79% of Irish people tune into live radio everyday compared to 25% who stream music and 5% who listen to podcasts daily – new JNLR ‘Radio and the Irish Audio Market’ report

  • 3.17m listeners tune in to radio for a total of 13.1 million hours each weekday.
  • Almost seven in ten 15–24-year-olds listen to live radio every weekday and 7% listen to podcasts
  • Smart phone ownership has risen from 82% in 2018 to 86% this year making it easier to access audio anytime and anywhere
  • Ownership of voice activated audio devices, such as Alexa, has almost trebled over past three years

The JNLR’s ‘Radio and the Irish Audio Market” report, compiled by Ipsos/MRBI shows radio is in a healthy position in 2021 with 3,171,000 listeners tuning in on a daily basis.  Despite the proliferation of media content, platforms and devices, the research shows that Irish radio has maintained its significant impact on Irish audiences over the years – listeners tune into radio for a total of 13.1 million hours daily – on average each listener is listening for 4 hours and 16 minutes each weekday and for more than three hoursamong the 15-24 year old audience.

Irish listeners  love live radio  with 92% saying they listen weekly, far exceeding the weekly audience figures for on-demand online audio (53%). This on-demand online figure includes podcasting – 17% say they listen to podcasts each week increasing to 30% among the younger 15-24 year old group.

The figures also indicate that rather than supplanting live radio, over time music streaming services are replacing our personal music archives such as downloads, CD’s or vinyl.  Weekly listenership to these archives is down from 38% in 2018 to 22% in 2021 while the proportion  listening to streaming music services, such as Spotify, has risen by a similar level, from 22% to 37% over the same period.

At home is by far the most popular place to listen to audio content, with 75% of Adults 15+  listening in this location daily. 34% of people listen in the car every day, while 9% listen in a work or school/college environment and 8% while out walking/running or cycling.  In terms of devices used, to listen to audio, 72% use a radio or music player on a typical day. 

Widespread ownership of smart phones, now at 86% amongst the Irish public, facilitates access to audio anytime and anywhere, while ownership of voice activated technology devices such as Alexa or Google Home has almost trebled since 2018, growing from 11% to 30%. Ownership of these voice activated devices is significantly higher among younger age groups (48% among 15–24-year-olds.)

Other key statistics from the report:

  • 92% listen to live radio on a weekly basis.
  • 36% of people listen to music weekly via YouTube
  • Live radio has an estimated share of 78.8% of time spent listening to all audio on a daily basis and 53.2% share among 15-24 year olds.
  • Among this younger 15-24 year old audience, music streaming (Spotify, Apple Music etc..) has a time spent share of 25.2% and You Tube music has 14.2% share

The next detailed JNLR listenership report will be published at the beginning of December 2021.

Scott Williams, Chair of the JNLR Committee, said:

“Irish people love radio, as the JNLR data consistently shows. 92% of Irish adults listen to radio each week. Access to audio has never been easier with growing consumption on digital devices. The Irish audio market is dynamic and sophisticated and Irish radio remains the most significant audio provider in the country notwithstanding the rise in popularity of streaming and podcasting.”

The JNLR Committee members are:

  • Scott Williams, Wireless (Chairman)
  • Barry Dooley, AAI
  • Andrew Robinson, BAI
  • Helen O’Rourke, IAPI
  • Katie Boylan, IRS+
  • Gavin Deans, Media Central
  • Diarmuid O Leary, Red FM
  • Gareth Ivory, RTE
  • Dan Healy, RTE
  • Chris Doyle, Bauer Media
  • Brian McCarthy, Urban Media