UK Radio and online audio – The resilience of broadcast

Report Overview

UK Radio and online audio – The resilience of broadcast

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UK Radio and online audio – The resilience of broadcast
Broadcast radio has maintained its reach and listening time over the past decade: younger people listen less than before, but this is made up for by an ageing population
The challenges to radio come from changes in distribution technology in the home and in cars, and from product innovation in the online audio space
Over the next few years, we predict continued stability in radio, but as technology brings it into closer competition with online audio, broadcasters will have to continue product innovation


The remarkable resilience of radio

The challenge to radio: audio distribution is changing

Smart speakers: opening the home to online audio

Why people listen: music and presenters remain important

Vulnerabilities: young people’s listening has fallen fast

Stable reach, with continued falls in listening time for the youngest groups

Vulnerabilities: live radio has relied on in-car listening

The connected car run-around

Changing shape of commercial music

Music discovery: streaming tanks on radio’s lawn

Spoken word radio: expensive, but more viable than ever

Online spoken word: monetisation is a challenge

Defying genre in online audio: the rise of functional audio

List of charts/tables

Radio hours, UK adults 15+ (bn)

Radio weekly reach, UK adults 15+ (m)

Smart speaker ownership by age, UK

Use of voice-assistants on speakers, UK, 2019 (% of users)

Reasons for listening to radio, 2004-18

Radio weekly time per capita by age (hours)

Radio weekly reach by age

Radio weekly hours per listener by age

Change in radio hours by location, 2013-2019 (bn)

In-car listening by source, 2018

Number of Android Auto/Apple CarPlay-enabled car models by year of release

Interfaces of Android Auto (left) and Android Automotive by Volvo (right)

Top 15 share of total album and single sales, June

Commercial music radio listening hours, 2009-19 (m)

Share of 2018 sales by album year of release (%)

Source used most often to learn about music, US, individuals 12+

iOS homepages of streaming services, 2020

BBC speechradio spend v. commercial radio revenue (£m)

LBC network weekly reach and hours (m)

Audio subscription product pricing, US ($/month)

Cumulative value of major podcast acquisitions by Spotify (€m)

Cumulative downloads of Headspace and Calm apps, 2014-19 (m)

Estimated monthly Patreon spend on Sleep With Me podcast ($)