RAJAR Midas winter survey sees ongoing split between young and old audiences

RAJAR has released the winter 2019 results from its Midas survey, an assessment of how the UK audience consumes audio content.

Live radio continues to be a dominating force in the UK’s audio diet. The format has a weekly reach of 88% among all adults, and it had a 72% share of audio. Once again, though, a listener’s age does impact radio’s hold. For ages 15-24, live radio has a weekly reach of 78% and just a 45% share of audio. Ages 25-34 reported an 84% weekly reach and a 60% share of audio for live radio.

Live radio also still holds on to its legacy for some key roles. A majority (79%) of new music discoverers considering radio important for finding new content. Also more than a quarter (26%) of live radio hours are consumed while driving or traveling.

On-demand music had an overall weekly reach of 30%, but again, a break-down by age showed a much larger spread on interest. The 15-24 year-old group had a weekly reach of 65% for on-demand music, and ages 25-34 had 46%. In overall share of audio, on-demand music took second was 12%. The youngest bracket had a 37% share dedicated to on-demand music, trailed by a 21% share for the next-youngest group.

Most listeners for on-demand music are using their smartphones for playback. Smartphones had 76% reach by device, and smart speakers held on to almost a quarter at 22%.

Podcasts generated weekly reach of 17%. This format had less variation by age, with weekly reach of 23% for ages 15-24, 22% for ages 25-34, and 20% for ages 35-54. The overall share of audio devoted to podcasts was 4%. Ages 25-34 had the largest share at 8%, trailed by ages 15-24 with 6% and ages 35-54 at 5%.

Smartphones are still the leading hardware for podcast listening. The mobile devices had 73% reach by device and were responsible for 71% of all podcast listening hours. Smart speakers continue to be a niche option with just a 3% reach.

Voice-activated speakers are helping connect more audiences to live radio, which was responsible for 67% of all listening done on the hardware. On-demand music had a 30% share of smart speaker listening, followed by audiobooks and podcasting each with just 1% slivers.

Anna Washenko