RAJAR Survey: Radio still leads, but on-demand has pull for youngest listeners

RAJAR has shared the results from its MIDAS Survey for winter 2017. This research measures both reach and time spent by hour, which is called “Share,” as with Edison’s trademarked Share of Ear.

Live radio has a 90% reach. 43% of live radio listening hours are AM/FM sets, and 40% are on DAB radio sets. Half of UK adults, 27 million, have downloaded radio apps.

Live radio also has the largest share of listening hours for each age bracket. But unlike the reach metrics for live radio, which remained between 82% and 93% for all measured age groups, the share results (time spent) eroded in younger groups. The lowest share was 50% for ages 15-24. It secured a 63% share for ages 25-34, a 77% share for ages 35-54, and 88% for those 55 and older. That general trend (less use among younger listeners) is also evident in U.S. commercial radio.

On-demand music services has a 28% audio share of hours for 15-24 year-olds. The share is 15% for ages 25-34, and just 6% for ages 35-54. The listener profiles also heavily favored the youngest ages: 37% of the 15-24 group. The 25-34 group has 25% and the 35-54 group has 29% for on-demand music.

The survey also tracks podcast listening. 6.1 million adults use a podcast in an average week. About two-thirds (67%) of listeners tune in on their smartphones. The largest listener demographic is the 35-54 age group (35%), and 29% are aged 25-34. Listeners are 62% male and 38% female. The average audio reach for podcasts is 11%. Reach is higher, 20%, for the 25-34 age bracket.

Another interesting data set is the device share, which breaks down types of listening by platform. Smartphones are led by on-demand listening at 37%, followed by digital tracks at 24% and live radio at 22%. For laptops and desktops, live radio is the top category at 35%, followed by on-demand at 30% and digital tracks at 21%. Live radio had 53% of voice-activated speaker listening, while on-demand music services had 46%.

Anna Washenko