Music Radio’s Golden Kingdom

Edison Research President Larry Rosin takes a look at current format trends in U.S. radio, and the state of CHR in particular, in Radio Ink:

“If one were to put the ‘bundle’ of radio formats that depend on new, hit music together, in the fashion of a mutual fund, it would have performed disastrously over the last decade. It is not an exaggeration to say that ‘contemporary music’ is in a crisis at American radio, and if this trend cannot be reversed, or at least halted, there may be vast implications.” Data is from Nielsen Audio.

Click here to read the full article on Radio

Larry previously wrote about the decrease in CHR shares in the column Contracting Hit Radio on the Edison Research blog in December 2020.

Edison Research Published Studies of 2021

The past year saw exciting projects and additions at Edison Research, and we always enjoy reflecting on our published studies at year’s end. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our Edison Research team members and the support of our amazing research partners, 2021 has yielded many significant findings.

2021 saw us recap exit poll results from the 2020 U.S. presidential election, implement ongoing measurement of social media users in the U.S., rank the most listened-to podcasts in the U.S.,  debut The Infinite Dial in the UK, and debut studies on multicultural podcast listeners while continuing many other established studies.

We genuinely hope our enthusiasm for and love of research is evident in this year’s body of work, and that you will benefit from the findings.

The Top 10 Findings of 2021 from Edison Research

As we reflect on the research we have done in 2021, we are grateful to have been able to complete many projects throughout the year. Thanks to our research partners and everyone on the Edison Research Team who made this work possible We shared our findings through webinars and in-person presentations, and now we highlight some of our top findings from 2021. 

The points below are not in the order of importance, but they are in the order that best tells the stories of the year.  

10. The Republican candidate for Governor in Virginia was vastly more popular with Independents, and that made all the difference.
Source: Election Exit Polls

9. Social media users of differing political ideologies believed the allegations brought against Facebook by whistleblower Frances Haugen. Could the concern around the impact of social media be something that supersedes politics?
Source: The Social Habit

8. The most engaged listeners are the most receptive to advertising messages.
Sources : Radio Live on Air and Everywhere with NPR and Edison Research and The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research

7. Eighty-nine percent of recent and prospective auto buyers in the U.S. say a broadcast radio tuner should be standard equipment in every car.
Source: The WorldDAB, Radioplayer, NAB, Commercial Radio Australia, Xperi

6. The number of Americans age 13+ who have a paid audio subscription has more than doubled since 2015, from 23% to 48%.
Source: Share of Ear

5. Moms in America are much more likely to own a smart speaker than the average person in the U.S.
Source: Moms and Media

4. Podcasting continues a growth trend as consumption in other countries catches up to the U.S.
Source: The Infinite Dial

3. Podcasts need male and female fans to make it to the top of the charts.
Source: Podcast Consumer Tracker

2. Black podcast listeners have strong connections with podcasts – they would listen to more podcasts if there were more Black hosts, and they are likely to interact with a brand if it is advertised on a podcast with a Black host.
Source: The Black Podcast Listener Report

1. Thirty-six percent of U.S. Latinos age 18+ (16 million people) have listened to a podcast in the last month, which is a 44% increase over 2020.
Source: The Latino Podcast Listener Report 2021

But wait there’s more. We have a bonus point because our Top 10 list goes to 11:

Bonus point: Video continues to become a bigger part of audio discovery and consumption, including listening to podcasts.
Sources: The Infinite Dial from Edison Research and Triton Digital, Black Podcast Listener Report, Podcast Consumer Tracker


Super Listeners — Save the Date

Third Annual Super Listeners Study to be presented January 2022

The third annual Super Listeners study will now debut in January 2022. We wanted to inform you that, unfortunately, due to an unavoidable conflict with one of the presenters, we are going to have to postpone the webinar.

We will now be presenting the study in January, with the exact date to follow soon. Registrations will automatically be transferred to the new date and you will be sent login information prior to the new date. We are looking forward to presenting the new podcast Super Listeners findings next month! Registration info is forthcoming for those who have not yet signed up.

Contact us at with any questions.

“Super Listeners” listen to five or more hours of podcasts weekly and are the people most likely to hear podcasting ads, and to have an opinion about them. 

Attendees will be walked through an exclusive look at those who spend the most time listening to podcasts, their attitudes towards podcast advertising, and how they view podcasting in the greater media landscape. 

This year’s in-depth analysis of podcast super listeners further explores the perceptions of podcast advertising with specific insights on the following:  

  • How super listeners feel about the number of ads in podcasts and the length of ad breaks
    • Attitudes about host-read ads v. pre-recorded ads v. sponsorships
    • How podcast advertising affects intent to purchase and other brand fit measures
    • Ad-skipping behavior 

…and many more insights from this annual study of podcasting’s best customers.