Radio Listener Profiles: An Infinite Dial Report

Radio listeners in the U.S. can’t be characterized as a monolith as each format has listeners with different audio behaviors. New, format-specific findings on radio listeners were released today in the webinar “Radio Format Profiles: An Infinite Dial® Study” presented by Laura Ivey, Director of Research at Edison Research.

Data from The Infinite Dial®, an annual study on digital consumer behaviors from Edison Research and  Triton Digital® were used to explore eleven of the top radio formats in the U.S.

Click here to download the Radio Listener Profiles: The Infinite Dial 

The report focused on weekly AM/FM radio listeners who reported listening most often to a radio station that mostly plays one of the following formats:Alternative Rock, Classic Hits, Classic Rock, Contemporary Christian, Country, Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop/Rap, News/Talk, R&B, Sports, and Top 40. Although radio formats are often classified just by the age and sex of listeners, not all audio and audio device behaviors can be tracked along these lines.

Following are some key findings about those who listen most to these radio formats, also known as P1 Listeners:

Radio continues to have a hardware challenge, particularly with younger-leaning formats
Eleven formats were indexed against the market average for owning a traditional radio receiver in their home. Formats whose P1 listeners are more likely to own an in-home radio include Classic Hits, Classic Rock, Country, Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, News/Talk, and Sports. Formats less likely to own an in-home radio include Alternative Rock, Contemporary Christian, and the two formats that index the lowest for in-home radio ownership: Hip Hop/Rap and Top 40. R&B is exactly the market average for owning a radio in the household.

Smart speakers provide a partial solution for radio
Fortunately for radio, technology has provided more devices for listening. Smart speaker ownership is consistently growing, and radio formats with younger P1 listeners, such as Alternative Rock, Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, Hip Hop/Rap, R&B, Sports, and Top 40, are more likely to own one.

Formats whose P1 listeners are less likely to own a smart speaker: Country, Classic Hits, Classic Rock, Contemporary Christian, and News/Talk.

“Migrating loyal radio listeners from traditional radio hardware to smart speakers and mobile devices is essential to the future of radio,” said Ivey. “Consumers of audio should be thinking of radio when they make their listening choices.”

“Understanding the device ownership, discovery habits, social media preferences, and podcast tastes of P1 listeners is incredibly valuable insight for AM/FM radio stations as they continuously refine their online strategies,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.  “Understanding how to reach their P1’s online will undoubtedly help broadcasters further engage with their most loyal listeners.”

Online listening remains elusive for AM/FM radio stations
Over 75% of radio P1 listeners to Sports, Top 40, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock/Heavy Metal and Hip Hop/Rap reported listening to any online audio services in the last week. When looking specifically at listening to AM/FM radio online in the last week, however, the percentages drop significantly:
Sports (45%), R&B (28%), News/Talk (26%), Alternative Rock (26%), Hard Rock/Heavy Metal (26%).

Music discovery is moving to YouTube and other places
YouTube as a source for music discovery defies age and radio format boundaries and is one of the top three sources for new music discovery by all of the music formats profiled in this study. AM/FM radio was one of the top three sources for new music discovery by all of the music formats with the exception of Hip Hop/Rap.

How this study was conducted
3,159 online interviews were conducted January and February, 2020, before COVID-19 disruptions. The online interviews are a supplement to The Infinite Dial telephone-based survey. The online survey was offered in both English and Spanish and is weighted to match the U.S. 12+ population.

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 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 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.

About Triton Digital
Triton Digital® is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry. Operating in more than 45 countries, Triton 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 powers the global online audio industry with Webcast Metrics®, the leading online audio measurement service and Podcast Metrics, one of the first IAB certified podcast measurement services in the industry. With unparalleled integrity, excellence, teamwork, and accountability, Triton remains committed to connecting audio, audience, and advertisers to continuously fuel the growth of the global online industry.  Triton Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).  For more information, visit www.TritonDigital.com.

View the full webinar below:


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Listening Habits During Quarantine: A Share of Ear Report

 
There have been some marked changes in podcast listening in the U.S. during quarantine as commutes have been reduced and digital audio consumption has risen.

Download Podcast Listening During Quarantine: A Share of Ear® Report

Tom Webster, Edison Research SVP, presented a 15-minute update on the overall listener landscape, with specific focus on podcast listening and insights from Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study and The Podcast Consumer Tracker.  A full replay of the webinar is available here:

 

The Top 30 U.S. Podcasts According to the Podcast Consumer Tracker

Edison Research announces the U.S. Top 30 Podcast ranker from its subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker (PCT). The PCT is the only comprehensive and all-inclusive study of the reach of podcast networks and shows in America. The Joe Rogan Experience continues to be the number one podcast in America as it has been since the PCT was established in the summer of 2019.

The ranker lists the top thirty podcasts in America by reach — not downloads — among weekly podcast consumers, covering the full survey period from July 7, 2019 through June 24, 2020. Reach is the percentage of weekly podcast listeners who say they have listened to any one of these shows in the last week.

“Even with the work and life disruptions caused by COVID-19, people did continue listening to their favorite podcasts, and we ultimately saw little to no reduction in reach among weekly podcast listeners”. noted Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “We’re pleased to publish the only ranker that covers the entire U.S. podcasting industry.”

The top thirty podcasts in the U.S, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them, are as follows:

The Podcast Consumer Tracker is the only study that measures the entire podcast space continuously, as compared to other download rankers which only measure participants who opt in to those rankers, or users of a specific platform. Podcasts and podcast networks are ranked according to their weekly reach of podcast listeners. The PCT is sampled continuously throughout each quarter to negate the effects of limited releases and new shows and is weighted to the industry standard measure of podcast listening, The Infinite Dial® research series from Edison Research and Triton Digital®.

How the Study Was Conducted: The Podcast Consumer Tracker Q2 2020 Top 30 Ranker is based upon 8,080 online interviews with weekly podcast consumers in the United States, ages 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Sampling was conducted continuously from July 7, 2019 to June 24, 2020. All respondents were instructed to enter the names of all podcasts they listened to the week before the interview into an online diary and were provided instructions to obtain that information from their podcast client/player of choice. All responses were unaided and hand-coded by Edison Research to determine actual show name, producer, genre, and other information. Data is weighted to nationally representative numbers for weekly podcast consumers from The Infinite Dial 2020, from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Fielding is continuous and currently underway for the next quarterly report in the series. Click here for more information on the Podcast Consumer Tracker.

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 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 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.

Edison Research’s Ask Me Anything About Elections

Thank you to those who joined us live for our Ask Me Anything About Elections webinar with Edison Research’s Joe Lenski and our election team. View a replay of the event below, and if you have a question that wasn’t answered here, please email us at info@edisonresearch.com.

Click here for more information about Edison Research and elections.

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 Research 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 presidential primary and general election.

Radio’s Roadmap To Gen Z Listenership

Gen Z Listeners in the U.S. are Heavy Users of Streaming, but 55% listen to AM/FM Radio Every Day

 Audio consumers in “Gen Z — those between the ages of 13 and 24 —  prefer listening  on their smartphones, which should be no surprise because they have grown up with the devices, but AM/FM radio’s reach among Gen Z is high (55%)according to Share of Ear® information from Edison Research. 

Megan Vartan, Director of Research at Edison Research and Jayne Charneski, founder of Front Row Insights & Strategy, presented the Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listenership webinar today — a version of this study was presented at the NAB Show Express earlier this year.  

Click here to download Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listening July 2020

Who are those in Generation Z? Gen Z is the most racially diverse generation in the U.S. to date, with 48% identifying as a racial or ethnic minority. They are the first generation of true digital natives; they are increasingly being referred to as “Zoomers,” a nod to the pace at which technology and culture have changed in their lifetimes, and now to the presence of Zoom in their lives. Having grown up in the age of the 24-hour-news cycle and endless information on the internet, they regularly consume news and information.  

Share of Ear® measures audio consumption of those aged 13+ in the U.S., so those aged 13-24 were used to represent Gen Z in this study. 

Over half (55%) of 13-24 year-olds in the U.S. are reached by AM/FM radio dailyjust surpassing the reach of streaming (53%). 

“Perhaps fact that Gen Z listens to any  AM/FM radio surprises you,” said VartanMany people believe that no young people ever listen to the radio any more. This is simply not true.  Especially when they are in their cars, but even in other places – young people do listen to the radio. 

Gen Z listeners spend 50% less of their total share of time listening to AM/FM radio than the average 13+ population, so even though 55% of Gen Zers are reached by radio daily, they spend less time with radio when they tune in. 

Gen Z listens to AM/FM Radio most when they are in the car. Almost 50% of the time spent listening to audio in the car among13-24 year-olds is to AM/FM radio, surpassing streaming audio, YouTube, and others.

Gen Z listeners are much more likely to listen to audio on a smartphone than a traditional device. Gen Z uses a radio receiver 50% less than the average 13+ population, and they use their phones for listening 75% more than the average 13+ population.

Gen Z listeners spend 58% more of their total share of time listening to streaming audio than the average 13+ population. Their share of YouTube listeningwhich is surveyed only for music and music videos, is 98% higher than the average 13+ population.

Despite Gen Z’s love for streaming and for their smartphones, 89% of their listening to AM/FM radio is done through a traditional radio receiver. Eleven percent of Gen Z’s AM/FM radio listening is going to the streams.  Even among this young, digital-first demographic, they are simply not listening in big numbers to radio streams.

“Stations need to remind these digital natives that FM radio is available digitally” said Charneski.  “This is the generation that was swiping before they were wiping…and yet, somehow they’re not thinking of FM radio as that’s available on their phones and mobile devices.”

Qualitative interviews with Gen Z radio listeners found some of the reasons they enjoy radio:
 radio provides a human connection, particularly during quarantine
radio offers the surprise of songs that have not been curated in streaming playlists
radio is a source for additional information about music and artists
–radio is a source for news and information
–radio is associated with nostalgia and good memories

How the study was conducted: Share of Ear is based on a national sample of 4,000 individuals in the U.S. age 13+, updated Q1 2020. This study does not include Share of Ear data collected during COVID-19 restrictions. The survey was offered offline and online, and offered in English and Spanish. Qualitative interviews were conducted by Front Row Insights & Strategy.
 

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 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 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.
 

About Front Row Insights & Strategy
Front Row translates consumer attitudes and behaviors into winning insights and strategies for brands and marketers.   Front Row uses qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, generational filters, and cultural trends to discover opportunities for brands and conducts research projects for wide range clients in entertainment and media, including Universal Music Group, Viacom, CAA, Focus Features, HarperCollins, MasterClass, and Spectrum.  Front Row was founded by Jayne Charneski, a leading consumer and audience insight expert and speaker on Gen Zs and generational traits