Reports Audio

Audio substitute threat Measuring consumer time allocation

Report by Rutger Rosenborg
Cover image for Audio substitute threat
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20,000 foot view: All forms of entertainment compete not only for the same time, but increasingly for the same digital real estate. As audio streaming platforms move towards all-in-one access to multiple formats, both platforms and content providers must understand the threats of substitution and cannibalisation from within. This report tallies the self-reported total hours consumers spent on radio, music streaming, podcasts, and audiobooks in Q3 2023 across seven key territories (US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Thailand, and Colombia). It also analyses growth patterns and weekly active user overlap, providing a roadmap for how these formats might alternately compete and help each other grow.

Key data and insights included in this report: 

  • Analysis of consumers time spent listening to different audio formats in different markets – audiobooks, podcasts, radio, and music streaming
  • Various contexts in which weekly listeners of audio are listening, including at work, while exercising, and during their commute
  • Analysis of different audio format audiences
  • How much do different audio formats overlap in listening? 
  • Q3 2023 audio listening hours compared to Q3 2022

Survey data is based on MIDiA Research Consumer Surveys Q2 2022, Q3 2022, and Q3 2023. Data is available by all consumers, by age, by gender, and by weekly active user base of the services mentioned below. Countries in scope of this report include: US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, South Korea, Brazil, Thailand, and Colombia.

Table of contents:

Number of words: 3,297

Number of pages: 17

Number of infographics: 4

Figure 1: The global overview of consumer audio hours

Figure 2: Year-on-year audio consumption trends and implications

Figure 3: The importance of context

Figure 4: Understanding the dynamics between music streaming, radio, and audio listeners


Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Apple, Amazon, Audbile, Edison Research, Goldman Sachs, Grand View Research, iHeartRadio, NPR, RadioShack, SiriusXM, Spotify, and YouTube