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

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.