The Infinite Dial 2016

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Half of Americans Listen to Online Radio Weekly; Podcast Consumption Surges

Powered in part by the ever-expanding proliferation of smartphones, digital audio behaviors such as listening to online radio and podcasts are achieving significant mass usage, according to the Infinite Dial 2016, the latest in a long-running series of studies on consumer adoption of digital media from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

The study, a nationally representative telephone survey performed to the highest research standards, finds that 50% of respondents age 12 and older listened to some sort of online radio in the last week, a rise from 44% last year. With 57% of Americans using online radio monthly, the conversion of monthly to weekly users is now 88%.

Infinite Dial 2016, released today, is the latest report in a series dating back to 1998 that uses the “gold standard” of survey research—a random probability telephone sample, comprising both cellphones and landlines, of all Americans ages 12 or 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:

  • Podcast Listening showed sharp gains on both a monthly basis (17% to 21%) and weekly (10% to 13%). Those who consume podcasts on a weekly basis listened to an average of five podcasts per week.
  • In-home Ownership of Over-The-Air Radio receivers has dropped, with 79% of respondents saying they have a radio at home. That number was 96% in 2008. Among 18-34-year-olds, that number is down from 94% to 68% over the same time period.
  • Pandora remains the most-known online audio brand with 82% awareness, followed by the retooled Apple Music (67%), iHeart Radio (65%) and Spotify (52%). For listening in the past week, Pandora (32%) has a large advantage over Spotify (13%), but Spotify has narrowed that gap over 2015. Among 12-to-24s, 43% listened to Pandora last month and 30% listened to Spotify.
  • Spotify also posted a gain as “Audio Brand Used Most Often,” up 10% to 14%, while Pandora, however, leads strongly with 48%.
  • Broadcast Radio is tied for the lead among all sources used for keeping up-to-date with new music. “AM/FM Radio” is used for that purpose by 68% of respondents, the same number that rely on “friends and family.” You Tube is next with 66%. Among 12-to-24s, however, broadcast radio falls to third (58%), behind You Tube (86%) and friends/family (74%). Smartphone Ownership has increased from 71% to 76% of all respondents. Among 12-24-year-olds, smartphone ownership rose to 93%, while even respondents age 55 and older cracked the “more than half” barrier, up 45 to 51%
  • On demand video-subscriptions are at 51% of the population; 43% of all respondents subscribe to Netflix.
  • Facebook remains the most-used social media brand among all-ages with 64%. But among 12-24s, it has been overtaken by Snapchat (72% to 68%) with Instagram close behind (66%).

“Media consumption is showing signs of being dramatically changed by both technology and by new paradigms,” noted Tom Webster, Edison’s Vice President of Strategy. “Mobile’s increasing utility as ‘the first screen,’ as well as the rise of alternative content forms, such as podcasts and ‘bingeable’ content from on-demand video services is subverting the myth that our attention spans are shorter.“

“The Infinite Dial remains an important yardstick for media consumption and the 2016 edition does not disappoint”, said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “As online radio joins smartphones and social media as truly mainstream, mass market activities, we are sure to see some interesting data emerge from this study.”

Watch the complete Infinite Dial 2016 presentation here:

The Infinite Dial 2016 from Tom Webster on Vimeo.

The complete Infinite Dial 2016 Study can be downloaded here:

The Infinite Dial 2016

 

How the study was conducted:

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.

 

About Edison Research:

Edison Research (http://www.edisonresearch.com) 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® (http://tritondigital.com) 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.

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