In-Car Listening Shows Americans Increasingly On the Move 

Latest Share of Ear Study released by Edison Research

 

Edison Research today released the latest update of the Share of Ear® report to clients, based on interviews conducted during October, 2020. The listening location data from Share of Ear sheds some light on which locations U.S. listeners are consuming audio now that quarantine restrictions are being lifted in some areas. 

Listening shifts from home back to the car as quarantine restrictions lift in Q3 
Prior to COVID-19 restrictions in Q2 2020, 32% of all audio in in the U.S. was consumed in car. When quarantine restrictions went into place in Q2, erasing many Americans’ commutes and greatly reducing travel in general, in-car listening plummeted by 37% so that it accounted for only 20% of all listening. This caused at-home listening in Q2 to soar from 49% of all listening to 70% of all listening, an increase of 43%.

 

The latest research from Share of Ear, conducted in early September, shows a shift back to the car as quarantine restrictions have been lifted by varying degrees across the country. In-car listening grew from 20% in Q2 to 28% today, not quite equal to the pre-COVID number of 32% of all listening.  

An increase of Q3 audio consumption in car means a decrease at home, where we see at-home listening levels fall from 70% in Q2 (the beginning of quarantine) to 59% of all listening today.

 

At-home listening levels still higher than before quarantine 
At-home listening, although at lower levels since Q2, is still 10 points higher than pre-COVID listening. With a U.S. workforce that has seen many employees transition to home office environments, future surveys will bear out whether or not this is a permanent shift. 
 
At-work listening sees gains 
When quarantine restrictions began in Q2, at-work listening fell by almost half from 15% of all listening to 8%. The latest research in Q3 shows that at-work listening has slightly rebounded, growing from 8% to 10% of all audio consumption, an increase of 25%. 
  

 

Edison Research Podcast Appearances

You may know Edison Research for our projects in the podcasting space including The Podcast Consumer Tracker, The Infinite Dial®, and the Share of Ear® study. You may be familiar with Senior Vice President Tom Webster‘s prolific writing and speaking about the universe of podcasting, as well his his own podcasts, “The Marketing Companion” and “The Freenoters.”

In addition to being avid researchers of podcast listening (and consumers of podcasts — we have a podcast club at Edison Research), some of our Edison Research team members make appearances on podcasts of all types to discuss topics such as upcoming elections, the state the audio space, and even moms and media in the U.S. We enjoy discussing research projects and the implications the results have for our culture and our world.

Below is a Spotify playlist of some of our recent podcast guest appearances. You can also search Spotify for The Edison Team Podcast Appearances playlist from Edison Research.

Special thanks to all the hardworking podcast hosts and producers who graciously included us in their pods!

Click here to open Spotify for podcast appearances by Edison Research

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:


​​​​​​​

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.