The Podcast Consumer 2017, the latest in an annual series of studies from Edison, will debut in a free webinar at 2PM on Tuesday, April 18th. Hosted by Edison VP of Strategy, Tom Webster, this 30-minute presentation will combine data from The Infinite Dial, Edison’s annual study of consumer habits presented in conjunction with Triton Digital, as well as new data from Edison’s Share of Ear® research.
Over the past couple of weeks since the publication of the 2017 Infinite Dial, one particular finding has prompted more questions from podcasters than any other: the data on listening location. When we asked people to name all the locations where they listen to podcasts, one location clearly stood out:
80% of podcast listeners said that “At Home” is one of the locations where they listen to podcasts. Not the only location. But the most commonly-named location. Furthermore, when we asked people to name the location where they listen most often to podcasts, “At Home” once again rose to the top of the list:
These data have been misinterpreted in a number of ways since we published The Infinite Dial 2017 just two weeks ago. First, I’ve seen it reported a number of times as “most podcasts are listened to at home,” which is not at all what it says and not necessarily true. We don’t survey podcasts; we survey humans. Most humans who listen to podcasts, tell us they listen to those podcasts at home, among other places. So this finding doesn’t speak to the percentage of podcasts or the amount of time spent listening to those podcasts in any way.
Most often, however, a number of podcast producers have challenged me in various fora about the amount of “mobile” listening they see in their own data. I’ve had someone with a podcast company say “At Home” can’t possibly be the most common location–after all, the vast majority of their podcasts are accessed by mobile devices (which, by the way, is a finding supported by our Infinite Dial data.) I’ve had others tell me that their listeners tell them that they listen in their cars, or on the go. Our research supports that, too. I’ve even had someone who produces a very popular podcast in a European capital city tell me that their podcast is almost exclusively consumed by “on the go” listeners. That’s probably true–and as we bring The Infinite Dial to other countries, we will no doubt see other results.
But for now, “At Home” listening is an important part of American podcast consumption. I’ve been a little surprised to see how many people have pushed back on this, to be honest, by citing their “mobile” numbers. There is no question that the mobile phone is the dominant device for podcast consumption. But a device is not a location. If you primarily listen to podcasts on your smartphone, that behavior is going to hold true whether you are on the bus, or on your couch. As my friend Mitch Joel is fond of saying, there is no “first” or “second” screen–there is only the screen in front of you. And for most of us, most of the time, that screen belongs to a smartphone equipped with a podcast listening client.
Certainly in-car listening is growing (19% of American drivers 18+ say they have listened to podcasts in their car, which is a pretty big number!) And we also shouldn’t be surprised to see “At Home” be larger than “At Work”–it would certainly be difficult for me to simultaneously do my job and engage with a lean-forward medium like a podcast! But for today, “At Home” listening–on a mobile device–remains the most often-cited listening location, and this should encourage podcast producers. After all, it is at home that any form of media has your full attention, and it is precisely that full attention that fosters engagement, loyalty, and (not unimportantly) recall of sponsors.
Podcasting Continues to Boom as Four in Ten Americans Tune In; Smart Speakers Make Their Debut
The 2017 Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital unveils the latest research around digital audio, social media, mobile, smart speakers, and podcast consumption
Podcasting continues to be a growth medium, as 40% of Americans 12+ say they have ever listened to a podcast, while 24% say they have listened to one in the past month, up from 21% one year ago. In addition, six in ten Americans are now familiar with the term “podcasting,” a number that has risen 22% in two years.
The 2017 Infinite Dial, the latest report in a series dating back to 1998 that covers consumer usage of media and technology, also introduces coverage of “Smart Speakers,” a category which includes voice-controlled devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Today, 63% of Americans 12+ are aware of at least one device in this category, while 7%, an estimated 20 million Americans, live in households that have at least one smart speaker.
The Infinite Dial study uses the “gold standard” of nationally representative survey research—a random probability telephone sample, comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of all Americans ages 12 and older. The study has become the report card on digital audio and other digital media, and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, Internet radio, ad agencies, and the financial community.
Among the many other highlights:
• Half of Americans 12+ now have access to a Netflix subscription
• The Weekly Online Radio audience is now 140 million Americans, or 53% of Americans 12+
• Time spent listening to online radio surges to an all-time high of 14:39 per week
• Pandora continues to lead in the online radio space—32% of Americans have listened in the past month—but Spotify is a strong second at 18%.
• Social Media usage is beginning to consolidate around a few platforms, with Twitter’s growth rate continuing to decline—especially 12-24
“With 7% of Americans 12+ now owning smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google home products, this represents an extraordinary opportunity for increased consumption of internet radio in the home,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “Content producers would be wise to pay close attention to this growing segment of the market.”
“The significant numbers we see for subscription products, such as Netflix and Spotify, as well as the continued growth for platforms that are relatively ‘advertising-light,’ such as Pandora and Podcasts, reflect a continued shift in the ability for advertisers to reach consumers with traditional, interruptive forms of advertising,” noted Tom Webster, Edison’s Vice President of Strategy. “Advertising models are going to have to adapt, and adapt quickly, to the American consumer’s increasing willingness to curate their own media mix and avoidance of traditional advertising messages.”
How the study was conducted:
A total of 2,000 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From 1/5/17 to 2/11/17, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling. Interviews were 51% landline phones and 49% mobile phones.
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, 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.
About Triton Digital:
Triton Digital® has connected audio supply to advertising demand since 2006, providing the technical backbone for the digital audio marketplace. The company’s innovative technology enables both live and on-demand publishers to build audience and revenue globally. As a pioneer in the space, Triton Digital has made that audience available programmatically for the first time, maximizing audience buying efficiency for advertisers across the world.
Americans’ familiarity with the term “podcasting” had been relatively flat for several years, with very little movement from 2009 until 2015. Last year, however, we observed the biggest jump in awareness since 2008-2009, and this year we again have recorded a significant jump. This year, 60% of all Americans ages 12+ are familiar with podcasting, up from 55% last year.
That means that, after six years of relatively static growth, awareness of podcasting has grown by 22% in just two years. We’ll be reporting on this–and other important strides for podcasting–in our upcoming Infinite Dial 2017 study, brought to you in partnership with Triton Digital. It is based on a representative sample of 2000 Americans age 12 and older, conducted via mobile phone and landline.
The Infinite Dial is the longest running study of consumer behaviors around media and technology in America. The full study will bring new revelations on streaming media, social media behaviors, and anxiously awaited new information on podcasting. The 2017 study will be unveiled via Webinar on March 9 at 2 p.m.
Registration for “The Infinite Dial” is free, but strictly limited to 1,000 and always fills up. Click here to register for the 2017 Infinite Dial.
Please save the date for the 2017 Edison Research/Triton Digital Infinite Dial webinar, which will take place on Thursday, March 9th, at 2 PM Eastern. The Infinite Dial, now in its 25th iteration, remains the longest running study of consumer behaviors around media and technology in America. This year, we will continue to measure a number of trends in media usage and consumption habits, particularly about streaming media, radio, mobile media consumption and social media behaviors, and we have expanded our podcasting section. Attendees will learn how the streaming audio landscape has changed, which social media platforms are growing, and how new technology is influencing media consumption. The webinar will be hosted by Tom Webster from Edison Research (that’s me!) and John Rosso, President, Market Development of Triton Digital.
Attendance is strictly limited to 1,000, and it will sell out–so sign up now, and get there early!