Share of time spent listening to audio at home in the U.S. increases 44% during COVID-19 disruption

Somerville, N.J. (June 4, 2020) Edison Research today released the latest update of their Share of Ear® report to clients, based on interviews conducted during the middle of May, 2020.   

While most of the findings are exclusive to Share of Ear subscribers, Edison is releasing several interesting data points for the audio industry to consider since the data provides insight into U.S. listener behavior during COVID-19 restrictions. 

Listening moved to the home; share increased by 44%
Edison Research measures the location of all listening, and the table below shows the share of time spent with audio by location. Findings show that while total time spent listening was only slightly lower during the COVID-19 disruptions in the United States, there was a considerable shift in where that audio consumption happened.  While 48.5of all listening occurred at home before COVID-19 (and this finding has been very consistent since Share of Ear began in 2014), 70.0% of all listening was at-home in May.  All three other locations – car, work and ‘other’ — dropped. 

“It’s important to recognize that our survey asks where the respondent is when they are listening to audio – not what they are doing,” said Edison Research director Laura Ivey.  “The shift to ‘work-from-home’ for so many, especially office workers who tend to spend a lot of time with audio, is clearly reflected.” 

 

Podcasts and Smart Speakers Achieve New All-Time High Shares of Ear 

The enormous changes in daily life for so many Americans led to changes in what people are listening to and what device they are using to access their audio. 

Podcasting’s Share of Ear jumped significantly – up 26% from the Quarter 1 2020 report to this new update. During COVID-19 restrictions, 5.4% of all time spent with audio was with podcasts, up from 4.3% in Q1While podcasting share increases with every update, this represents an all-time high for podcast listening share of all audio. 

Smart Speakers also hit a new high, with its share leaping by more than 40% (albeit from a relatively low base). During COVID-19 restrictions, 5.3% of all time spent with audio was through a smart speaker, up from 3.7% in Q1. 

“The movement of so much listening to the home changed the shares of many platforms and devices,” said Ivey.  “It will be fascinating to see how these numbers continue to develop as American life evolves during and, eventually, after this pandemic period ends.” 

Please click here for more information on Edison Research’s Share of Ear®.

Podcast Consumption in Australia Being Driven By Those Age 35-54

Whether it’s applying photo filters on Snapchat or sharing playlists on Spotify, new media behaviors are typically embraced by younger, more tech-savvy consumers first. Once a medium has become mainstream for the younger generation, it usually begins to trickle up to the older age groups. It is common for teenagers to introduce their parents to new music services or for children to teach their grandparents how to shoot a selfie. But does this age trend occur in the same direction for every platform, in every market?

In the latest findings from The Infinite Dial Australia 2020 report, Edison Research revealed a steady and continued growth in podcasting awareness and usage. Awareness of the medium rose even higher this year as 87% of Australians age 12+ reported being familiar with the term “podcasting,”  up from 83% in 2019. When broken out by age group, we see that nearly all of those age 12-54 are aware of podcasts (92%).

Overall, one-quarter of Australians age 12+ have listened to a podcast in the last month, with 35-54 year-olds reporting marginally higher monthly listening than their younger counterparts (31% to 28%, respectively). Monthly listening is half as large, however, among those age 55 and older, with only 14% of this age group saying they listened to a podcast in the last month.

Australians age 35-54 are also the most likely to be weekly podcast listeners, with 22% saying they listened to a podcast in the last week. This compares to the 18% of those age 12-34 and is nearly three times higher than the 8% of those age 55 and older who listened in the last week.

So what can these data tell us about the future of podcasting in Australia?

Well, we can see that unlike other media, podcast consumption is not being led by the youngest Australians. Instead, it’s the 35-54 year-olds who are driving the monthly and weekly listening. This is likely due to higher listening of AM/FM/DAB+ radio among this age group, coupled with a perception that podcasts are simply previously-aired radio programs available on-demand. But now that Spotify has become a hotspot for podcasts, we should expect to see an increase in podcast listening among 12-34 year-olds, Spotify’s core audience.

The second takeaway is that there is still plenty of room for growth among those age 55 and older. Despite the lower monthly and weekly podcast listening, the majority of those age 55 and older are already aware of the medium. Frequently reminding this group to listen, offering podcast discovery resources, and most importantly, creating more content for this demo could go a long way in increasing their consumption.

Methodology
The Infinite Dial® Australia survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, is a high-quality telephone survey and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,014 people. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised of both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians ages 12 and older. The data is weighted to 12+ population figures.

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space.  Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers. allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.

Edison Research U.S Top 10 Podcast Ranker Q1 2020

 

We are pleased to announce the Edison Research U.S. Top Ten Podcast ranker for Q1 2020, from our subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker (PCT). The Podcast Consumer Tracker is the only comprehensive and all-inclusive study of the reach of podcast networks and shows in America.

The ranker lists the top ten podcasts in America by reach — not downloads — among weekly podcast consumers. Reach is the percentage of weekly podcast listeners who say they have listened to one of these shows in the last week.

Number one is the Joe Rogan Experience, which will be exclusive to Spotify later in 2020. Office Ladies and Planet Money enter the Top Ten for the first time, replacing Serial and Radiolab from our Q4 2019 ranker.

“Spotify’s recent deal with Joe Rogan stands a very good chance of increasing Spotify’s reach, since once again the JRE is comfortably in the top spot of our national ranker,” said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “It’s also worth noting the strong debut of ‘Office Ladies,’ which has only been out since October 2019. We are pleased to be able to cover the entire podcasting space, without gaps, in the industry’s only all-inclusive ranker.”

The top ten podcasts in the U.S. in Q1 2020, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them, are as follows:

1. The Joe Rogan Experience

2.  The Daily

3.  This American Life

4.  Crime Junkie

5.  My Favorite Murder

6.  Stuff You Should Know

7.  (tie) Office Ladies

7.  (tie) Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

9.   Planet Money

10.  Pod Save America

Begun in Summer 2019, the Podcast Consumer Tracker is the only study that measures the entire podcast space continuously, compared to other download rankers which only measure participants/customers of those rankers, or users of a specific platform.

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 Q1 2020 Top 10 Ranker is based upon 2,013 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 over the first quarter of 2020: January 7 – March 30, 2020, which does include two weeks of COVID-19 restrictions. 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.

The Infinite Dial 2020 Canada

Click here to download The Infinite Dial Canada 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital in English

Click here to download The Infinite Dial Canada 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital in French

Scroll down to view a replay of the webinar.

Podcast consumption levels in Canada are now equal to those in the United States, according to The Infinite Dial® 2020 Canada, the third annual comprehensive study of digital media behavior in Canada, from Edison Research and Triton Digital®. 

Thirty-seven percent of Canadians age 18 and older are monthly podcast listeners (compared with same estimate in the U.S.37% age 18+) and 24% of those in Canada age 18+ are weekly podcast listeners (compared with 23% of those in the U.S. age 18+).  

These and other findings were presented by Tom Webster, Senior Vice President from Edison Research, the leading provider of high-quality survey research about audio in the U.S. and worldwide, and Stephanie Donovan, SVP, Publisher Development North America at Triton Digital, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio and podcast industry, in an online presentation earlier today. 

significant number of Canadian adults are consumers of online audio, as the study found that 70% have listened to some type of online audio in the past month (compared with 67% in the U.S.) and 60% have listened to online audio in the past week (compared with 58% in the U.S.). 

Despite these high online audio reach numbers, online audio has not yet made its way into the car for most Canadians. Of those in Canada age 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month, 18% have listened to online audio in-car, compared with 33% of those in the U.S. Fifty-seven percent of adults in Canada use AM/FM radio most often as their in-car audio source while 27% use owned music (including owned digital files) most often in-car, followed by SiriusXM at 7%, online audio at 4% and podcasts at 4%. 

Sixty-nine percent of adults in Canada have listened to AM/FM radio in the past week, and 14% of adults in Canada have listened to AM/FM radio online in the past week.

Regarding smart speaker ownership, the study found that 26% of those in Canada age 18+ own at least one smart speaker, and of those owners, 42% own two or more devices. 

According to Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research, “We observed some strong gains in many of our key audio metrics, from podcasting to smart speaker ownership. Canada is amongst the leaders in the world in terms of digital audio consumption.”

“We are proud to once again unveil the latest insights and trends around media usage and consumption in Canada,” said Stephanie Donovan, SVP, Publisher Development North America at Triton Digital. “Broadcast radio listeners remain loyal to the brand, but with one in five Canadians having listened to broadcast radio online in the last month, it’s clear the technology through which they choose to consume is changing.” 

Other key The Infinite Dial® 2020 Canada findings include: 

  • At-home is where most Canadians have consumed a podcast. Eighty-one percent of podcast listeners in Canada age 18+ have listened to a podcast at home and 40% have listened in a car/truck
     
  • 80% of adult Canadian podcast consumers listen to all or most of a typical podcast episode
     
  • Half of adult podcast listeners in Canada have listened to a podcast from a public radio producer
     
  • 14% of those in Canada age 18+ own a Google Home smart speaker, 11% own an Amazon Alexa, and 3% own an Apple HomePod
  • The dominant brand of online audio is Spotify, with 28% of Canadian adults listening to Spotify in the past month, compared with Apple Music at 13% and Google Play Music at 11%. Of those who use various online audio brands, 37% say they use Spotify most often. 

The Infinite Dial survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, is a high-quality telephone survey and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,076 people in Canada age 18 and older. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised of both mobile phones and landlines. The data is weighted to 18+ population figures.

The Infinite Dial study is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in the U.S. and now includes studies in Australia, Canada, Germany, and South Africa. 

 

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space.  Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.

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.

Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listening from the NAB Show Express

Even though the NAB Show wasn’t held in person in Las Vegas this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the show went on online. Edison Research’s Meg Vartan, along with Front Row Insights’ Jane Charneski, presented Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listening, a compelling look at Gen Z’s relationship with radio.

To access the free presentation, click here.  You must register, but registration is free. Content will be available through the month of August.

Utilizing the most recent Share of Ear® data and listener interviews, Edison Research and Front Row Insights deliver findings from a cutting-edge new study focused on Gen Z (13-24 year old) listening habits. Discover what audio is meaningful to this generation, how their habits have evolved in the last five years and what steps your radio station can take to entice them to tune in consistently.