Podcasts have “positive” effect on radio listening

Podcasts are having “a marginally positive effect” on live radio listening in the UK, according to audience measurement body Rajar’s second survey into the online listening trends.

The latest figures, released today (July 2), show that 14.5 million people claim to have listened to radio via the internet in April and May compared to 12 million in November last year.

The popularity of podcasts has also continued with 6 million people saying that they have downloaded a podcast compared to 4.3 million in the previous survey. Meanwhile, 3.7 million, up from 1.87 million in November, say they listen to a podcast each week.

The figures show that podcasting is having “a marginally positive effect” on live radio listening with almost 15% of those surveyed listening to more live radio since they began downloading podcasts, and 39% listening to programmes that they did not previously. However, 10% found that they listen to less.

The survey has also found that 53% of respondents would be interested in downloading podcasts with adverts if they are free, while only 31% said they wanted to pay for podcasts without adverts.

Meanwhile, it also found that, in any given week, 9.4 million people are listening either live or through a Listen Again service, which is up from 8.1 million in November 2007.

According to the survey, three quarters of people using Listen Again say that it has no impact on the amount of live radio they listen to; and almost half say they are now listening to shows that they did not used to.

Rajar research manager, Christel Lacaze says: “This survey gives a unique insight into the behaviour of the online/offline audio community and the impact of new audio formats on tradition listening. It also provides perspective on the relative impact of each of these activities.”

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