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37% of Adults in Canada are Monthly Podcast Listeners


Edison Research and Triton Digital
Edison Research and Triton Digital

Podcast consumption levels in Canada are now equal to those in the U.S., according to The Infinite Dial 2020 Canada, the third annual study of digital media behavior in Canada from Edison Research and Triton Digital. 37% of Canadians age 18 and older are monthly podcast listeners (compared with same estimate in the U.S., 37% age 18+) and 24% of those in Canada age 18+ are weekly podcast listeners (compared with 23% of those in the U.S. age 18+).

These and other findings were presented by Tom Webster, Senior Vice President from Edison Research, and Stephanie Donovan, SVP/Publisher Development North America at Triton Digital in an online presentation on Thursday.

A significant number of Canadian adults are consumers of online audio, as the study found that 70% have listened to some type of online audio in the past month (compared with 67% in the U.S.) and 60% have listened to online audio in the past week (compared with 58% in the U.S.).

Despite these high online audio reach numbers, online audio has not yet made its way into the car for most Canadians. Of those in Canada age 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month, 18% have listened to online audio in-car, compared with 33% of those in the U.S. 57% of adults in Canada use AM/FM radio most often as their in-car audio source while 25% use owned music (including owned digital files) most often in-car, followed by SiriusXM at 7%, online audio at 4% and podcasts at 4%.

Sixty-nine percent of adults in Canada have listened to AM/FM radio in the past week, and 14% of adults in Canada have listened to AM/FM radio online in the past week.

Regarding smart speaker ownership, the study found that 26% of those in Canada age 18+ own at least one smart speaker, and of those owners, 42% own two or more devices.

According to Edison Research Senior VP Tom Webster, "We observed some strong gains in many of our key audio metrics, from podcasting to smart speaker ownership. Canada is amongst the leaders in the world in terms of digital audio consumption."

"We are proud to once again unveil the latest insights and trends around media usage and consumption in Canada," said Triton Digital SVP/Publisher Development North America Stephanie Donovan. "Broadcast radio listeners remain loyal to the brand, but with one in five Canadians having listened to broadcast radio online in the last month, it's clear the technology through which they choose to consume is changing."

Other key The Infinite Dial 2020 Canada findings include:

  • At-home is where most Canadians have consumed a podcast. Eighty-one percent of podcast listeners in Canada age 18+ have listened to a podcast at home and 40% have listened in a car/truck

  • 80% of adult Canadian podcast consumers listen to all or most of a typical podcast episode

  • Half of adult podcast listeners in Canada have listened to a podcast from a public radio producer

  • 14% of those in Canada age 18+ own a Google Home smart speaker, 11% own an Amazon Alexa, and 3% own an Apple HomePod

  • The dominant brand of online audio is Spotify, with 28% of Canadian adults listening to Spotify in the past month, compared with Apple Music at 13% and Google Play Music at 11%. Of those who use various online audio brands, 37% say they use Spotify most often.

The Infinite Dial survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, uses a nationally representative survey of 1,076 people in Canada age 18 and older. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised of both mobile phones and landlines. The data is weighted to 18+ population figures.

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