WiFi is the broadcast medium of the future

A survey by Jacobs Media reveals some interesting trends that broadcasters and podcasters should note.

The survey, carried out between January and February this year (2019), shows that more people are listening to radio broadcasts (and podcasts) via smartphones, smart speakers and computers than with a radio receiver.

The figure is up from 14% in 2013 to 31% in February 2019. Using a wireless radio for news and entertainment is down from 85% in 2013 to 65% now.

WiFi is the broadcasting medium of the future; not AM or FM. Which might get some New Zealand broadcasters wondering why they are paying $Millions in government licenses.


Of those surveyed by Jacobs Media more than 20% listen to podcasts weekly or more frequently. Four in 10 weekly podcast listeners are listening to more podcasts today than a year ago. And two-thirds of weekly podcast listeners return to finish a podcast they couldn’t complete the first time.

It should come as no surprise that most people (77%)  use a smartphone to listen to podcasts. Computer 40%, tablet, 24%, in car, 22%; and smart speaker 9%.

As I have been saying for many years now; the smartphone is the new portable radio.

Interestingly, 40% of podcast consumers discover new podcasts thanks to recommendations from friends, family and work colleagues. Recommendations via social media sits at 38%, and 40% of people discover a podcast by browsing iTunes and Stitcher, etc. Another reason to have eye-catching artwork for your podcast.

Social media

For broadcasters and podcasters wanting to promote their content, YouTube and Instagram are up, Facebook and Linkedin are down.  

In 2018 79% of people discovered content on Facebook, this year it dropped to 76%. During the same period; Linkedin dropped from 11% to 10%, and Snapchat was down from 37% to 30%.

The ages of those who took part in the survey were: 18-24, 2%; 25-34, 8%;35-44, 15%; 45-54, 29%;55-64, 32% and 65+, 15%.

Survey interviews were carried out by Jacobs Media between January 3 and February 3, 2019.

Steve Hart

Steve Hart

Steve Hart is a journalist and editor based in Melbourne.

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