How are Canadian newcomers consuming audio?

An MTM report finds that while radio consumption is low, they are big users of digital platforms.

Newcomers to Canada are less likely to be interested in traditional radio, but are big consumers of online options, a behaviour that sticks around as they age.

That’s according to the latest MTM (Media Technology Monitor) report, which delves into the consumption of both traditional and digital audio by newcomers to Canada. It focuses on those who have come to Canada within the last five years, including new citizens, permanent residents, international students, temporary foreign workers and refugee claimants.

Findings include that the majority (77%) of newcomers consume online audio, which puts them nearly on par with Canadian-born adults (80%). Both groups are equally likely to listen to satellite radio (15%), but – due to fewer options in their native language – newcomers pale in comparison to Canadian-born individuals when it comes to AM/FM radio listening (36%, versus 66%).

Newcomers also tend to skew younger, a demographic that is likely to listen to traditional radio regardless of where they are born.

Usage of traditional radio does, however, grow with age and income. Online audio remains stable with age – in contrast to Canadian-born individuals, for whom interest wanes slightly as they age – but the highest income brackets also see slightly higher levels of use.

Newcomers are more likely than Canadian-born individuals to listen to music on YouTube (64% versus 51%) and far more likely to listen audio files shared via instant messaging platforms (34% versus 8%).

In terms of most used music streaming services, both newcomers and Canadian-born individuals are most likely to use Spotify and Apple Music. SoundCloud has also been popular among newcomers: it is used by 12% versus 3% of Canadian-born individuals.

Nine in 10 newcomers consume radio or podcast content in English. One in five newcomers also consume radio or podcast content in French, while two in five newcomers are consuming these types of content in other languages.

Newcomers from Europe, the Americas, and Oceania are far more likely to listen to AM/FM radio, while those from Africa or the Americas are bigger fans of audio files shared via instant messaging apps. Newcomers from Oceania report spending almost twice as much time with radio and audio content than the average newcomer. Those from Europe report spending over five hours more, on average. Only those from Asia fall below the average, by three hours.