81% of Irish people tune into radio everyday – 8% (or 330,000 people) use a digital device and 77% use an FM radio – JNLR ‘Radio in a Digital World’ report

  • Listeners tune in for a total of 13.3 million hours each weekday
  • 7 in 10 of 15-24 year olds listen to radio every day, while 38% listen to Spotify
  • Use of digital devices is strongest among this younger 15-24 year old cohort – 17.2% of their time spent listening to radio is on a digital device

The JNLR’s ‘Radio in a Digital World’ report, compiled by Ipsos/ MRBI from the most recently published listenership data, shows that listening to Irish radio stations via digital devices is growing. 

Currently 8% of the population, or 330,000 people, listen each day using a digital device – specifically 4.8% listen via a mobile device, 1.9% listen on a PC / laptop, 1.7% on a Smart Speaker and the remainder on a TV set or DAB. 77% of Irish adults are choosing to listen on FM.

The research also shows that younger audiences are listening to radio in significant numbers. In the 15-24 age group, and despite the intensively competitive media environment, almost 7 in 10 listen to Irish radio every day. In comparison, 38% of this age group listen to Spotify every day. Among this cohort, more than half (58%) listen to radio via an FM device and 16% listen on a digital device. Digital devices used are predominantly the mobile device (11.9%), with the PC / Laptop used by 2.6% and smart speakers used by 1.9%.

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. This report shows that 3.2 million people in Ireland now listen to radio each weekday – 81% of the 15+ population.

The number of adults  listening to radio (81%) is second only to TV viewing (85%) and significantly greater than those engaged with social media (53%), viewing video on demand services such as Netflix (28%) or listening to music on Spotify (15%).

Other key statistics from the report:

  • 20% of all adults have downloaded a radio station app to their smart device.
  • Irish people own multiple devices enabling access to radio at home or on the move. 91% own a car radio, 89% own an FM radio, 77% have radio on their TV, 77% have access to radio on their mobile phone, 70% on their PC or laptop and 32% say they can access on a smart speaker.
  • Irish audiences spend a total of 13.3 million hours listening to Irish radio each week day, equating to 4 hours 16 minutes per listener, per day.
  • 12.5 million hours are spent listening via FM each week day, while audiences listen on digital devices for almost 0.8 million hours. This represents 5.9% of all time spent listening and among 15-24s, the proportion stands at 17.2%.

Scott Williams, Independent Chair of the JNLR Committee, said:

“Irish people love radio, as the JNLR data consistently shows. 81% of Irish adults listen to radio each weekday. Access to radio has never been easier with growing consumption on digital devices.

The youngest group, 15-24 year olds, spend 17.2% of their Irish radio listening time on a digital device.Radio listening is but one part of digital audio consumption and in our next presentation, we will report on the broader audio market with a focus on music streaming platforms, podcast listening and other on-demand audio options. This report will be published in May.”

The JNLR Committee members are:

  • Scott Williams, Wireless (Independent Chair)
  • Barry Dooley, AAI
  • Andrew Robinson, BAI
  • Helen O’Rourke, IAPI (agency representative on IAPI Board)
  • Katie Boylan, IRS+
  • Gavin Deans, Media Central
  • Diarmuid O Leary, Red FM
  • Gareth Ivory, RTE
  • Dan Healy, RTE
  • Keith McCormack, Today FM
  • Brian McCarthy, Urban Media

For further details, please contact:

Breda Brown

Unique Media

Tel: (01) 522 5200 or (087) 2487120

Editorial notes on JNLR ‘Radio in a Digital World’ compiled by Ipsos MRBI:

  • This report is primarily sourced from the latest published JNLR report, 2020-3 (October

2019 to September 2020).

  • Due to Covid-19 restrictions no interviewing was conducted in Quarter 2 (April, May,

June) 2020. Therefore, the data in this report incorporates 9-months’ data during this

12-month period.

  • Radio reach via digital devices referenced in this report is based on listening activity to

Irish Commercial and RTE FM stations measured in the JNLR survey.

  • Media module data used in this report is sourced from the most recent module reported

in 2019-2.

  • Smart speaker introduced in January 2020 – reach estimates for smart speaker are

based on data collected since that date.

About the JNLR:

JNLR (Joint National Listenership Research) is a joint industry research project conducted on behalf of the Irish radio industry. JNLR is commissioned and controlled by the JNLR Management Committee with representation from RTE, Today FM, Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) and the Advertising Industry.

The primary objective of the JNLR survey is to provide reliable estimates of audiences to National, Regional and Local Radio, as a basis for the planning of advertising schedules and to  facilitate programming analysis and planning.