Digital Device Listening Crosses the 50% Threshold During COVID-19 Disruptions

For the first time since Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study began tracking the growth of audio consumption in 2014, the total daily share of time spent listening on digital devices by those age 13+ in the U.S. has surpassed the share of time spent listening on traditional, more linear devices.

Before the COVID-19 disruptions, 55% of the daily total share of time spent listening by those in the U.S. age 13 and older was done on traditional, more linear devices, and 45% was done on digital devices. During Q2 2020, 53% of the daily total share of time spent listening was on digital devices. 

The “digital/on-demand” devices in the Share of Ear study include smartphones, computers, internet-connected televisions and smart speakers. These are essentially the devices that Americans use to stream or listen to audio files on demand. The “traditional or non-linear devices” include AM/FM receivers, SiriusXM receivers, CD players, turntables, or TV channels like Music Choice. 

This is the first time that the digital group surpassed the more traditional forms of listeningas the digital group saw a substantial eight percentage point jump during the COVID-19 disruptions.  Before this unique time, the digital total was slowlgetting closer and closer to parity with the non-digital devices. The shift away from in-car and at-workplace listening to at-home listening led to these enormous changes. 

Digital surpassing non-digital was almost inevitable, according to the slow trend we saw in Share of Ear. It appears that these disruptions may have just accelerated the process. We will have to wait to see if the numbers revert more closely to what they were before the disruptions,” said Director of Research Laura Ivey. 

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 Research 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.
 

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. 

 

 

New-Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial Report

Twenty-four percent of Americans age 12+ say that it is very important” for them to learn about and stay uptodate with music, according to new research released from The Infinite Dial® study from Edison Research and Triton Digital®. 

Click here to download the New Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial Report 

Findings from never-before-seen research debuted in a webinarNew Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial Report, presented by Edison Research VP Nicole Beniamini. This new research explores how this 24% of America — the “new-music seekers” for whom learning about and staying uptodate with music is very important — listens to, discovers, and shares music.

As listeners age, fewer say it is very important to learn about and stay uptodate with music:
35% of those age 12-34 say it is very important, 25% of those age 35-54 say it is very important, and 10% of those age 55+ say it is very important. Nearly half of new-music seekers, 46%, are between the ages of 12-34, and 54% are 35+, so although interest in new music is more concentrated in very young demos, there are still large numbers of new-music seekers over the age of 35. 

New-music seekers are willing to pay for music services.  Forty-nine percent of new-music seekers have listened to Spotify in the last month, and of those, 45% have a paid subscription. More than one-third of new-music seekers say they have a subscription to SiriusXM, which is nearly double the percentage of the general population 12+. Many of these new-music subscribers are maintaining paid subscriptions to both SiriusXM AND a streaming music platform

Sources for new music discovery vary greatly depending on the age of the listener.
Overall, YouTube (68%) tops the list of sources that new-music seekers age 12+ say they use for music discoveryfollowed by friends and family (47%), and AM/FM radio (46%). The top three sources for music discovery are as follows for three different age groups: 

Listeners age 12-34: YouTube (72%), Spotify (51%) and friends and family (49%)
Listeners age 35-54: YouTube (64%), AM/FM radio (53%), and Facebook (45%)
Listeners age 55+: AM/FM radio (70%), YouTube (57%), friends and family (53%) 

“It’s surprising to see how high YouTube ranks for music discovery among all ages. This new research gives us a better grasp of just how important online platforms are for music discovery, especially among those who value new music. And while AM/FM radio is not so much a place to ‘learn about new music,’ our data shows that it’s still a place to ‘learn what the hits are,” said Beniamini.

Among the one-third of Americans age 12+ (33%), for whom learning about and staying up-to-date with music is “not at all important,” AM/FM radio tops the list as the source used most often for music discovery at 35%, followed by YouTube at 17%, and friends and family at 17%. 

Twenty-three percent of new-music seekers age 12-34 say they use video games as a way to learn about music.  Video games as a source of music discovery be surprising to some, but around half (51%) of new-music seekers watch live-streamed video gamesso they are exposed to music through that outlet as well.  

Music listening is a private experience for many new-music seekers. Sixty-seven percent of new-music seekers say they do most or all of their audio listening through headphones/earbuds, with 30% saying all of their audio listening is private. This is not limited to the youngest listeners, as even the majority of new-music seekers age 35-54 listen to most of their music through headphones/earbuds. Social media becomes important, then, as a way to share music, because 53% of new-music seekers say they currently use social media to share updates on music they are listening to with friends and family. 

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 iweighted 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. 

 

 

U.S. Listeners’ Audio Day Starting Later During COVID-19 Disruptions

Half of those age 13+ now begin their audio day at 8:30am; before COVID was 7:15am 

  

New data from the Edison Research Share of Ear®  study, conducted during the period of COVID-19 disruptions, shows that people in the U.S. age 13 and older began listening to audio a full 75 minutes later on average, as compared to before the disruptions.   
 
The Share of Ear study, which requires respondents to keep a detailed daily diary of audio usage, shows that pre-COVID-19, the point in the day when 50% of those in the U.S. age 13+ recorded their first entry of their audio day was around 7:15am. During Q2 fielding of Share of Ear, it was not until 8:30am that half of respondents had recorded any audio usage. 

 “This finding challenges our thinking about how those in the U.S. listen to audio during traditional drive times,” said Edison Research Director Laura Ivey.  “With many people staying at home or working from home during Q2, they did not engage with audio as early as they did pre-COVID. This data shows that if Americans continue current work patterns, audio strategies may need to be adjusted.”

Share of Ear Q2 findings are based on interviews conducted mid-May, 2020.

While most of the findings are exclusive to Share of Ear subscribers, Edison Research 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. 

Click here for more information on Share of Ear.

 

YouTube “Listening” Decreases in 2020

Americans are spending less of their total listening time with YouTube in 2020, and YouTube as an audio-only source is reaching fewer Americans in 2020, according to two updated datasets from Edison Research. 

Known as the birthplace of the eponymous YouTube star as well as many a viral challenge, YouTube also functionally serves as a music delivery source.  The latest Share of Ear® data from Edison Research shows that Americans now spend 9% of their time spent listening to audio sources with YouTube, down from 11% in 2018. The decrease is driven primarily from younger demos, as those in the U.S. age 13-34 now spend 16% of their total audio time with YouTube, down from 20% in 2019. 

Not only is time spent listening to YouTube as an audio source lower year over year, but YouTube as a source for music or music videos is reaching fewer Americans according to The Infinite Dial® from Edison Research and Triton Digital. 2019 was a bit of a milestone for the YouTube measure, as 50% of those in the U.S. age 12+ had listened to music on YouTube in the last week. In 2020, 44% of the total U.S. population reported having used YouTube for music in the last week. 

This decrease in reach is also driven by younger demos, as was the case with time spent listening, as the number of 12-34-year-olds using YouTube for music in the last week fell 14% year over year, to 60% from 70%. Usage by 35-54-year-olds was down slightly to 53% from 56% year over year. 

As both Share of Ear and Infinite Dial have catalogued enormous gains for YouTube for music listening over the last decade, it is of note that we see some diminishment for the first time corroborated in both surveys.  (Note: data points from both surveys were captured prior to the onset of widespread COVID-19-related disruptions.)

For the latest on how Americans are discovering new music, join Edison Research VP Nicole Beniamini for New-Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial® Report, presented as a free webinar on Thursday, July 16th, at 1 PM EDT. Register for New-Music Seekers here.

 

Latino Podcast Listener Report

Twenty-five percent of Latinos in the U.S. are Monthly Podcast Listeners 

The first-ever Latino Podcast Listener Report released by Edison Research

The Latino Podcast Listener Reporfrom Edison Research finds that 25% of U.S. Latinos age 18+ have listened to a podcast in the last month, and 45% of U.S. Latinos age 18+ have ever listened to a podcast. The study also shows increases in podcast listening for over half of U.S. Latinos age 18+ since the outbreak of COVID-19. 

 

Click here to download the Latino Podcast Listener Report in English

Haga clic aquí para ver y descargar el Latino Podcast Listener Report en español

The Latino Podcast Listener Report is the first and only comprehensive research on Latino podcast listeners in the United States; it was conducted by Edison Research and commissioned by Adonde MediaLantigua Williams & Co., LibsynNPR, and Pandora. Findings from the study debuted in two webinars on June 30, one in English and one in Spanish, presented by Gabriel Soto, Manager of Research at Edison Research, and Martina Castro, CEO of Adonde Media. 

 Although U.S. Latinos (61%) overall are less likely to be familiar with the term “podcasting” than the total U.S. population (75%), there are hardly any Spanish-language dominant Latinos in the U.S. who are familiar with the term podcasting and aren’t already listening. 

The study shows that 36% of U.S. Latinos have listened to a podcast in English and 24% of U.S. Latinos have listened to a podcast in Spanish.  Language dominance, in general, does not seem to correlate with the likelihood to be a monthly or weekly listener to podcasts, though: 25% of all U.S. Latinos in non-Spanishlanguage dominant households have listened to a podcast in the last month compared to 26% of those in Spanish-language dominant households. Also, 20% of all U.S. Latinos in non-Spanishlanguage dominant households have listened to a podcast in the last week, which is the same number (20%) as those in Spanish-language dominant households.  

Among podcast listeners, however, there are some differences based on language dominance. Notably, podcast listeners in Spanish-language dominant households are much more likely to have begun listening to podcasts recently than those in non-Spanish-language dominant households. Seventy percent of Spanish-language dominant listeners have started listening in the last year, compared with 47% of non Spanish-language dominant listeners. Of all U.S. Latino podcast listeners, 52% are listening to podcasts more since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners55are male, 50% are 18-34, and 47% identify as the first generation in the United States.  

Today we learned that the majority of Latinos have only started listening to podcasts within the last year, and yet many are still unfamiliar with the term podcasting,” noted Gabriel Soto, Manager of Research at Edison Research. Latinos have been and will continue to be essential for the sustained growth of podcast listening,” said Soto. 

“It is so validating to see the data bear out what many of us have long known about the tremendous potential of the Latino podcast listening audience in the U.S., both in English and in Spanish,” said Martina Castro, Founder and CEO of Adonde Media. “Now, the industry has the data that shows why making content for Latinos isn’t only the right thing to do, but is also simply a smart investment.”  

Other key findings about U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners include: 

  • 80% say they are listening to podcasts more now than compared to one year ago
  • 26% say they source they use most for podcast discovery is social media posts, followed by recommendations from friends and family at 22%
  • 73% listened to an English podcast in the last month and 49% listened to Spanish podcast in the last month
  • 47% agree it is “somewhat important or very important that the podcasts they listen to include stories about and perspectives from their countries of origin 

The Latino Podcast Listener Report may be downloaded at www.edisonresearch.com/latino-podcast-listener-report. For more information on the partners in this study, please visit, Adonde Media, Lantigua Williams & Co., LibsynNPR, and Pandora.

How This Study Was Conducted
2,500 online interviews were conducted May 5 – May 27, 2020. The survey was offered in both English and Spanish and is nationally representative of Hispanic/Latino adults age 18+. The data is weighted to match age/sex/country of origin of U.S. Hispanic/Latino population and The Infinite Dial 2020 podcast listening statistics. Share of Ear® is based on data from 4,000+ respondents through a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population age 13+. The survey is offered online and offline, and in English and Spanish. Share of Ear data included in this report was updated through Q1 2020, before the COVID-19 disruptions. 

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.