The Infinite Dial 2014

The Infinite Dial 2014, the latest in this long-running series of studies on consumer adoption of digital media, was released today (see below for download information.) This new national survey from Edison Research and Triton Digital found that the weekly audience for all forms of online radio* is now 36% of all Americans age 12 and older, or 94 million nationally.

The study, released today, is the 22nd in a series of studies dating back to 1998. Among the many other findings:

• More than six in ten (61%) now own a smartphone; that number increases to approximately eight in ten age 18-34.

• Internet-only audio services continue to grow, led by Pandora — now consumed by 31% monthly. iTunes Radio debuts in The Infinite Dial with 8% monthly usage.

• Growth in the adoption of the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter has slowed this year, compared with previous editions of The Infinite Dial. Facebook usage is flat compared to 2013, at 58%, while Twitter grew slightly from 15% to 16% year-over-year.

• Podcasting is on the rise, as weekly audio podcast consumption grew 25% year-over-year, from 12% in 2013 to 15% in 2014.

• In-car usage of online radio and other forms of digital audio continues to grow. In 2014, 26% of mobile phone users have connected devices to a vehicle, either physically or via Bluetooth, up from 21% in 2013.

• Snapchat is now one of the leading social networking services; 53% of mobile phone users are familiar with Snapchat, while 13% of Americans 12+ — and 46% of 12-24 year-olds — use the image sharing service.

“The continued penetration of smartphones in America is changing behavior significantly,” noted Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. “We are now seeing activities that were dominated by desktop usage in 2013, flip dramatically to become mobile behaviors. For millions of Americans, the smartphone has become ‘the first screen.’”

“The Internet of Things means audio in everything internet,” said Mike Agovino, COO, Triton Digital. “Scaling connectivity across a plethora of devices is enabling tremendous growth in online radio consumption. Listening levels have reached significant proportions across all demographic groups, and this year’s Infinite Dial study illustrates a definitive upward trajectory.”

Download The Infinite Dial 2014 from Edison Research and Triton Digital here.

The Infinite Dial 2014 from Tom Webster on Vimeo.

How the Study was Conducted

A total of 2,023 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 13 to February 12, 2014, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling. The study includes a total of 808 cell phone interviews.

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.

About Triton Digital:
Triton Digital® is a mid-stage technology company focused on the digital audio industry. More leading publishers – including CBS, Pandora, Entercom and Slacker – use the Triton platform to enrich their content and deliver it to a global audience than that of any other company. Triton’s Webcast Metrics product is the MRC-accredited industry standard in digital audio measurement. Its Ad Injector technology delivers billions of impressions to millions of streams each month. Its ad exchange, a2x, is the only programmatic audience buying platform for audio and has broad adoption across both publishers and agencies. Triton Digital creates meaningful, amplified connections between audio, audience, and advertisers.

* Online Radio = Listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the Internet.

7 replies
  1. Paul Plack
    Paul Plack says:

    Guys, I spent 30 years in broadcast radio and have now produced over 3000 podcast episodes, so I found this an interesting study and presentation. I would like to challenge two assumptions stated or implied during the webinar:

    (1) Slower adoption of online radio by 55+ may be less related to tech skills than it is to targeted content and promotion. Relevant content and promotion through channels reaching seniors efficiently could develop a profitable niche.

    (2) Perceptions that audio quality is better on the internet than AM/FM may be driven by broadcast radio’s multipath, adjacent channel, fading and audio processing distortions, as well as production techniques which are typically less aggressive and more “open” on the internet. I doubt it’s just a headphone thing. The legacy of the 1960s radio loudness wars is fatiguing production techniques, and it may be time to take the impact on TSL more seriously.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking study! – Paul “Warren” Plack

    Reply
    • Tom Webster
      Tom Webster says:

      Thanks, Paul! On #1, that’s certainly another plausible explanation–I don’t think we showed any data one way or the other there. And on #2–you could very well be right. I’m out of my depth there as far as broadcast engineering goes :) Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
    • Tom Webster
      Tom Webster says:

      “One definition of Podcasting is downloading various types of online audio and video programs or shows, in the form of digital files you can listen to or view at any time you choose. Some examples of Podcasting might include a talk show or a hosted music program. Podcasting does NOT refer to the downloading of individual MP3s or songs or movies. “

      Reply
  2. Kary Delaria
    Kary Delaria says:

    That people were more likely to have a G+ was more likely (albeit slightly) than Twitter is a bit surprising to me. I sometimes wonder, do respondents truly know what a “G+ Profile” really is? And/or, maybe this increase can be attributed to Google’s forcing of the profile on gmail users?

    Great data, as always.

    Reply

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