Nearly 2.5 million people, or 17% of the population in the five biggest Australian cities, listened to live and local radio via their phones at some point each week during the last 3 months of 2020 according to industry body Commercial Radio Australia.

The number of listeners tuning in via mobile was up 25% compared to the same period a year ago. There were also increases in listeners tuning in via PCs and tablets (up 27% to 1.2 million) and smart speakers (up 58% to 1.04 million).

The data was derived from an average of the last three GfK radio audience measurement surveys conducted in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

The research found that while broadcast radio continued to be the most common way to access radio, with 83% of people tuning in via AM/FM and 27% via DAB+ digital radio, mobile phones are the third most popular device used to listen to radio.

Some 9% of listeners tuned in via a PC or tablet, and 7% used a smart speaker. The strong growth of 58% in the number of Australians listening via smart speakers was off a smaller base of 662,000 people in 2019.

Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA said that:

“Broadcast radio remains the core and most important platform for the foreseeable future, but we are seeing some exciting growth in digital and streaming audiences as a result of investments and partnerships in these areas to make radio even more accessible across multiple devices”.

Source: GfK Radio Ratings, SMBAP, S6-8 2019 v S6-8 2020, total radio, cumulative audience (000) & time spent listening (h:mm), Mon-Sun I2mn-I2mn, All People I0+, unless stated otherwise.