The latest research on ‘Digital Audio Consumption and Behaviour’ has been released by the IAB and RedC in September 2020. This survey was conducted online with a representative sample of 1050 Irish adults over 18  years of  age. this research focused on areas such as:

  • Incidence & demographics of using Digital Audio
  • Digital Audio channels used
  • Time spent listening to Digital Audio
  • Devices used for listening to Digital Audio

This yielded some very interesting results.

Market Size:

  • 5 in 7 listen to digital audio, equating to 2.53 million people aged 18+. This accounts for 71% of the population, and increase of 9% YoY.
  • 51% of digital audio listeners are male, 49% users are female inline with last years figures.
  • 18-44 year olds conitnue to be more likely users of digital audio
  • 31% of listnership is in Dublin, while 26% is in the rest of Leinster, Munster and 17% in Connacht and Ulster.

Time Spent / Media Substitution:

  • Average listening time is up by 3hrs per week to 16.6hrs with significant growth among men, 25-34 & 45-54 year olds.
  • 18 – 24 year olds are listening for over 21 hours per week, while 25-34 year olds are listening for over 22 hours per week, up 60% compared to 2019
  • 1 in 5 digital audio users listen to on demand music services daily while podcast use shows consistent growth vs 2019
  • On demand music services are up 1.7hrs of weekly listening time at 7.1 compared to 5.4 hours in 2019

Digital Audio Behaviour

  • Smartphone continues to dominate as the most used device for digital audio listening at 57%, with desktop or laptop at 12% and smart speakers at 8%.
  • Ownership of smart speakers doubles at 28% compared to 2019. 15% are planning to buy one in the next 12 months.
  • Digital audio listenership peaks in mid mornings on weekdays but is steady through the day on weekends. Women are more likely to listen between 9am and 12pm (43%) compared to men (34%)

Content Consumed:

  • The most popular types of content consumed include music, news and politics, sports, comedy and entertainment. No change from 2019
  • The top 3 activities when listening to digital audio include household chores, relaxing and driving. The same as 2019.
  • 4% of listeners use Soundcloud weekly, while 7% use Soundcloud monthly

Notes for the Future:

  • On top of a notable growth in the past 12 months, a quarter expect to listen more to online radio/ music or podcast in the next year
  • 44% listen to online radio or music more now than a year ago. 23% are expected to increase their listening to online radio and music in the next 12 months.
  • 51% listen to online podcasts more now than a year ago. 25% are expected to increase their podcast listening in the next year.
  • 33% listen less to traditional radio FM broadcasting compared to a year ago due to online radio, music or podcasts. 20% watch TV less compared to last year due to online radio, music or podcasts.
  • A quarter (26%) of listeners are happy to listen to ads in return for free content.
  • 11% of listeners feel that ads on online radio, music or podcasts are more memorable than ads on other media.

Other Interesting Findings:

  • Older consumers are catching up. Year on year growth is driven by an increase in usage among older age cohorts.
  • It’s all about music. On demand music dominates while we also see an increase in consumption of news and politics YoY.
Source: Listen Up Ireland, Irish Research into Digital Audio Consumption & Behaviour, IAB Ireland & RedC, September 2020