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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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. 

 

 

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.

 

New Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial® Report Save the Date

How do the ever-increasing opportunities for music listening influence how people discover new music?

Please join us on Thursday, July 16 at 1pm for the next installment in our Lunchtime Webinar series.

Click here to register for the New Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial® Report webinar

In this latest webinar, Edison Research VP Nicole Beniamini uses never-before-seen Infinite Dial insights from Edison Research and Triton Digital® to look at those who say staying up-to-date with music is very important to them. The report will explore who these new-music seekers are, what they’re listening to, and which sources they use to learn about music.

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.