ages enjoy listening to audio and spend an average of 17.2 hours a week with broadcast radio, streaming music services, podcasts and other audio outlets. Generationally, the study found that Millennials and Gen Z listen the most, spending more than 18 hours each week — and 2.6 hours or more each day — listening to audio. “These numbers, along with social media’s continued popularity, reflect consumers’ need for live, human connections,” the study concludes.
Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, says the data shows audio is “hot” right now and “a must” for marketers looking to reach increasingly elusive and fractured audiences. “If you look at the data, it’s undeniable that consumers are listening more and watching less and this study outlines when, where and why,” says Pittman. “Contrary to some misperceptions, it shows we are living in an audio-first world by drilling down a more granular overview of audio listenership and showing what a day-in-the-life of the average listener is like when it comes to media consumption.”
Listening Most On-The-Go
The Ipsos study also explores where and when people listen, offering further confirmation audio is most often consumed on-the-go. The survey numbers find two-thirds (65%) of audio listening occurs outside the home and most often in the car, with radio accounting for 65% of in-vehicle audio listening. Yet radio’s companionship role extends throughout the day, the study shows, leading media use 70% of waking hours and is the most used audio platform all day, and at all hours.
The research additionally shows that the rapid rise of smart speakers has made radio more prominent in the home, uncovering that homes with smart speakers have spent 47% more time listening to radio during prime hours (8-10pm) than those listeners without.
“Radio has long been a trusted companion for people of all ages so it’s no surprise that it continues to be the premier destination when people want to connect with others and their community,” said Gayle Troberman, CMO of iHeartMedia. “The only difference now versus decades ago is that today people can enjoy that connection anywhere they are across a variety of platforms.”