Online audio grows in new The Infinite Dial Canada study

Podcast listening among Canadians hits a new high for weekly and monthly habits, according to The Infinite Dial 2022 Canada from Edison Research and Triton Digital,   

43% percent of Canadians 18+ listen to podcasts monthly, up from 38% in 2021, which RAIN calculates is a 13% year-over-year increase. This which means that Canadians now outpace Americans (38%) and Australians (40%) for monthly podcast listening. 

AM/FM radio is still used by most Canadians as an audio source in-car, but has ceded some ground to digital audio sources. Some highlighted findings:

  • 70% of Canadians 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month have used AM/FM radio in-car, down from 79% in 2021.  That’s an 11% decline in monthly cume in one year.
  • 19% of those who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month have used SiriusXM in car, up from 16% last year. That’s a 19% increase.
  • 19% have used online radio in car, up from 17% last year. That’s a 12% increase.
  • Podcast consumption in-car remained steady at 20% of those 18+. 

More Canadians are listening to online audio in 2022 overall, not just in cars.  Seventy-three percent of Canadians age 18+ are monthly online audio listeners, up from 71% last year, and 64% are weekly online audio listeners, up from 61% last year. Twenty-five percent of Canadians listen to AM/FM radio online monthly, up from 21% in 2021.

Smart speaker ownership reaches 30% of the Canadian 18+ population, up from 27% in the 2021 study. Those who already own smart speakers are continuing to acquire multiple devices. Twenty-four percent of smart speaker owners own three or more of the devices, up from 16% in 2021, and smart speaker owners in general own an average of two of the devices.

Spotify is the online audio brand Canadians choose most often, but YouTube is gaining ground.  42% of Canadians says that the online audio brand they use most is Spotify, while 25% name YouTube Music. The next closest online audio brand is Amazon at 8%. (RAIN research note: YouTube Music’s 127% growth in this year’s survey may be largely a function of a change in the questionnaire —  in previous years, Google’s owned music service was described as “Google Play.”)

“Podcast listening has seen some significant growth in Canada this year.” noted Nicole Beniamini, VP at Edison Research. “It seems the new podcast listeners Canada gained during the pandemic not only stayed with the medium, but have become consistent and more frequent listeners.” 

Other findings of The Infinite Dial 2022 Canada include: 

  • Canadians are back in their cars after a tremendous drop during the pandemic. In 2021, 77% of Canadians reported driving or riding in a car in the last month. This year, 84% of Canadians reported driving or riding in a car in the last month.
  • 47% of monthly podcast listeners say they typically listen to the entire podcast, and 44% say they listen to most of the podcast

“This year’s Infinite Dial highlights Canadians’ strong interest in podcast listening, with adoption now exceeding what we see in America and Australia,” said John Rosso, President & CEO, Triton Digital. “We look forward to seeing the industry positioned for continued growth and innovation.” 



Laura Holt