Closing the Gap Between Podcast Awareness and Listening — RadioDays Europe 2018

Tom Webster, Senior VP at Edison Research, was scheduled to speak at Radiodays Europe Podcast Day in Cophenhagen, Denmark, earlier this week. Unfortunately, the best-laid travel plans were not enough to get Tom past the travel hurdles and to the conference. Fortunately, we have a video of Tom’s presentation on podcasting that was viewed at Radiodays Europe Podcast Day 2018.

Highlights: Sixty-four percent of the U.S. is familiar with the term “podcasting,” whether or not they truly understand what podcasting is or why they would want to listen to a podcast.

Only 26% of those in the U.S. say they have actually listened to a podcast in the last month, and 17% in the past week. The numbers for Canada and Australia show similarly low ratios.

Tom identifies four areas that can close the gap between a high awareness and a low listening level, and #3 and #4 are within your control:

  1. Expansion of podcasting space beyond iPhone/Apple-centric models to include Android users
  2. Increased adoption of podcasting by major music streaming platforms
  3. Create content for more mass appeal
  4. Teach people what a podcast is, how to get it, and why they want it

 

 

 

 

Fixing Podcasting’s Music Problem

When I speak to audiences of podcasters, I often joke that if you feature licensed music on your podcast, a lawyer will shoot you in the face. Well, this week I got to speak in front of a room full of the people that ordered the hit: music industry executives. I was given the honor of keynoting the Podcasting Track at this year’s MusicBiz 2018 in Nashville. Given how little these two universes intersect in practice, I felt like I was giving a keynote extolling the virtues of beef to VeganCon 2018.

Now, there have always been music podcasts; they’re just difficult. I started listening to music podcasts all the way back in 2005, with Brian Ibbott’s Coverville and my friend Chris McDonald’s Indiefeed . In their cases, they had to individually clear the rights of every song. Today, there are some very popular music podcasts–but they often come directly from labels or artists who can successfully clear and/or monetize licensed music. I listen to Group Therapy and Anjunadeep Editions every single week, which are shows produced by the labels that own much of the music featured. Music podcasts could and should be successful–-according to Edison’s quarterly Share of Ear® research, we spend 77% of our time listening to music, and 23% to spoken word audio. But there is no clear path for the average podcast producer to include licensed music on podcasts.

There is still a lot of confusion out there amongst podcasters about using licensed music. Nearly every day in the various Facebook podcasting groups I belong to, I see someone claiming that it’s OK to include that Imagine Dragons song in their show, because it’s “fair use.” Fair Use is a legal term, not a general sense of fairness, and let me tell you–there is almost NOTHING you can think of in terms of podcasting licensed music that is considered Fair Use. For clarity on these matters, I always rely on the sound legal judgement of my friend David Oxenford, who summarizes the main issues succinctly here. TL;DR–see “Face, Shooting in the.”

Here’s the thing: back when podcasting was a Rube Goldbergian system of pulleys and gears to download a file and sync it with your Shuffle, podcasting music was essentially like printing your own CD’s–which means paying every royalty you could think of. But things have changed, both in music and in podcasting. Spotify Mobile lets you cache songs, which is functionally like downloading them, since you can “keep” them as long as you are a subscriber. More importantly, Both Spotify and Pandora are ramping up their podcast content, and Spotify is already claiming a spot as one of the leading podcast clients after the Apple ecosystem. There’s nothing “downloaded” about a podcast from Pandora and Spotify–it’s functionally streamed, just like the music. There’s not much that makes a show on these streaming services a “podcast” other than saying it is a podcast. Tech has changed, and with it so has the relevance of some of the various rights and licenses surrounding the performance of music.

Given those changes, it’s time for the music industry to change, too. With a simple, blanket license for podcasting that isn’t too onerous, the labels could print free money. If that isn’t impetus enough, consider the stat I posted earlier that we spend 77% of our time listening to music, and 23% spoken word. If the streaming services become more and more important to the podcasting space (and I believe they will), that means the labels will theoretically take a 23% haircut from the royalties the streaming services pay them, as some of the time formerly spent listening to licensed music shifts to podcasts. And that is if we believe that 77/23 is static. In four years, Podcasting has doubled its Share of Ear from 2% of all audio consumed to 4%. That is remarkable growth. To date, that growth has come from a shifting of the spoken word pie, but it’s not hard to see time spent with podcasts encroaching on music as well.

What all of this means is that figuring out a simple way to license music for podcasts is a win-win for everyone involved. Lowering the barriers here will result in more music, more royalties, and better podcasts! I can tell you from experience–doing a music podcast without actually being able to play music is like ordering the tasting menu at Gotham and spending the rest of the night having the dishes described to you in detail but not actually served.

And for my fellow podcasters, you want this to happen. Being legally impaired against frictionless use of music in podcasts locks you out of the earbuds of millions of Americans. Fix this, and watch podcasting explode. I was encouraged by the reception I got at MusicBiz on the topic. Let’s find a way in the next few years to stop the shootings.

radio

Heavy Radio Listeners: New Insights from The Infinite Dial

As broadcasters look to smart speakers to increase AM/FM radio listening at home, a new study shows that one-fifth of broadcast radio’s biggest users already own such a device. That’s just one finding from “The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listeners,” released today by Edison Research. The data is derived from The Infinite Dial 2018 study, which is conducted in partnership with Triton Digital.

This report looks at the 30% of the American population ages 12 and over who are “Heavy Radio Listeners” – defined as those who listened to more than one hour of radio in the last day. This new data on the Heavy Radio Listener from The Infinite Dial allows everyone to understand not just what other kinds of audio and media people are using, but how Heavy Radio Listeners compare to the population at large.

New insights from this report include:

  • Almost 18% of Heavy Radio Listeners do not have a radio receiver in their home, meaning they achieved “heavy” status primarily through in-car or at-work listening.
  • Twenty percent of Heavy Radio Listeners have Smart Speakers in their homes. Those devices may allow for more at-home listening over time, but can also make it easier to use competing audio services.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Heavy Radio Listeners listen to audio online, with large numbers choosing YouTube, Pandora, and the streams of AM and FM radio stations.
  • The qualitative profile of the Heavy Radio Listener is strong and shows a group that is employed and well-educated.
  • Over 1 in 6 Heavy Radio Listeners say they have listened to a podcast in the last week.

In keeping with findings from past Edison Research studies, radio’s best customers are heavy users of all audio—they listen heavily to broadcast radio, but do not limit themselves to it, something which has implications for future smart-speaker behavior.

Click here to download The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listener Report.

 

About The Infinite Dial:
A total of 2,000 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 4th through February 11th, 2018, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling through both landline phones and mobile phones. The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listener Report considers “Heavy Radio Listeners” to be those who listened to more than one hour of radio in the past day.

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. 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® is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry.  Operating in more than 40 countries, Triton Digital provides innovative technology that enables broadcasters, podcasters, and online music services to build their audience, maximize their revenue, and streamline their day-to-day operations. In addition, Triton Digital powers the global online audio industry with Webcast Metrics®, the leading online audio measurement service, that makes it easy for advertisers and brands to determine the best destination and time to reach their target audiences. Through unparalleled integrity, excellence, teamwork, and accountability, Triton Digital remains committed to connecting audio, audience, and advertisers to continuously fuel the growth of the global online industry.

Edison VP Megan Lazovick honored as one of the “Top Women in Digital 2018”

Edison Research is proud to announce that VP Megan Lazovick has been named one of Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital for 2018 in the “Rising Star” category. The Cynopsis award recognizes the most influential women in digital, marketing, advertising, social media and online content.

If you have any questions about understanding consumer behaviors in the digital realm, Megan is the person to ask. She has worked successfully on behalf of many of the biggest brands in the space. It is a testament to her combination of inventiveness and curiosity.

Her observations on consumer attitudes and behavior helped to shape custom research studies that have been widely publicized and cited in the media industry, such as Edison’s Share of Ear and The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research.

Please join us in congratulating our “Rising Star” Megan (@meg_laz) on this accomplishment!

 

Podcast Movement 2017

Podcast Movement 2017

Edison Research President, Larry Rosin, and VP of Strategy, Tom Webster, presented the keynote at Podcast Movement 2017: “Share of Speech: Podcasting’s Place in the World of Spoken-Word Audio,” today in Anaheim, CA, with data taken from Edison’s Shareof Ear® series. Contact us for more information.