One-third of UK adults are monthly podcast listeners, according to RAJAR survey

AM/FM radio still accounts for the largest share of listening in the US

32% of adults in the UK are listening to podcasts on a monthly basis, according to a new survey released as part of the latest Q3 2023 RAJAR results. 

RAJAR, which stands for Radio Joint Audience Research, is the official body for measuring radio audiences in the UK, owned by the BBC and the Radiocentre. Although the report is not podcast-specific, it does now highlight some podcast listening habits as the medium continues to grow in popularity.

It includes the results of a questionnaire completed by participants, which showed that 30% of adults listen to live radio via smartphone or tablet at least once per month, compared to 32% who listened to podcasts in the same period.

Although radio remains popular overall in the UK, with 88% of the population aged 15 and above listening, there is an increasing shift towards listening to radio through a digitally-enabled platform, with the number of adults doing so going up by 2% year on year.

Additionally, 15% of respondents now say they listen to ‘catch up’ radio at least once a month. Catch-up radio has become more popular amongst a number of broadcasters including Global, Bauer, and the BBC as a way to reproduce content from live radio as a podcast and to gain new audiences. 

BBC Sounds, as an example, reached a record number of 226 million plays on its platform in Q3 due to its on-demand radio and podcast content. Audio giant Spotify also launched a new tool in April through its podcast hosting platform Megaphone which allows broadcast publishers to easily redistribute their radio content as podcasts. 

Comparing the UK’s listening habits to the US, radio also continues to be popular amongst the majority of listeners, with AM/FM radio - both live and on-demand - making up the largest share of listening amongst daily listeners, according to the latest Share of Ear data from Edison Research.

Edison’s Share of Ear Audio Dial report looks at the data of daily listeners in the US aged 13 and above and how much time they spend listening to different types of audio. According to the report, podcast listening continues to grow in popularity in the US, however, while radio remains flat.

Daily podcast listening amongst US respondents reached an all-time high this quarter, now at 11%. Other audio mediums that continue to be more popular than podcasts include streaming music and YouTube for music and music videos.