Moms and Media 2016: The Recap

In 2016, moms continue their mobile ways, moving further away from computers for media tasks.  The smartphone, with its ownership still soaring, is the ‘go to’ device for mom for just about everything.  In the latest edition of Moms and Media, the mobile tendencies of mom are clear and more pronounced with a decline in computer usage for common activities such as Internet access.

access internet most

The decline in computer as a preferred device is illustrated in the tracking data for moms’ online radio usage.  This year 39% of moms who listened to online radio in the last week did so via computer, which is down significantly from the 61% that said so in 2015, and an even more dramatic decline from the 70% that reported doing so just two years ago.   While computer has consistently faded, the smartphone has become the preferred way, with 70% of moms listening to online radio in the last week via smartphone.

Computers fading for moms online radio

Aside from overall Internet access and online radio, we see the mobile factor in social networking as well. The data shows that 62% of smartphone moms use social media several times per day. This group is highly engaged, using the mobile technology to comment, post and tag on a regular basis. Looking specifically at Facebook, moms who used it in the last month are checking almost obsessively, with an average of 10.1 times in 24 hours. Smartphone moms are even a tad higher, with an average of 10.5 times.

Facebook check in 24 hours

For those who have used Facebook in the last month, the cell phone is the way they access this social media site most.  Three quarters of moms and almost two thirds of the total respondents from the Infinite Dial said they use their cell phone to access Facebook most.  While the tendency to favor computer is much lower for both groups, moms are even less likely to access Facebook most via a desktop or laptop.

FB access via cell

While moms are loyal to Facebook, they are using multiple social media sites during the week.  Mobile makes this possible; allowing any time access and an efficient balance of different sites for different needs.

multiple social sites

Most notably, Pinterest is making gains with moms.  In 2016 it continues its growth momentum, with about half of moms now using the crafty social media site.  Instagram is another site gaining more moms this year, with 29% reporting usage.

half of moms use Pinterest

To download the full Moms and Media 2016 report, click here.

How the study was conducted:

The Moms and Media report is based on a sample of 319 moms from the Edison Research and Triton Digital Infinite Dial report.  A total of 2,001 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From 1/5/16 to 2/10/16, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling. Interviews were 52% landline phones and 48% mobile phones.


Organic Valley understands real mornings

Here at Edison, The Research Moms are always sharing advice to each other about the trials of parenting, the joys of motherhood and everyday things that inspire us.  We came across a video that we think is so spot on, we had to share it not only with each other, but with all of you!  The Research Moms give a big shout out to Organic Valley, the makers of Organic Balance for telling it like it is in the Real Morning Report.

Weekday mornings are no easy feat, and getting out the door in a timely fashion can be downright monumental on some days.  According to a study from The Research Moms, it takes moms an average of 93 minutes to get themselves ready to leave the house on a typical weekday.    Some moms need even more than that, with 21% citing at least two hours for their morning routine.  So do moms have time for crow pose or journaling?  Likely not.  Thanks again Organic Balance for keeping it real.

How the study was conducted:

The Research Moms conducted a national online survey of 540 mothers with children age 21 and under.


May the FOMO be with you

In honor of Star Wars Day (May the 4th) we wanted to revisit our space-inspired “Ear Wars: The Listeners Speak Back” research presentation from 2016’s Country Radio Seminar.

With increasing competition from other forms of audio, this presentation urged broadcasters to instill “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) at every opportunity in the broadcast day – if you’re not listening to the radio, you’re missing out.


“Ear Wars” combined a 1,560 respondent online survey with listener and radio station interviews in three markets: Terre Haute, IN, Knoxville, TN, and Philadelphia, PA. Survey data and interviews with listeners show that connection, engagement, and community involvement are all important ways for radio stations to create reasons to keep listening. We also visited top radio stations WIVK, WTHI, and WXTU to illustrate just a few of the methods stations can employ to meaningfully engage with listeners.

Broadcasters: how have you used the FOMO philosophy in your programming?

The full presentation deck, including graphs, relevant data points, and videos is available through CustomShow at:

Simply enter your e-mail address to access the deck – no registration or downloads are required.

The station & listener video features can be viewed separately here.






Gearing up for Moms and Media 2016

Moms_and_Media_2016_coverApril is just about over which means May is right around the corner.  With May comes spring weather, Mother’s Day and the annual Moms and Media report.  Edison Research will release the sixth installment of Moms and Media along with a webinar on May 5, 2016.

Taken from the Infinite Dial study conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital, Moms and Media 2016 will focus on how Moms think mobile first, and continue to use their smartphones for just about everything media.  The report will feature fresh tracking data about social networking, mobile device ownership and Internet usage.  We’ll highlight how moms are still consuming more traditional forms of media like radio and television, while also taking in newer types like podcasts and audiobooks.

It is known that smartphones are the ‘it’ for moms.  They are increasingly reliant on that technology and what it brings them 24/7 in the palm of their hand.  With smartphone ownership soaring among moms and even the total population, the mobile platform continues to be a priority and drive lifestyle behavior.   In this year’s study, among moms with Internet access, 51% said they go online most using their cell phone.  In comparison, 41% of moms with Internet access said via computer and 8% said tablet.

access internet most

Please join us on Thursday, May 5th at 2:00 pm EST when we present Moms and Media 2016.  Log in for insights and findings about how moms are not only consuming media and engaging in social networking, but also how they are relying on mobile to allow them to do it.

Register here:



Hacking the Commuter Code:
What really happens when commuters are driving?

For a huge percentage of Americans, a significant chunk of their lives is spent in their cars.   According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, over 90% of households have a car, over 85% of workers travel to work, by car – and the overwhelming majority of them are alone for that ride.
And the time in the car is increasing.  In 1982 motorists spent an average of 16 hours a year sitting in traffic. In 2015, the average urban commuter spent about 42 hours a year stuck in traffic jams.

There are studies out there that tell us about what people are listening to but this is the first study that gets down to a more granular level – how often do drivers switch, what’s playing when they switch, and what do they switch to? In “Hacking the Commuter Code,” we conducted a large national survey of commuters and in addition we developed a new methodology to capture the actual, second by second, in-car audio behaviors of commuters across the country.

People switch for a variety of reasons: they switch when they hear commercials, but they also switch while they are listening to a song, looking for a better song.

We have never-before-seen data – for instance we learned that an AM/FM listener switches the station an average of 22 times per commute, while listeners to other platforms switch an average of 9.3 times.

As the leaders in research about all forms of audio – we at Edison want to take a very detailed look into what is going on in cars with regard to what people are listening to.  And in particular in this study we look at the most regular drivers: commuters. People who drive to work or other places on a regular, daily basis.

3.87According to our latest Share of Ear™ study, commuters spend an average of 87 minutes each day listening to audio in their cars.

In the late fall of 2015 we conducted two new studies to look further at how people – specifically commuters – engage with audio while they are in their car. Together, these studies comprise “Hacking the Commuter Code.”

Our first study was an online survey of over eleven hundred American adults who commute to work for more than 20 minutes and commute to work alone. 4.survey

Our sample had an average commute length of 35 minutes.  We asked our respondents generally about audio usage.  Keeping in mind that some people make phone calls and others do drive in silence – nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of respondents, 97%, say they listen to audio while they are on their commutes. 6.97%

Respondents told us that they use a lot of different platforms for audio in their cars.  Traditional broadcast radio is the overwhelming leader, with 90% of respondents saying they use it.  There’s a huge drop off down to the CD player, which is being used by 62% of commuters.  Over half listen to their own digital music files, 42% listen to streaming internet radio services such as Pandora,  and 36% listen to streamed AM/FM radio.  Just over one in three listen to SiriusXM while commuting; 19% of respondents listen to Audiobooks, and  17% listen to podcasts. If you’re wondering how there are eight different platforms on this list being used in the car, it’s because there’s a lot of switching going on in the car. On average, commuters told us they (at least sometimes) use more than three different audio platforms while they are commuting. 7.everlistento

The new wave in audio usage in the car is employing one’s smartphone to listen.    In total, 61% of the commuters in our survey told us they listen using their mobile device.   Of course for so many of today’s consumers, their entire lives are tethered to their phones. So it is natural that they want to consume audio in the car using the same device they utilize outside the car; the device that likely stores digital files and the device that has apps for easy streaming of products like Pandora, podcasts, and other services.

When we asked about what people use the most, AM/FM radio is the dominant player as of today.    More than half of our sample said the radio is what they use most both going to and coming home from work.  But there is some change when we compare the morning drive to the evening drive. While AM/FM radio listening decreases from the morning to the afternoon, owned digital music files, Streaming Internet Radio and CD listening increase.

Let’s see what they are listening to on AM/FM radio during these commutes to see if we can explain the decrease.  Going to work, 59% of AM/FM listeners are tuned to music.  Going home, that number increases to 63%.   We consistently see that interest in music is higher after one’s work day. graph2

And when we asked the ‘deserted island’ question – which one would you choose if you could only have one – radio remains way out ahead of the other options – although it falls back a bit. graph3

But things are changing.  We can see this when we look at the age of the car that people drive.  While 43% of everyone chose AM/FM Radio as the one item they would pick if they would only have one –  as you can see that percentage varies by the age of the car one commutes in.  As you can see, all the newer forms of audio are used more in newer cars. graph4

And among those people who have ever listened to Streaming audio in their cars – Streaming Audio – like Pandora– exceeds AM/FM.  So we do get a sense that as people have more options, they use more options. 

There are unique aspects to listening to audio in the car, especially when driving alone.  First – one is often listening more closely.  And switching around is usually rather easy to do.  So we wanted to look at these behaviors as well.

We asked those who listen to commercial radio what they do when commercials come on.  Things divide pretty much into quarters in terms of what people report that they do when they hear commercials.   The biggest group – 29% say they pretty much stay tuned.   But about 23% report tuning away immediately.  Remember this number – we will be revisiting this later in this report.  There are other groups who say they tune away after a time –  and about 70% in general do say that they tune away at some point during commercials.  This has clear potential implications for radio advertisers. 10

We also asked our respondents to tell us the main reason they switch a radio station when they do.   The most common response was commercials, but as you can see other items do lead to changes as well.  11.openend

When you look at those who listen to Pandora during their commute, you can see a dramatic shift in behavior: 61% do not switch at during commercial breaks, more than double the portion of AM/FM radio listeners who said they don’t switch.  Only 12% of Pandora listeners tune away immediately, compared to 23% of radio listeners.

But these are just general impressions.  We had the idea to look even more closely.  We came up with an entirely new research design to look at what drivers are doing inside their cars.

We recruited commuters from all over the country and asked them to mount a GoPro camera in their cars. 12.gopro

We were sent everyone’s videos and then we had a team of trained coders break the information down on a second-by-second basis for:

  • What they were listening to
  • What kind of content they were consuming – news, talk, music, sports etc.
  • If they switched, when they switched, and what was playing when they switched

Our coders captured nearly 1800 switches – instances where people physically changed a station or from platform to platform.

We captured about 2,974 minutes of video and on average  people made about 18 switches during a commute, although there was an enormous range in behaviors.

In particular, those listening to AM/FM Radio made way more switches than those listening to other options, such as SiriusXM, or to CDs, or streaming audio, such as perhaps Pandora.  People made more than twice as many switches per commute when listening to radio – 22 – than when listening to other options which was 9.3 times per commute.

Now, most of the time, switches happened while music was playing.  After all, the majority of time listening to radio or anything else is spent listening to music.

However, we were able to drill down into the instances where content switched from music, talk, etc. to commercials.

Our coders recorded that in 24% of the cases when content switched to commercials, the commuter switched away within 15 seconds.  15.24%You’ll recall that in our survey, the same percentage self-reported this same behavior.  You’ll remember that 23% from before.  So it certainly seems that this is probably the case –  about one-quarter of commuters tune away from commercials as soon as they come on.





  • In-Car Audio is a dynamic space

The newer the car, the more options commuters have for listening to audio.  While those with older cars largely only have AM/FM Radio and perhaps a CD player – newer models have Satellite Radio and easy access to streamed audio and digital files.  And when people have more options – it is clear that they use more options.  While the automotive market turns over slowly – with each click of the dial it becomes a bit more complex and competitive.

  • Easy access to changes leads to lots of switching

By comparison to typical at-home or at-work listening environments, in the car consumers have the buttons right at their fingertips at most times.  This leads to many people switching regularly.  Fewer than one-in-three of our respondents mostly set their audio and enjoy it through their typical commutes.  A large majority switch around regularly; and one-in-five switch around almost compulsively.

  • Content providers need to think about a fast-twitch switching environment

If you are targeting the in-car environment, you have to think about how to keep people on your product.  If it’s music, it has to be the right song every time.  If it’s talk, it has to be compelling.  And in particular you have to think about how commercials fit in.  A certain percentage will tune away the moment a commercial comes on.  However, content providers who depend on advertising have to consider how to best get those commercials heard.  The content that wraps the commercials needs to make people want to stay, and of course the commercials need to be relevant and breaks simply can’t be too long in the in-car environment.

  • Advertisers and Marketers need to consider these findings

Like those Geico ads that are ‘over in five seconds’ before adding another ten of humorous nothingness, audio advertisers need to consider the trigger-fingers of listeners in an in-car environment.  Consider how to grab people’s attention in the first five seconds of a spot if you hope to limit tune-out within that spot.  And there should probably be more of a premium for first-in-the-pod position in a break, or more of a discount for spots as a break continues.  These elements might particularly be relevant for online alternatives, for instance Pandora which seldom plays two spots in a row but interrupts more times per hour than AM/FM does.  The knowledge that only one or two commercials is coming may reduce the quick-twitch tune-outs.

Over the last 15 years the interior of a car has transformed. Consumer behavior is transforming at the same time.  We at Edison look forward to continuing to track changes in the audio space as they happen.