Live radio still highly popular in Ireland

The latest JNLR survey for the Ireland’s radio and audio market shows that 79 per cent of Irish adults tune into live radio everyday compared to 25 per cent who stream music and five per cent who listen to podcasts. Over three million listeners tune each day. Almost seven in ten 15–24-year-olds listen to live radio every weekday and seven per cent listen to podcasts.

Smart phone ownership rose from 82 per cent in 2018 to 86 per cent in 2021 making it easier to access audio anytime and anywhere. Ownership of voice activated audio devices, such as Alexa, has almost trebled over past three years. The report, which was again compiled by Ipsos/MRBI, shows that listeners tune into radio for a total of 13.1 million hours daily.

On average, each listener is listening for four hours and 16 minutes each weekday and for more than three hours among the 15-24 year old audience. Irish listeners  love live radio  with 92 per cent saying they listen weekly, far exceeding the weekly audience figures for on-demand online audio (53 per cent), including podcasts, with a 17 per cent weekly listenership.

Podcasts are more popular with 15-24 year olds, claiming a 30 rate each week.


The figures also indicate that rather than supplanting live radio, over time music streaming services are replacing our personal music archives such as downloads, CD’s or vinyl. Weekly listenership to these archives is down from 38 per cent in 2018 to 22 per cent in 2021. The proportion  listening to streaming services like Spotify, rose from 22 per cent to 37 per cent.

At home is by far the most popular place to listen to audio content, with three in four adults 15+  listening in this location daily. One in three people listen in the car daily, while nine per cent listen in work or in school/college and eight per cent when walking, running or cycling.  In terms of devices used, to listen to audio, 72 per cent use a radio or music player.

Widespread ownership of smart phones, now at 86 per cent, helps access to audio anytime and anywhere, while ownership of voice activated tech devices (VADs), such as Alexa or Google Home, has almost trebled since 2018, growing to 30 per cent. Ownership of these VAD devices is much higher among younger age groups (48 per cent among 15–24s.


Other key statistics from the report:

  • 36 per cent of people listen to music weekly via YouTube
  • Live radio has an estimated share of 78.8 per cent of time spent listening to all audio on a daily basis and 53.2 per cent share among 15-24 year olds.
  • Among this younger 15-24 year old audience, music streaming (Spotify, Apple Music) has a time spent share of 25.2 per cent and YouTube music has a 14.2 per cent share

The next detailed JNLR listenership report will be published at the start of December.

The JNLR committee members are:

  • Scott Williams, Wireless (chairman)
  • Barry Dooley, AAI
  • Andrew Robinson, BAI
  • Helen O’Rourke, IAPI
  • Katie Boylan, IRS+
  • Gavin Deans, Media Central
  • Diarmuid O Leary, Red FM
  • Gareth Ivory, RTE
  • Dan Healy, RTE
  • Chris Doyle, Bauer Media
  • Brian McCarthy, Urban Media

Pictured is RTE Radio 1 presenter Claire Byrne


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