Millennials reportedly listen to more audio than any other generation
Millennial audio consumption in the U.S. is booming, with the demographic listening to audio of more types, at more times, and in more places than any other generation, according to a newly released Ipsos study conducted for iHeartRadio.
“Audio is hot right now and a must for marketers looking to reach increasingly elusive and fractured audiences,” said Bob Pittman, iHeartRadio’s CEO and chairman, in a statement. “We are living in an audio-first world.”While iHeartRadio, an internet-based radio aggregator that claims to reach nine out of 10 Americans every month, is naturally likely to emphasize the importance of radio to consumers, many of the findings from its latest study corroborate recent trends shown in other reports conducted independently.
Across the board, the Ipsos-iHeartRadio survey found that radio reaches more consumers than any other audio channel, with 85 percent of consumers listening to a radio broadcast at least once per week, outpacing social media at 68 percent and live television at 56 percent. On a daily basis, radio has more than twice the listenership of audio streaming services, with 69 percent of consumers tuning in to the radio at least once a day compared to streaming’s 34 percent.
“Radio has long been a trusted companion for people of all ages,” said iHeartRadio’s chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman in a statement. “The only difference now versus decades ago is that today people can enjoy that connection anywhere they are across a variety of platforms.”While radio still reigns supreme, other forms of audio are steadily gaining traction in both listenership and revenue. This year, 51 percent of American consumers reported listening to a podcast at some point in their lives, compared to just 22 percent in 2009, according to the Edison Infinite Dial media survey, a separate study that was conducted earlier this year.
The Edison Research survey also found that 50 percent of the U.S. population over 12 years old listened to music via YouTube at least once a week, while popular streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music have seen their monthly listener numbers grow year-over-year since 2017 in the 12-to-34 demographic by between three and nine percentage points.While millennials were found to be the largest demographic for audio consumption, they weren’t alone in their enjoyment of radio, podcasts and music streaming services. According to the Ipsos-iHeartRadio study, Americans of all ages listen to an average of 17.2 hours of audio per week, with millennials topping the list at 18.8 hours per week each and baby boomers coming in last at 15 hours per week.
Along with an increase in streaming’s popularity, purchases of smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo devices (controlled via the Alexa virtual assistant) have also been on the rise. According to Edison’s 2019 media survey, an estimated 65 million Americans—or about one-quarter of the country—own a smart speaker, while 52 percent of households that have them own two or more, compared to 33 percent of households just last year.
The Ipsos-IHeartRadio report credits the rise of smart speakers with bolstering radio’s continued popularity, finding that homes with smart speakers spend 47 percent more time listening to radio during prime hours (defined by the study as 8-10 p.m.) than homes without them.
The study, which was conducted digitally by Ipsos in March 2019, surveyed more than 6,000 consumers between the ages of 13 and 64 across the U.S. who listen to at least one audio platform weekly.