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Study reveals Millennials and Gen Z are the biggest audio consumers

date 3rd September 2019
user Post by The Radio Bureau

Earlier this year, iHeartMedia (USA) commissioned Ipsos to undertake a new research study “Day in the life Audio Journey” to explore how the audio landscape is changing with new modes of distribution.

The audio world is in the midst of a boom with huge growth in smart speaker ownership (2500 percent in the USA) and 48 percent increase in podcast listening (according to the Edison Research 2019 Infinite Dial Study). New technology and lifestyle factors have led to listeners consuming even more audio content across various platforms, including online streaming, podcasts and broadcast radio.

The “Day in the Life Audio Journey” study which examined the audio usage and habits of 13-64 year old Americans found that broadcast radio reaches more consumers than all other audio channels. In fact, radio has double the daily listening of streaming services and reaches 69% of consumers in comparison to streaming music which only reaches 34% of listeners.

An interesting and perhaps surprising fact that this study unveiled was that although all ages enjoy listening to audio (spending on average 17.2 hours every week listening to audio) Millennials (aged 23-38) and Gen Z (aged 13-22) are the heaviest consumers, spending upwards of 18 hours a week listening to audio – around 2.6 hours a day. They are also big consumers of podcasts with podcast growth for Millennials and Gen Z up 48% according to a separate Edison Infinite Dial 2019 study. iHeartMedia’s study found that podcasts now represent close to 10 percent of audio listening amongst this demographic and that podcast listeners are also radio listeners. This shows that podcast consumption is more often alongside radio listening, instead of as a substitute. 82 percent of podcast listeners also listen to radio on a weekly basis and radio continues to be the top audio choice for Gen Z with podcasts actually replacing online video as a day time escape for people during school and work.

Although no comparable study has been done in New Zealand, similar insights have been reflected in NZ on Air’s “Where are Audiences 2018” study. It shows that technological advancements have led to 15-39 year olds consuming more audio content than those 45+. They listen to more podcasts, stream more music and listen to more online radio.

Aside from the findings about Millennials and Gen Z, the iHeartMedia USA study also examined when and where people listen and the results show that most audio listening is done on-the-go: 65 percent done outside the home and most often in the car. Unsurprisingly, radio dominated in-car listening with 65% of in-vehicle audio listening despite the number of new cars in the US market which offer greater variety of in-car entertainment options.

Further to this, the study helped to paint a clear picture of what the smart speaker has meant for radio consumption in the home. Those with smart speakers in their home have spent 47 percent more time listening to radio during prime time hours that those listeners without.

Read more about the study here: https://www.iheartmedia.com/press/new-study-finds-millennials-are-biggest-audio-generation-listening-more-content-all-others

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