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

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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.

Statement from the National Election Pool Regarding March 17th Elections

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the National Election Pool will not be conducting in-person Exit Polls for the primaries on Tuesday March 17th. We will still look to report counted vote totals as they are made available by elections officials and explore other options for reporting the views of voters in the states holding primaries. The National Election Pool remains committed to delivering the most comprehensive coverage of elections in the U.S.

All inquiries should be directed to Joe Lenski, Executive Vice President, Edison Research, at jlenski@edisonresearch.com.

Noteworthy Nuggets from Super Tuesday

The Edison Research exit polls contain a plethora of noteworthy nuggets of information.  Here are a few additional data points from the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries. 

The Black and Latino Vote
In blog posts after the Democratic contests in South Carolina and Nevada, we’ve wondered how African Americans and Latinos vote would on Super Tuesday. Now thanks to the Edison exit polls we have the answers. 

Three days before Super Tuesday, Joe Biden won among African American voters in South Carolina. He continued to win them with strong majorities in the Super Tuesday states as well – especially in southern states, where he won them with enormous margins. 

After winning Latino voters in Nevada, Bernie Sanders also won them in Massachusetts, Texas and California.  He did especially well with this voting group in California, garnering 49% of their support. 

Voters were also asked which candidate best understands the concerns of racial and ethnic minorities. Among all voters in the states in which the question was asked, Biden came out ahead, and he was the overwhelming choice among black voters. Sanders came out on top among Latino voters. 

Late Deciders 
Joe Biden surpassed expectations on Super Tuesday, and late-deciding voters helped propel his strong performance. With Monday’s endorsements from prominent candidates who dropped out, 30% of voters across all twelve states said they made their minds up who to vote for in the last few days, including 10% who decided on election day. Those late deciders went heavily for Biden. 

Electability 
Last, some exit poll data about electability. As seen in the Edison exit polls in earlier states, Democratic primary voters have consistently prioritized a candidate who can beat President Trump over one with whom they agree on the issues.  That was true on Super Tuesday as well, by nearly two to one: 63% preferred a candidate who can beat Trump, while 34% were looking for a candidate whose issue positions match theirs. 

In eleven states, voters were asked which candidate they thought would be most electable in November. Biden came in at the top, with 37%, followed by Sanders at 28%. 

While the field has narrowed sharply in the last few days, the race for the Democratic nomination is far from over. Next week, voters in Michigan, as well as Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington will weigh in. Both Biden and Sanders have laid claim to working class voters; Michigan’s exit poll data in particular may tell us which candidate has best connected with these voters. 

Click here for more on Edison Research and election polling.

On Super Tuesday “Gaps”

By Sarah Dutton 

The New Generation Gap 

Those who lived through the 1960s remember well the “Generation Gap” of that era, and for those too young to remember, they have likely read about it in history books. History is repeating itself – at least on this year’s Super Tuesday, as a new political generation gap has emerged. 

While it isn’t news that Bernie Sanders supporters include a sizable number of young people, a deeper look at the Edison exit poll data from Super Tuesday shows just how pervasive this new Generation Gap is within the Democratic primary electorate. It exists in many demographic groups, and across many issues. 

First, an overall picture. Looking at all twelve of the Super Tuesday states for which there was an Edison exit poll, half of voters under age 45 voted for Sanders, while Joe Biden was the winner among voters 45 and older. 

These age differences persist regardless of other demographic variables. Whether one looks at white voters, college graduates or those without a degree, men or women, voters under age 45 supported Sanders and those 45 and older chose Biden. Only among black voters do both age groups support Biden and even there his support is much higher among older voters. 

Not surprisingly, Sanders’ support is highest among voters under 30 (58%).  Sanders’ support drops sharply among those 65 and older (15%).   

There is a generation gap on issues as well. Voters over age 45 are more moderate, and more apt to prefer a return to the policies of Barack Obama.  And while both age groups chose health care as the most important issue in their vote choice, older voters are far less supportive of replacing private insurance with a single government plan for everyone. Younger voters also hold a more favorable view of socialism, while older voters are more divided. 

And each age group was looking for different qualities in a candidate. Among those under age 45, 48% were looking for a candidate who can bring needed change. Voters 45 and over were looking for someone who can unite the country (39%). 

Despite these differences, Democratic voters of all ages will need to unite behind a candidate in order to win in November. The exit polls show signs of unity; 80% of those under age 45, and 85% of those 45 and older, say they will vote for the Democratic nominee, regardless of who it is. One caveat – 19% of voters under 45 (and 22% of those under 30) say they will not do so, presumably if their chosen candidate is not the nominee. 

The Gender Gap 

In addition to the generation gap, there is a gender gap too. Sanders won among men, while Biden took the lead among women. Traditionally, the gender “gap” is measured by the difference in the vote between men and women for the night’s winner. Since Biden won the most votes across all twelve states, the “gap” is 5 points (30% – 35%). 

Since 1980, there has also been a gender gap in the November vote for president, as evidenced by the Edison Research national exit poll. The gap rose to double digits in 1996 and 2000, and again in 2012 and 2016. 

What’s behind the Super Tuesday gender gap? Once again, age is a factor. Men who voted were a bit younger than women voters; 38% of men were under age 45, versus 34% of women. And Sanders had greater support among those men under 45 (55%) than among women in that same age group (45%). 

Both men and women say they will unite behind the Democratic nominee in November, although women (87%) are more likely to say so than men (79%).  

Next up, Michigan (among other states), an all-important general election Rust Belt state that Sanders won in 2016. Will he do it again?

The South Carolina Primary: A Quick Look at Black Voters

By Sarah Dutton 

The South Carolina Democratic primary not only represented a must-win state for Joe Biden if he wanted to keep his candidacy viable, but it was also the first contest with a sizable African American voting population.  And with help from that voting bloc, Biden won the primary there. 

According to the Edison exit poll data there, 56% of voters in South Carolina were African American – down from 61% in 2016 – and they overwhelmingly supported Biden; he won 61% of their vote. Bernie Sanders came in second, far behind at 17%.  (Biden won among white voters as well, but by a far smaller margin.)  

Older black voters were especially strong Biden supporters; 69% of those over age 45 voted for Biden.

There were clear signs of how strongly black voters in South Carolina relate to Biden. Fully 84% of black voters hold a favorable view of Biden, higher than for any other candidate. He was the overwhelming choice for which candidate best understands the concerns of racial and ethnic minorities; 55% of black voters chose him.  And 60% of black voters said the endorsement of Biden by Representative Jim Clyburn – a senior black member of Congress from this state – was an important factor in their vote; 64% of them voted for Biden. 

And in what could only help Biden, 66% of black voters said they want a return to the policies of Barack Obama. 

As the Democratic nominating race moves into the Super Tuesday states, exit poll data will show whether Biden’s strong showing among black voters continues, and how much it contributes to his delegate count.

In the states voting on Super Tuesday, if historical trends hold black voters may not be as large a force as they were in South Carolina. Looking back at Edison exit poll data from the Democratic primaries in 2016, in only one of the states holding races this Tuesday did the black share of the vote reach as high as it was in South Carolina this year – in Alabama, 54% of 2016 Democratic primary voters were black.  Black voters were a smaller but still substantial percentage of the electorate in Tennessee (32%), North Carolina (32%), Arkansas (27%) and Virginia (26%). But in states like Oklahoma (14%), Massachusetts (4%) and Vermont (1%), they were a small sliver of voters. In states with low percentages of black voters, Biden will have to draw support from other groups of voters as well to prevail. 

In Texas, the voter group to watch are Latinos. While 19% of 2016 primary voters in Texas were black, they were outnumbered by Latinos, who comprised 32% of the electorate there.      

Edison Research will have its exit polling team spread out across the Super Tuesday states tomorrow. We’ll let you know how it all plays out.