Podcast Share of Ear Fall 2014

A Dramatic Increase In Podcasting’s Share Of Ear℠

In the Spring 2014 Share of Ear℠ study (a syndicated research series from Edison Research), we took a first look at how much of the total audio consumed by Americans was devoted to podcasts. Compared to the entire audio universe–every available minute of radio, Internet radio, music files, Satellite and more–podcasts occupied a single digit percentage of America’s total audio listening. But when we looked specifically at only those Americans who listen to podcasts, we got a different story–if you listen to podcasts, you listen to a lot of podcasts.

Well, we are now rolling out the updated, Fall 2014 Share of Ear℠ study to clients, and there are some significant trends. For podcasting, there is no more remarkable finding than this: if you are a daily listener of podcasts, you listen to more podcast audio than any other form of audio, as the graph below illustrates:

Podcast Share of Ear Fall 2014

 

Let’s break this graph down a bit. First of all, to be clear, this graph refers to the percentage of total audio time, not a percentage of listeners or users. This chart shows all of the time spent listening to various forms of audio by those Americans who listened to at least one podcast in the last 24 hours. For the first time, we can report that podcast listeners are now listening to more podcast audio than any other form of audio (click to Tweet). In the Spring study, podcasts were a close second to AM/FM radio, but today we see AM/FM fall to third amongst podcast listeners. And while we have no doubt that Serial has contributed to this phenomenon (we fielded during the apex of Serial’s popularity), it doesn’t explain all of this finding. This is, indeed, going to be a big year for podcasting, and this is but our first clue.

A couple of other notes: first of all, the total share of podcast listening amongst all Americans increased by 18% over our Spring study, which is a significant jump. It’s also worth noting the statistic that is in the caption to the graph above: Podcast listeners (as defined) spend an average of 6 hours and 8 minutes each day listening to any form of audio. The average American spends a skosh over 4 hours per day listening to audio. What this means is that while some of the shift in podcast listening has come from other forms of media (in particular, AM/FM Radio,) much of it is simply new listening, as podcast consumers continue to bring their podcasts with them into environments and settings where they previously might not have consumed audio.

There is another implication here, however, in the shift from AM/FM Radio to podcasts with these listeners: the importance of Talk programming. The “long tail” nature of podcasts is far better able to serve the passions and interests of individual listeners than mainstream broadcast programming, but with breakout hits such as Serial, the long tail might be starting to wag the dog a little–and this may broaden the appeal of talk audio programming in general. Podcasting is a content play in its purest form–and as more and more Americans discover the medium, AND discover content that is compelling to them, we are going to continue to see interesting migrations in listening habits amongst these Americans.

Finally, when we looked at all of the listening hours available in our nationally representative Fall 2014 Share of Ear℠ study, teased out the hours devoted to podcasting, and projected this across the U.S. population, we came up with this remarkable number: Americans listen to approximately 21,117,000 hours of podcast audio each and every day (click to Tweet).

We at Edison are incredibly bullish about podcasting and podcast measurement, and these figures are a pretty good reason why.

This finding is the second public release from the Fall 2014 Share of Ear℠ report. Share of Ear℠, a twice-yearly tracking study, is unique among audio measurement studies in that it evaluates all forms of audio, including AM/FM radio, streaming audio, owned music, podcasts, SiriusXM satellite radio, TV ‘cable radio’ channels (such as Music Choice), and others. The study is available via subscription. For more information, contact info@edisonresearch.com.

How the Study was Conducted:

Edison Research conducted a nationally representative study of 2,021 Americans ages 13 and older to measure their time spent listening to audio sources. Respondents completed a 24-hour diary of their audio listening on an assigned day. Diaries were completed both online and by-mail using a paper diary. Online diaries were completed November 4-15, 2014 and diaries by-mail were completed October 14-20, 2014. Diaries were completed in both English and Spanish.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Gulf News, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Time Warner and Yahoo. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

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Streaming Audio Now Bigger than AM/FM Radio among US Teens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

American Teens now spend more time with streaming audio services such as Pandora and Spotify than they do with AM/FM radio (including both over-the-air and the online streams of AM/FM stations), according to the Fall 2014 Share of Ear℠ report, new research from Edison Research.

“While AM/FM Radio listening leads by a significant margin among all other age groups, much of teens’ listening time has shifted to pureplay Internet audio services like Pandora and Spotify and others,” said Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research.  “This could be a lens into the future of audio usage.”

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This finding is the first public release from the Fall 2014 Share of Ear℠ report. Share of Ear℠, a twice-yearly tracking study, is unique among audio measurement studies in that it evaluates all forms of audio, including AM/FM radio, streaming audio, owned music, podcasts, SiriusXM satellite radio, TV ‘cable radio’ channels (such as Music Choice), and others. The study is available via subscription. For more information, contact info@edisonresearch.com.

How the Study was Conducted:

Edison Research conducted a nationally representative study of 2,021 Americans ages 13 and older to measure their time spent listening to audio sources. Respondents completed a 24-hour diary of their audio listening on an assigned day. Diaries were completed both online and by-mail using a paper diary. Online diaries were completed November 4-15, 2014 and diaries by-mail were completed October 14-20, 2014. Diaries were completed in both English and Spanish.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Gulf News, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Time Warner and Yahoo. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

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Edison joins the DPAA

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the out-of-home industry as it continues to flourish and expand. Edison has been conducting research for digital out-of-home clients for over a decade.

By joining the The Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA), we plan to share our expertise and continue to help companies to research, learn and grow. In collaborating with advertisers, agencies and DOOH networks, we can promote the effectiveness of digital place-based advertising. Whether by advertising effectiveness studies, customer experience and engagement studies or audience estimates, we can provide information and analysis for confident buying and planning through valid research using industry-wide standards.

Thanks to our fellow DPAA members for the warm welcome at last night’s quarterly meeting. A press release from DPAA is here. If you are interested in learning more about Edison’s out-of-home work, check it out here.

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A New Christmas Hit, And A Holiday Gift

By Sean Ross

Why does a new song become a Christmas hit, especially when it’s so hard to create a “new” holiday song?  For the same reason, apparently, that any phenomenal song reaches mainstream pop radio from beyond the usual realm of consideration: because a label wanted it to happen.

Last year, Kelly Clarkson’s new “Underneath The Tree” pushed its way into the twenty most played songs at AC, a neighborhood typically populated by much older songs. Clarkson’s song was well-calculated for AC: a core artist working the retro-Spector ’60s style that has come to signify holiday music since “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” But RCA also made it known to radio that they wanted the airplay. That’s a commitment that few major labels make, lest it distract from their other priorities.

On Monday, Republic released the new Ariana Grande holiday single, “Santa Tell Me.” The subject line of the promotional email blast was “the first #1 holiday pop song in 20 years is here.” On Tuesday, the trade ads made clear that the song was “impacting Top 40, Hot AC, and AC radio now.” It also featured major call letters, including New York’s Z100, Chicago’s B96, Miami’s Y100, and Milwaukee’s Kiss 103.7.

Grande has had four top 10 hits since spring, if you count her appearance on Jessie J’s “Bang Bang.” The fourth, “Love Me Harder” just cracked the top 10. In addition, Epic put out a holiday original, “I’ll Be Home,” by Meghan Trainor, even as her second single, “Lips Are Movin’,” continues to build. And Disney has taken trade ads on behalf of “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” from “Frozen,” urging PDs to think of it as a holiday song. The lead artist on “Snowman,” Kristen Bell, is also represented on the new Straight No Chaser single, “Text Me Merry Christmas.”

It’s significant that Republic wanted to go for a holiday single. If anything, it’s a way to further establish Grande as a significant enough artist to generate interest with a holiday original. (Taylor Swift’s holiday airplay is for a pair of standards, “Last Christmas” and “Santa Baby”). And it’s sooner in Grande’s career arc than either Mariah Carey or Wham, acts that managed equally rare holiday breakthroughs in the ’80s and ’90s respectively.

Edison’s Holiday Gift

For our part, over the last decade that Edison Research has done holiday music testing, we’ve been very cognizant of how songs move in or out of the holiday canon. As with “Do You Want To Build A Snowman,” we’ve also noticed that not every song has to be holiday themed. For “My Favorite Things,” which emerged as a reliable tester, it was the mere combination of references to winter weather and a movie often enjoyed around the holidays.

In our most recent holiday music test, we were curious about what other songs might work. We included a number of transcendent songs that had appropriately warm sentiments, but weren’t necessarily holiday related. Two tested playable – “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and “One Love”/”People Get Ready” by Bob Marley. Then there was “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, which came back top 15.

That song has baffled PDs in recent years. It hasn’t ever been a sonic fit for most of the stations that play it. Most Classic Hits and Adult Contemporary stations have contemporized and few PDs want to play an odd MOR holdover from the mid ’60s. But unless yours is the first all-holiday station to draw a hardline on Burl Ives and Andy Williams, there are no fit issues at Christmas, and no reasons not to play a great-testing song of holiday goodwill. Consider it your holiday gift from Edison.