How Canadians consume radio

Online listeners are more likely to be plugged into other forms of digital audio.
Headphones

Video hasn’t killed the radio star, according to insights gleaned from a new Media Technology Monitor (MTM) report. The research and analytics arm of the CBC recently completed a survey of 4,000 Anglophone Canadians to delve into how many people are listening to radio content, as well as how they consume it.

Most Canadians listen to radio at least once per month. That number (87%) has remained relatively stable over time, dropping only five percentage points since 2006.

Listening through standard receivers is still more common than through technology like computers, mobile devices or smart TVs (79% of respondents listen via receiver, versus 21% who listen on other devices). This decline has been slightly more significant: 12 percentage points in 12 years.

The most common form of “other” radio listening is through online streams. People who listen to radio streams online are more likely to be younger and to engage in other online music activities, such as listening to music on YouTube, subscribing to a streaming service, or using Stingray Music.

Still, the number of people who listen to AM/FM streams online is small – fewer than one quarter do so, and that total has been flat since 2012. Even fewer (less than 1% of total respondents) listen exclusively to online radio. Most who listen to radio online are listening to local stations, with 60% of online listeners saying that is what they access most often (compared to radio from another city or country).

Only 14% of Canadians listen to Sirius XM, which has also been steady since 2014. Sirius XM usage over-indexes with people of higher household incomes (28% of people with an income of more than $150,000 per year listen to Sirius).

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