Just under 8 in 10 Adults in Ireland listen to Digital Audio

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Latest research reveals that just under 8 in 10 adults (18+) in Ireland listen to Digital Audio in an average week

IAB Ireland’s Digital Audio Council commissioned Red C Research to conduct a fifth wave of Listen Up Ireland – a deep-dive into Digital Audio in Ireland.

The research, which has tracked Digital Audio since 2019, specifically looked at: the Incidence & demographics of using Digital Audio, the channels used, time spent listening, devices used, reasons to engage with and attitudes towards Digital Audio.

The key findings are:

  • Digital audio consumption has grown vs the last wave in October 2022, with 78% of adults in Ireland consuming digital audio – this represents an additional 280,000 weekly listeners with weekly reach now at 3.06m adults. 
  • The Demographic profile of digital audio users remains similar to that in 2022, with 18-44s, those working full time and ABC1s over-indexing versus the general population.   The 65+ demographic has also increased listening (+2%) since the last wave.
  • 14% of digital audio listeners (429,218 weekly) don’t listen to radio on an FM device, up from 11% in the last survey. This is higher for younger age groups at 27% for 18-24s and 17% for 25-34s and for listeners of on demand music at 16% and podcasts at 14%.
  • The frequency of consumption (daily / weekly / monthly) of digital audio has increased this year.  Over a third of digital audio users or 1.1M adults are listening daily (+3% on 2022 levels). Just under 9 in 10 adults (+4% on 2022 levels) are listening weekly.
  • The growth in listening is shared across all digital audio formats. The most popular formats used weekly are on demand music at 69%, online radio at 46% and podcasts at 38%.
  • Smartphone continues to dominate with 54% of digital audio users declaring it their most used device, especially among younger cohorts (73%), and among podcast listeners (63%).   This speaks to the engaging and versatile nature of digital audio as a medium.  Smart speaker is the next most used device at 15% followed by connected car at 12%. 
  • The top 3 reasons why digital audio users engage with the medium are: Entertainment, an accompaniment to daily tasks and relaxation, with digital audio as an ‘accompaniment to daily life’ seeing another considerable increase this year (+6%).
  • Looking to the future, approx. 3 in 10 expect to increase their engagement with online music and podcasts (32% and 27% respectively) in the next year. While 1 in 5 (21%) claim the same about online radio. 
  • It appears that there is an increasing willingness to listen to ads in exchange for great free content with over a third now happy to do so (36% up from 32% in October 2022). This indicates a positive shift in attitudes towards growing acceptance of free content being supported by ads.
  • The power of the format as a content discovery method remains impressive. 41% agree that listening to digital audio has introduced them to content that they were previously unaware of. 

Sara Eslami, Director, Red C Research commented ‘The results from the 2024 wave of our ‘Listen Up Ireland’ research show the surge in engagement with digital audio seen during and immediately post pandemic is here to stay. 8 in 10 in Ireland now choosing digital audio. Younger adults continue to embrace digital audio at an impressive rate; a trend that also extends to those in full time employment and higher income brackets, making it an exceptionally effective channel.’ 

Maeve O’Meara, Programme Director at IAB Ireland commented ‘Our Digital Audio Council has been tracking Digital Audio growth since 2019, and with almost 8 in 10 now listening on an average week, the Audio market is thriving.   This growth is also now being reflected in Digital Audio Adspend as Advertisers learn more and embrace this medium.   We will continue to support this market with best practice learnings and insights.’ 

You can see the full deck and infographic below. Enquries to maeve@iabireland.ie