It won’t be long before more Brits are listening to podcasts than are listening to music downloads, judging by the latest figures published by UK radio-industry body Rajar. Its latest survey suggests that 16% of Brits aged 15+ now listen to podcasts, compared to 18% who listen to digital music tracks.

The tipping point has already been reached for 15-24 year-olds: 26% of them listen to podcasts, compared to 21% who listen to digital-music tracks. The two formats are also level-pegging for 25-34 year-olds, each with a reach of 22%. For the overall population, that 16% reach for podcasts is up from 12% a year ago. However, when it comes to share of overall listening, podcasts are still just 4%, with live radio continuing to dominate with 74%.

Rajar’s latest ‘Midas’ survey also offers the latest stats on music-streaming usage in the UK. 27% of Brits aged 15+ are now using on-demand music services like Spotify and Apple Music, up from 24% a year ago. For 15-24 year-olds, the reach of streaming is now 58%. Rajar also suggested that 15 million people in the UK are now using a premium on demand music service.

There’s also some data on smart speakers: 26% of British adults now claim to own one, and Rajar claims that “70% of all listening done on a voice activated speaker such as an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Sonos 1 is to live radio”, with 28% for on-demand music (i.e. streaming), and 1% apiece to podcasts and audiobooks.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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