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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Younger generations turning to podcasts

The trend of podcast listening is steadily growing in Australia, with a University of Canberra (UC) report showing one-third of Australians have been listening to the digital media platform in 2020.

The Podcast Trends and Issues in Australia and Beyond: Global Perspectives has shown larger percentages of listeners in the Gen Z (57%) and Gen Y (51%) demographics compared to only 31% of Gen X and 13% of Baby Boomers.

Dr Sora Park from the News and Media Research Centre at UC said the report is showing some consumers are dissatisfied with mainstream media.

“People said podcasts give them a deeper understanding on issues and provide a wider range of perspectives,” she said. 

“I think people are becoming more and more demanding in terms of the depth of the news coverage they want and while they can get information quite quickly now, it’s the deep analysis they are thirsty for.”

In Australia, 37% of male news consumers listened to podcasts, compared to 28% of female consumers.

Dr Park said one surprising thing she found in the results was the number of people (almost four in 10) willing to pay for podcasts, in comparison to the 14% of people willing to pay for their online news.

“One of the surprising facts in Australia was younger generations are willing to pay for podcasts,” she said. 

“Australia was one of the highest countries in this respect; we asked 11 countries if they would be willing to pay and in Australia 39% said yes.”

YouTube was reported as the most popular podcast platform (42%), while 33% of users reported using Spotify and 21% used Apple Podcasts.

The study also showed people in in less-connected countries were turning to podcasts at a more rapid rate.

“Across the globe, countries with low press freedom have a high proportion of people turning to news [podcasts],” Dr Park said.  

“In Australia, podcast listening for news is 11% and that is an indicator we have higher quality news already.”

Turkey reported the highest percentage of podcast listeners at 86%, with Kenya a close second on 70%.

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