RAJAR MIDAS study: AM/FM leads in reach, podcasts thrive in 25-34 group

The spring 2018 results are out from the  quarterly MIDAS survey from RAJAR, providing a snapshot of how the UK population is consuming audio. The study queried 2,214 individuals who were targeted in the main RAJAR survey. Data collection happened in February of this year.

The MIDAS study seeks to understand what people listen to, where they listen, through what devices, and while doing which activities.


Live radio has a 75% share of audio types, and has an audio reach of 90% of the population, second only to TV. It had the largest share for each age group. As with some other studies in other regions, young people listen to live radio substantially (compared to other audio types) less than older groups. The 15-24 bracket had the smallest share for live radio at 46%, and the portion grew for each successive group. By the 55+ group, live radio’s share is 88%.

Within the live radio audience, listening on AM/FM radios was most common with a 44% share, followed by DAB radios at 39%. Smartphones, desktop/laptop, and any TV each had 4% shares.

MIDAS also grouped data for types of listening by device. On smartphones, on-demand music takes the largest share at 39%, followed by digital tracks at 22% and live radio at 21%. Podcasts had a 15% share. Voice activated speakers had a nearly even split between live radio at 54% and on-demand at 45%.


The UK audience for podcasts now numbers 6 million, or 11% of the adult population. Three-quarters (72%) of all podcasting hours are heard on smartphones. Voice-activated speakers made the survey, but had just a 1% device share for podcasts. Listeners tuned in to podcasts while relaxing or doing nothing 37% of the time, followed by 35% while driving or traveling and 28% while working or studying.

A quarter of podcast listeners said the listen to all the episodes they download, while 39% said they consume most of their downloads. Seventeen percent said they listen to about half and another 17% said they hear less than half of their downloads. About two-thirds (65%) of the respondents said they normally listen to the entire episode, and 25% said they listen to most of an episode. This result is good news for both podcast publishers and their advertisers — 90% of listeners make it through pre-roll and mid-roll ads, and only a tiny sliver drop out in the first half. Survey data is anecdotal, of course, but directionally meaningful, especially when weighted so strongly as this.


Time of Day

The MIDAS “Time of Day” results show radio’s traditional dominance in morning “drive time” hours, more steady listening to podcasts, and a drop-off of all listening into the night:

RAIN News Staff