Podcasts, Smart Speakers Boost Radio Listening

A new study from iHeartRadio and Ipsos Research found radio reaches more people on a daily basis than other media platforms. Radio reaches 85% of all consumers every week, more than social media (68%) and live television (56%). Platforms include broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts and smart speakers.

It also analyzed the rise of podcasts and how this has affected radio listening.

Podcasts now represent almost 10% of audio listening among millennials. Podcast listeners are also radio listeners, with 82% also listening to radio on a weekly basis.

The study “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,” stated Bob Pittman, chairman-CEO, iHeartMedia, Inc.



Publishers are increasingly moving into the podcast space to reach audiences via a different medium. According to a separate Edison Infinite Dial 2019 study, podcast listening has increased 48%.

Earlier this month, Outside magazine took its popular “What You Missed” newsletter to the audio space with the “Outside Unpacked” podcast, a roundup of outdoor-related news.

The New York Times' popular podcast “The Daily" reaches 2 million listeners per day.

When it comes to radio, "the only difference now versus decades ago is that today people can enjoy that connection anywhere they are across a variety of platforms,” stated Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer, iHeartMedia.

Audio listening is most often done on-the-go, with 65% done outside the home and most often in the car, per the iHeartRadio study. Radio accounts for 65% of in-vehicle audio listening.

Smart speakers are also facilitating radio listening, especially in the home. Homes with smart speakers spend 47% more time listening to radio during prime hours (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.) than listeners without, according to the iHeartMedia study.

Earlier this week,The Atlantic launched a new smart speaker skill called the “Daily Idea,” delivering a different story every weekday across a variety of categories from the publisher's reporting.

Millennials and Gen Z listen to audio the most, spending more than 18 hours each week and 2.6 hours or more per day.

The iHeartRadio study explores the daily audio behavior of over 6,000 Americans from 13 to 64 who listen to an audio platform at least once a week.


3 comments about "Podcasts, Smart Speakers Boost Radio Listening".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, June 21, 2019 at 8:46 p.m.

    Ed, does that 56% weekly reach for Live Television look right to you?   It feels more like a daily reach figure.   Or could it be the difference between "Live" and "As Live" (i.e. Overnights).

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 21, 2019 at 10:23 p.m.

    John, that figure is too low for even a daily reach in  my opinion. I assume that this is another let's ask some folks online studies and, unless they make it very clear what they mean by "live" television, you are probably going to get a deflated finding.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 21, 2019 at 10:26 p.m.

    I should add that it is absurd to catagorize TV as a "live" medium as opposed to delayed viewing of TV shows, which, I assume are considered to be another medium. The viewer makes no such distinctions---they're both "TV".

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