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Despite the competition from on-demand music services radio continues to hold a special place in the lives of Irish people.

Despite growing opportunities to access audio on-demand there is almost universal listening to radio in Ireland. When estimating the amount of time spent listening to audio across all platforms and services, live radio emerges with the greatest share of time spent listening. This is the conclusion from the first comprehensive research of the audio landscape in Ireland which has been commissioned by the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI).

Details of the survey, which was conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,100 people, aged 15 and over across Ireland by Ipsos mrbi were presented at an IBI Audio Conference today.

Among the findings of the survey were:

91% of respondents listen to radio every day, with radio listening outstripping other forms of audio between 7am until 7pm.

In a typical day, more time is spent listening to radio than to any other form of audio
Live Radio 54.3%
Listen back 6.3%
Streamed Music 8.6%
Own music 21.5%
You Tube for music 9.3%

· 78% of people consider music to be a key component in the radio mix and they continue to listen to audio via traditional FM radio;

· Radio and Audio offer different choices for listeners. Access to news and information (27%), music (29%) and companionship (16%) were the main attractions for radio. With other forms of audio, 46% like to choose what they want to listen to, 8% to listen to specific songs or musical genres and 7% because of ease of access and convenience;

Radio fulfils a broad range of needs and occasions which are different to other audio. The top reasons for listening to radio are to stay informed, to gather new ideas or opinions and to have something to talk about with friends and family. The top reasons for choosing other forms of audio are to create or add atmosphere, to relax and unwind and to escape the daily grind.

Radio and Audio have many layers of appeal for listeners. People like radio for music, news and current affairs, discussion debates, variety, presenter personalities and the escape from life’s pressures. People like other forms of audio because of the element of personal choice, access to their own playlist, preference for podcasts or CDs, the variety of music it offers and the lack of advertising.

Peter McPartlin, CEO of Today FM and Director of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland said; “This survey confirms the strength of Irish commercial radio and its dominance as an important source of information, music, news, current affairs and entertainment for the Irish public. Despite the growth and access to new media devices and music apps there hasn’t been the impact on the audience to radio as some might have thought”.

“The most important aspect of this survey however is it confirms the complementary nature of radio and other forms of audio. Radio and streaming services comfortably co-exist side by side, fulfilling different roles in people’s lives. The power of radio and the loyalty of the public to Irish radio stations is still hugely significant for advertisers.

Karen Hall, Account Director of Ipsos mrbi said: “For more than 25 years we have been compiling audience statistics for radio. It will be interesting now to see how audiences behave in the wider audio market – to understand their motivations to listen to radio and other “on-demand” services and to identify for the first time how many people are engaged in streaming and podcasting.

The IBI conference “RADIO….But not as you know it”, gave broadcasters and advertisers the opportunity to hear some of the most influential people in the Irish radio industry discuss the state of Irish radio and its position within and consider how live radio still remains a powerful and influential channel for listeners and advertisers.

The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) is the representative body for Ireland’s independent commercial radio broadcasters. The mission of the IBI is to champion the agenda of independent broadcasters in Ireland and to be a distinct and coherent national voice in the ongoing campaign for competitive equality across the sector. The independent voice of Ireland, 70% of the population tune into independent radio on a daily basis. This translates into weekday figures of 2.5 million listeners. The IBI represents 2 national radio stations, 1 multicity radio station, 4 regional radio stations and 27 local radio stations. To see the results of the survey click here

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