Infinite Dial Germany sees online audio and podcasts on the rise, while radio remains strong

The Infinite Dial survey has been growing its international footprint, with the latest set of information about audio consumption habits coming out of Germany. RTL Radio Deutschland commissioned Edison Research to complete the study, which found heavy usage of radio and audio platforms across ages and devices in the country. Edison surveyed 1,000 Germans age 16 and up in July 2019 for the report.

More than a third (38%) of German adults said they had ever listened to FM radio via the Internet. Twelve percent did so in the past week. Ages 35-54 were the leaders for this activity with a 20% share, and ages 55+ reported just 6%.

Ownership of physical radios also showed some notable trends by age. For the overall adult population, 69% own between one and three radios and 20% do not own any. The 16-34 age group had a vastly different breakout, with 38% not owning a radio and just 54% owning between one and three.

Sixty percent of German respondents said they listened to online audio in the past month, while 54% identified as weekly listeners. The rates trailed those in the most recent U.S. survey, which were 77% for monthly listening and 70% for weekly listening. Average weekly time spent listening to online audio in Germany was 10 hours, 31 minutes.

Smart speaker awareness of any brand was 66% in Germany. Ages 16-34 led this metric at 82%, followed by 77% for ages 35-54, while ages 55+ had 46%. Ownership rates trailed far behind the awareness levels, with just 8% for Germany’s adult population. Again, the age 16-34 bracket was the highest ownership rate at 13%. Ages 35-54 had 10% ownership rates, compared with just 3% for ages 55 and up. Nearly half (48%) of those households have just one device, and the overall average in Germany is 1.8 smart speakers owned.

Twenty percent of German adults have ever used a voice-operated personal assistant on any device. Smartphones were the most common, with 14% using voice AI, while smart speakers had just 5%.

Podcasting is starting to take off in the market, with 33% of respondents ever having listened to a podcast. The rates are much higher for younger generations. Among ages 16-34, 58% have ever listened to a podcast, while ages 35-54 had 38%. Monthly podcast listening for the overall population in Germany is 17%. The age breakdown for monthly listening was similar, led by ages 16-34 at 35%. Weekly rates of podcast listening totaled 10%, again topped by ages 16-34 at 22%. The weekly listening cohort averaged 3 hours, 49 minutes in the past week. More than half (53%) spent between one and five hours listening to podcasts in the past week.

Smartphones were responsible for the bulk of podcast listening, with a 55% share. Despite the on-the-go option of a mobile device, 63% of people who have ever listened to a podcast did so at home. Forty-three percent said they typically listen to the entire episode of a podcast, and 26% listen to most of an episode. Less than a quarter (21%) said they listened to less than half of a podcast.

Radio remains the leading source of audio behind the wheel, with 78% using it in the past month. Nearly half (48%) used a CD player in their car, and 15% listened to podcasts behind the wheel. Radio is also the most-often used audio source in cars with 67%. Twenty percent of German respondents listen to audio in their cars through their mobile phones.

Anna Washenko