Edison Research Published Studies 2020

It is customary at year’s end to reflect a bit on the work that was accomplished in the prior twelve months. This year we are grateful to be able to look back at the studies that we conducted, and recognize that through the dedication of our Edison Research team and our research partners Ad Results Media, Adonde Media, Lantigua Williams and Co., Libsyn, Marketplace, NPR, Pandora, PodcastOne, and Triton Digital, we were able to produce many valuable research insights in spite of the challenges of 2020.

This year’s findings shed light on audio, podcasts, economic anxiety in America, and of course the ubiquitous impact of COVID-19. Our biggest project of the year was by far the 2020 election, as we conducted the exit poll of record for the National Election Pool (NEP) comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC, which meant we interviewed over 100,000 voters for the general election. As of this writing, exit poll work continues with the runoff Senate elections in the state of Georgia.

So thank you all for your support during the past year, and we hope you enjoy perusing these research projects from 2020.

Latino Podcast Listener Report in English:

Latino Podcast Listener Report in Spanish:

Edison Research’s 10 for ’20

Welcome to Edison Research’s 10 for ’20. It’s like a Top 10 List for 2020, but better — because we know 2020 doesn’t warrant a standard Top 10 List.

Despite the circumstances of quarantine, we were fortunate enough to continue to do market research projects and talk to thousands of people about their audio habits, their views on the economy, and their voting choices as well. We had to revise some of our research methods, particularly when it came to the work of exit polls, and we had to embrace working remotely, but we have 2021 in the sights, so we are thrilled to bring you these findings.

The three defining news stories of 2020 were the global pandemic from Covid-19, the U.S. presidential election, and a time of racial awakening and reckoning across the country. Those three wound their way through all of our research this year, which is one of the reasons our 10 for ‘20 list is impossible to present in rank order.

Here are our biggest findings from 2020, presented by various members of our Edison Research team, in an order that tells the story of this momentous year. Below each finding you will find links to the cited studies that you can explore for more information.

U.S. audio consumption changed as a result of COVID-19
Source: Share of Ear Listening Location, Share of Ear Audio Day Starts Later
Listening location changed dramatically in second quarter with 70% of total listening taking place at home, down from 49% pre-quarantine.Third quarter saw some listening shift away from home, with 59% of total listening taking place at home. Americans’ audio day started later as quarantine restrictions began. Before the pandemic, half of all respondents in Share of Ear had recorded some type of audio consumption by 7:15. During the quarantine restrictions of second quarter, that time shifted forward by 75 minutes so that half of respondents had recorded some type of audio consumption by 8:30. In third quarter, that time had only bounced back to 8:15am.

100 Million Americans listen to Podcasts Monthly
Source: The Infinite Dial 2020 with Triton Digital
While we still haven’t hit ‘peak’, this is the year where podcasting hit over 100 million monthly listeners. After years of single-digit growth, that’s more than a 40% increase in a two year period. Compared to the explosive growth of monthly podcast listening in the last five years from 21% of the US population in 2016 to 37% in 2020, monthly Twitter usage has essentially stayed the same 17% of the US population in 2016 and 17% in 2020. That means today, well over twice as many people listen to a podcast every month than use Twitter monthly.

25% of U.S. Latinos Listen to Podcasts Monthly; many are new to the medium
Source:The Latino Podcast Listener Report with Adonde Media, Lantigua Williams and Company, Libsyn, NPR, and Pandora
Listenership among Latinos is poised to grow as their awareness of the medium increases, and this growth may have already started. Over half of Latino podcast listeners started listening just within the last year. There are big differences between Language Dominant groups, with Spanish-language dominant listeners being more likely to have come to the medium within the last six months. Latinos have significantly been contributing to the expansion of podcasting already. The industry will have a better chance at maintaining this momentum if they take time to understand this group.

Spoken Word’s share of audio listening increased 30% over the past six years, 8% in the last year; growth driven by women, African-Americans, Latinos and 13-34-year-olds
Source: The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research
2020 was a good year for Spoken Word audio, including sports talk and play-by-play, talk and personality audio programming, and audiobooks. The share of time spent listening to spoken word audio in the U.S. increased by 30% in the past six years, and 8% in the just the last year. The highest levels of growth are coming from women, African-Americans, Latinos and 13-34-year-olds. In addition to the convenience and multitasking benefits of spoken word audio, listeners tuned in for personal growth, better content, and the positive effects on mental health.

55% of Gen Z listeners are reached by AM/FM radio every day
Source: Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listenership with Front Row Insights and Strategy
Our study shows that 55% of all Gen Zs listen to AM/FM radio each day, so they recorded at least some radio listening into their Share of Ear diary. This just surpasses our estimate for streaming. In an environment where radio people are constantly hearing that no young people listen to the radio anymore, this is powerful proof that it is not the case. More than half said they listen every day. Of the time spent listening to all audio among 13-24 year-olds, 22% of it goes to AM/FM radio.

60 million Americans now own a smart speaker, and usage increased during quarantine
Source: The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research
Twenty-four percent of people in the U.S own at least one smart speaker – around 60 million people. Over one-third of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak – and younger Americans, those 18-34-year-olds, are even more likely to turn to the device for a diversion – a little over half – or 52% — of young Americans said they are using smart speaker for music and entertainment since the pandemic started.

Over half of U.S. Moms agree they are spending a lot time helping their children with distance learning; Moms much more likely to be the primary person responsible for helping
Source: Source: Moms and Media 2020, Marketplace-Edison Research Poll

Fifty-four percent of moms agree they are spending a lot of time helping their kids with distance learning during COVID-19). Moms with school age children who are remote learning are much more likely to be responsible for helping their children with school. Sixty-three percent of moms said they are primarily responsible for helping their children with online learning, compared to 29% of dads who said the same. Nearly half of those moms (48%) agreed that online school was overwhelming. (Marketplace-Edison Research Poll) 30% of moms reported cutting back on work hours in order to help their children with schooling.

More than half of Americans don’t see America as the land of equal opportunity
Source: Marketplace-Edison Research Poll
Forty-eight percent of Americans said that generally speaking, Black workers are typically paid less than white workers doing the same job.” Breaking this down by race – more than three-quarters of Black Americans say this is the case. What is also really striking is that 41% of white Americans and about 48% of Hispanic or Latino Americans say this is the case.
In the same vein, six in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation.

COVID-19 changed how we vote
Source: Edison Research Election Polling
During this 2020 General election more people voted prior to election day either by mail or early in person than ever before (at least 100 million). The exit polls and raw vote count showed clear differences in candidate preference according to the method by which an individual chose to vote. Among those who voted by mail (about 43% of voters), Biden won the group by 31 points – 65-34. Those who voted early in person (about 24% voters), split their vote evenly between Biden and Trump. Finally,voters who voted in person on election day, (about 33% of voters), voted for Trump 59-39.

Voter turnout was up by more than 21.5 million people, many of whom voted for the first time
Source: Edison Research Election Polling
The biggest story of this election is the enormous increase in turnout. In 2016 the US had about 137 million voters which was a turnout record itself. For the 2020 General election, turnout will end up at about 158.5 million voters, an increase of about 21.5 million voters. A significant portion of this turnout increase were the 14% of voters who said they voted for the first time this year (whether it be during the primary of general). Of those 2020 first time voters, the exit poll shows they voted for Biden 64 to 32.A final aspect of this high turnout electorate to acknowledge is that it featured a noticeably lower percentage of third party presidential votes than in 2016. In 2016 about 6% of voters voted third party, while this year less than 2% went to a non-Democrat or Republican choice for president.

CHR – Contracting Hit Radio

So much of radio’s self-image revolves around what we radio people know as CHR and what most listeners might call “Top 40.” Those stations that likely use “[City]’s #1 Hit Music Station” as a slogan. Those brands so many grew up with and still look to as leaders – the Kisses, Hots, Powers, Bs, Zs and Channels that populate the format.

And yet, according to Nielsen’s ratings, over the last few years, CHR’s ratings are consistently, and increasingly, fading away.

The nearby graph shows CHR’s total week shares in Nielsen’s PPM markets for each year – January through November (to avoid the Christmas distortions). As you can see, among all listeners (age six and older) the format’s share of radio listening has stepped down steadily in each year since a modern peak in 2014. The drop from 2016’s 8.1% to this year’s 5.5% represents a rather precipitous 32% decline in just four years.

In 2016, CHR was the second-most listened to format, behind only News/Talk. With this year’s tally complete, CHR now ranks tied for fourth, having fallen behind Adult Contemporary and Country.

You might be thinking to yourself – “Is this just a function of young people listening to less radio? Thus making CHR shares harder to attain?” While 18-34 broadcast radio usage is down, CHR’s purchase on that audience is down as well. The second graph shows the same trend but among 18-34s. Shares to CHR are down 30% among this group. CHR has been the highest ranking format among 18-34s in each year since PPM came along, but the gap is dwindling – now less than one point ahead of second-place Country.

And you can cross off two other possible hypotheses:

• Are there simply fewer CHR stations?
o No. Per Nielsen, the number of stations they track in the format is essentially flat.
• Is the listening being lost to other near-neighbor formats?
o No. Rhythmic CHR is also at a record low. Hot AC is at a record low and dramatically tapering off from a 2015 peak. Not-as-near Alternative is at a record low, despite a number of stations switching into the format. Country is at its low 6+ and just above that level 18-34. Urban, Spanish Hits and Active Rock all are essentially flat.

At the same time, the reach, or ‘cume audience’ to many of these stations remains robust. As an example, look at New York, where Z100 currently sits in seventh place in share, but second in cume. Or to find a more extreme case, Chicago, where WBBM-FM (B96) is 19th in share but ranks fifth in cume.

Clearly, something is happening with contemporary music radio across the board. Perhaps there is simply a dearth of compelling current music to play across all contemporary formats – and CHR is just a few hit songs away from changing the trajectory. Maybe the ultra-high spin rates employed by most contemporary stations, but especially CHRs, has caught up to the listeners, creating a high-cume/low TSL vortex. But it seems far likelier that the issues are more fundamental.

The biggest clue to what might be happening comes when one considers this: Among 18-34s, both Classic Hits and Classic Rock are at record high shares. This could be a statement about ‘current’ music and its relative quality. However it seems more likely a factor of who is spending more time listening to radio versus less. Those interested in the newest music are likely scratching that itch more effectively with other, non-radio options – leaving behind bigger shares for those who want to mostly listen to older, ‘classic’ music. Understanding this phenomenon is the first key to figuring out a new way to engage with radio’s competition for those younger listeners.

Super Listeners 2020

EDISON RESEARCH, PODCAST ONE, AND AD RESULTS MEDIA partner to uncover beliefs of the podcast industry’s best customers

Click here to download Super Listeners 2020

According to the latest Super Listeners Study, podcast “Super Listeners,” Americans 18+ who listen to five or more hours of podcasts weekly, see podcasts as the best way to reach them despite a perceived increase in ads. Edison Research, the global authority in audio research, along with Ad Results Media, an audio industry leader in branded personality-driven advertising, and PodcastOne, a subsidiary of LiveXLive (NASDAQ: LIVX), the leading podcast network, announced today the results of the second-annual study on podcasting’s “Super Listeners.”

Advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach Super Listeners. Almost half, 49 percent, of podcast Super Listeners agree that “Advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach you.” This finding was up from 37 percent in 2019 – the biggest mover in the survey. Podcast Super Listeners are exposed to the most amount of podcast advertising and provide invaluable insight as to how ads are perceived in podcasts.

Over half, 54 percent, of Super Listeners, said that hearing an ad on a podcast (compared to other places) makes them more likely to purchase a product, up from 46 percent from last year.

Super Listeners are noticing an increase in the number of commercials and ad breaks. Fifty-six percent of podcast Super Listeners believe that the number of ads in podcasts are going up, compared with 49 percent who said the same thing last year. The study also found an increase in those who believe there are “too many” ads in podcasts, 38 percent of respondents felt this way, compared with 24 percent last year. In addition, 41 percent of podcast Super Listeners believe that ad breaks are getting longer, compared to 35 percent last year. Self-reported ad-skipping behavior, however, did not increase substantially.

While quantity and length of ad breaks increase, the positive impact of podcast advertising continues to rise year-over-year. Testament to the positive impact of podcast advertising is seen in the percentage increase of Super Listeners that agree with the following statements:

“Your opinion of a company is more positive when you hear it mentioned on one of the podcasts you regularly listen to” increased from 44 percent in 2019 to 49 percent in 2020.

“When price and quality are equal, you prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor the podcasts you regularly listen to” increased from 43 percent in 2019 to 46 percent in 2020.

“You pay more attention to advertising on podcasts than on other forms of media” increased to from 44 percent in 2019 to 48 percent in 2020.

Host-read ads provide tremendous value. Thirty-three percent of Super Listeners say they pay more attention to host-read ads than other types of ads in podcasts.

Super Listeners are consuming more podcast content than ever before. In last year’s survey, Super Listeners reported consuming an average of 9.8 hours of podcasts per week, this year the average increased to 10.5 hours per week.

“We are so pleased that Ad Results Media and PodcastOne have partnered with Edison Research to continue our Super Listeners Research Series,” said Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research. “With the quantity of podcast advertising increasing, and the character of those ads changing, it is imperative to take the temperature of podcasting’s best customers regularly. Super Listeners 2020 very clearly shows that while podcasting continues to enjoy advantages as an advertising platform, listeners are noticing more ads and longer ad breaks.”

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, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major U.S. presidential primary and general election.

About Ad Results Media
ARM is a trailblazer in the audio industry, leading in branded spoken-word advertising: the most authentic, memorable and mutually beneficial format for growth. With more than 20 years of experience, ARM effectively connects audiences with brand messages, delivering richer and more meaningful ROI in the form of reach, relevance and resonance. The company, with offices in Houston, Austin and San Diego, is a leading purchaser of audio influencer ads globally and leverages its strong relationships within the industry to connect brands with the world’s most high-profile news, sports and entertainment creators. Follow their journey on social @adresultsmedia as they amplify the sound of success.

About PodcastOne
PodcastOne is a leading advertiser-supported podcast company, offering a 360-degree solution for both content creators and advertisers, including content development, brand integration and distribution. Acquired by LiveXLive Media in 2020, the two entities have subsequently teamed to create a new video podcast (Vodcast) network under the LiveXLive umbrella. Amassing more than 2.8 billion downloads annually, the network produces 400+ episodes weekly across a stable of hundreds of top podcast programs, including influencer talent like Adam Carolla, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Austin, Erin Brockovich, Amanda Cerney & Jacqueline Fernandez, , Tip “T.I.” Harris, Armando “Pitbull” Perez, Jordan Harbinger, Heather Dubrow, The LadyGang, Dr. Drew, Chael Sonnen and hundreds more. Its shows are distributed across its own platform as well as LiveXLive’s owned-and-operated channels on mobile, mobile web, desktop and SmartTV’s. PodcastOne is the brainchild of Radio Hall of Famer, Norm Pattiz, also the founder of Network Radio-giant, Westwood One.

Forward-Looking Statements
All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are “forward-looking statements,” which may often, but not always, be identified by the use of such words as “may,” “might,” “will,” “will likely result,” “would,” “should,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “continue,” “target” or the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including: the Company’s reliance on one key customer for a substantial percentage of its revenue; the Company’s ability to consummate any proposed financing or acquisition and the timing of the closing of such proposed transactions, including the risks that a condition to closing would not be satisfied within the expected timeframe or at all or that the closing of any proposed transaction will not occur; the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern; the Company’s ability to attract, maintain and increase the number of its users and paid subscribers; the Company identifying, acquiring, securing and developing content; the Company’s ability to maintain compliance with certain financial and other covenants; the Company successfully implementing its growth strategy, including relating to its technology platforms and applications; management’s relationships with industry stakeholders; the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic; changes in economic conditions; competition; risks and uncertainties applicable to the businesses of the Company’s subsidiaries; and other risks, uncertainties and factors including, but not limited to, those described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on June 26, 2020, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September June 30, 2020, filed with the SEC on November 16, 2020, and in the Company’s other filings and submissions with the SEC. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any obligations to update these statements, except as may be required by law. The Company intends that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

LiveXLive Press Contact:
The Rose Group

LiveXLive IR Contact:

Media Contact:
Cassie McCormick

The Infinite Dial 2020

Monthly Podcast Listening Now at 37%  

The Click here to download The Infinite Dial® 2020 U.S. from Edison Research and Triton Digital

Scroll down to view The Infinite Dial® 2020 webinar.

More than one-third of Americans age 12 and over (104 Million) are consuming podcasts regularly, up significantly from 2019, according to The Infinite Dial 2020® from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Podcasting awareness and consumption in the U.S. continue to rise, according to the most recent information from the Infinite Dial 2020® from Edison Research and Triton Digital. Seventy-five percent of Americans age 12+ (approximately 212 million peopleare now familiar with podcasting, up from 70% in 2019, and 37% (104 million) listen monthly, up from 32% in 2019. This continues the growth trend that The Infinite Dial® has measured since 2009.

Podcasts now reach over 100 million Americans every month,” said Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research, “and are attracting an increasingly diverse audience. Also, with 62% of Americans now saying they have used some kind of voice assistance technology, audio is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives.”

In addition, the Infinite Dial® also found that 62% of those in the U.S. age 12+ use voice-operated assistants, and 45% of those in the U.S. age 12+ have listened to audio in a car through a cell phone. This year’s study also continues the legacy of measuring developing technologies, with the finding that 18% of Americans age 18+ own a car with an in-dash information and entertainment system.  

“We are proud to once again unveil the latest insights and trends around media usage and consumption in the U.S.,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.  “The study findings provide Advertisers and the industry at large with valuable insight into the ongoing evolution of devices, content, and formats that Americans use to consume news and entertainment.” 

Other findings include: 

  • Growth in smart speaker ownership as a result of multiple devices in households. In 2020, smart speaker households owned an average of 2.2 of the devices, up from an average of 1.7 just two years ago.  
  • Fully thirty-nine percent of men and 36% of women age 12+ in the U.S. are monthly podcast listeners, which is more balanced than the 36% of men and 29% of women who were monthly listeners in the 2019 study. 
  • Thirty-two percent of those in the U.S. age 12-34 use Facebook most often, down from 58% five years ago. Twenty-seven percent of those in the U.S. age 12-34 use Instagram most often, up from 15% five years ago.  

The Infinite Dial® 2020 marks the latest report in a series dating back 22 years, covering consumer usage of media and technology while also tracking new mediums as they develop. This current report provides the most up-to-date research in the U.S. digital audio and podcast consumption, in addition to mobile, smart speaker, and social media usage. 

The Infinite Dial® study uses the gold standard of nationally representative survey research—a random probability telephone sample comprised of both mobile phones and landlines— of all Americans ages 12 and older. Findings from the Infinite Dial have become the barometer on digital audio and other digital media consumption, and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, podcasters, online radio publishers, ad agencies, and the financial community.  

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Apple, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, Spotify, Stitcher/Midroll, ESPN, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.