New research shows Australia leading the way in podcasting

By James Cridland for
Posted 6 September 2017, 7.53pm edt

James Cridland

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation today releases a set of new podcast survey results which show a good amount of awareness and consumption for podcasts in Australia.

Nationally representative data released by the ABC, compiled in April but released today, shows that 89% of Australians are aware of podcasting, and more than half have listened to a podcast. These are significantly higher than awareness seen in the US, and complement previous data from Edison Research in Australia.

The rest of the data is from an online ABC Podcast Survey, which was promoted by the ABC including Your Space, the corporation's survey website, and from individual ABC Radio social media properties.

The ABC has a total 21.1% share of radio listening in Sydney.

I'm covering a compilation of data from Australia and the rest of the world at OzPod tomorrow morning, including some of these figures. Podnews will have more detail.

Press release

Podcasting is continuing to show strong growth in Australia according to the second annual Podcast Research Survey released by the ABC today. Both the frequency of listening and time spent listening to podcasts has increased year on year.

Podcast Awareness is high in Australia, with 89 per cent of adult Australians claiming to be aware of podcasts. More than half of adult Australians have claimed to have tried podcasting, with trial increasing to 76% among 25 – 34-year-olds (1).

More than one in two podcast listeners (2) claim to listen to more podcasts this year compared to last year. Weekly podcast listeners who claim to listen to at least five hours per week rose from 37% in 2016 to 44 per cent this year.

Frequency of listening has also shown growth, with 79 per cent of podcast listeners now claiming to have listened last week, up from 60 per cent last year. More than one in two (57%) claim to have listened in the last 24 hours, rising to 71 per cent among 14 – 34-year-olds.

Podcast listeners are highly engaged, claiming to have listened to an average of six podcast episodes and four podcast series per week.

Whilst the home remains the most common location for podcast listening, we have seen year on year growth in podcast listening in a car/truck/taxi. Late afternoon and evening remain the most common podcast listening times on a weekday.

The smartphone is increasingly the device most often used for listening to podcasts, at 62 per cent of podcast listeners.

The average time spent listening to a podcast episode is 48 minutes for weekly podcast listeners who commit beyond the first five minutes.


Director of ABC Radio, Michael Mason, said this year’s survey results were not surprising. “We’ve seen an enormous growth in our own on-demand audio listening with podcasts such as Conversations with Richard Fidler receiving millions of unique downloads (3) each month in addition to the large numbers who tune into his radio program each weekday.

“Our recent true crime hit, Trace, co-produced with ABC News, received more than a million downloads since its release in June. We know there's a strong appetite for this sort of content thanks to smash hits such as Serial and Trace so we will be releasing more material like this in 2018,” Mr Mason said.

The results come on the eve of OzPod 2017, the second annual Australian Podcast Conference which has now sold out with podcast, media and broadcast delegates attending from around Australia, New Zealand and North America.

For those who missed out on tickets to OzPod, a digital pop-up station will broadcast the day's action. Listen in to OzPod Digital via the new ABC Listen app, via ABC Extra on or via DAB+ in your capital city.

The ABC Podcast Research 2017 was commissioned by ABC Audio Studios and ABC Audience Insights to provide a better understanding of podcast listening behaviour in Australia.

Join the conversation via #OzPod2017

  1. ABC Corporate Tracking Study: April 2017, Australians aged 18-75, Nationally representative (n=1530), online methodology
  2. ABC Podcast Survey 2017, August 2017(n=2599)
  3. ABC Podsights Podcast Measurement System

More information

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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