Part 2: The New Era of Audio and Media Consumption

Reading time: 3 minutes

Over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing a series of articles based on a recent research project conducted by Xtra Insights. While these articles can be read individually, we suggest reading them sequentially so you can follow along more easily. If you haven’t already, we recommend reading this article first:
Part 1: Is Music Still The Bricks Of Radios’ Format?
Part 3: One From The Programmers – Radio Now and In The Future
Part 4: The TSL Lifecycle
Part 5: The Four Radio Listener Types
Part 6: The Radio Listener Journey

The emergence of music streaming services, podcasts, audiobooks, and other audio offerings over the past decade have seen the audio and media landscape change drastically. Yet, with the rise of so many new services, many often predict the demise of radio as a result. But is this really the case?

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A recent study conducted by Xtra Insights interviewed almost 3000 participants aged 16-39 across eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region, exploring people’s perceptions of radio, music, and their general audio consumption habits. Generally speaking, radio listening is healthy across the Asia-Pacific region with 86% of the sample tuning into radio. While more mature radio markets (where competitive commercial radio has been around for 20 years or more) radio figures often tend to be higher. Our sample reflected strong listening across the board with the exception of Thailand and Indonesia.

When exploring the participants’ radio listening, on average AM/FM radio was listed as the most used device to listen to radio. However, smartphone use was high among many Asian countries, particularly Thailand and Vietnam where smartphones were the most used device to tune into radio. Radio continues to play a key role in new music discovery and was identified as the primary source for new music, with YouTube coming in second place.

As for music listening excluding radio, smartphones were the most used device on average. Unsurprisingly, smartphone use was highest among 16-19 year olds. AM/FM radio and laptops alternated between second and third place based on the market and demographic.

Podcast penetration was deep across the region, with close to three-quarters of the sample listening to podcasts. Of those that listen to podcasts, 40% tuned in on a weekly basis. While many listeners opted for content exclusive to podcast, such as true crime series, 36% preferred replayed radio shows featuring their favourite personalities.

Music streaming is prevalent throughout the region with over three-quarters of the sample streaming music online and roughly half of those subscribing to a paid service. YouTube and Spotify dominated the music streaming services used. Despite the alternatives out there, radio appears to be holding its own among the competition. While it’s unlikely that we’ll witness its demise anytime soon, many believe that radio still has a bright future ahead of itself. Over 80% of participants believe radio will continue to exist in 20 years, further cementing its fate.

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