The Infinite Dial 2014

The Infinite Dial 2014, the latest in this long-running series of studies on consumer adoption of digital media, was released today (see below for download information.) This new national survey from Edison Research and Triton Digital found that the weekly audience for all forms of online radio* is now 36% of all Americans age 12 and older, or 94 million nationally.

The study, released today, is the 22nd in a series of studies dating back to 1998. Among the many other findings:

• More than six in ten (61%) now own a smartphone; that number increases to approximately eight in ten age 18-34.

• Internet-only audio services continue to grow, led by Pandora — now consumed by 31% monthly. iTunes Radio debuts in The Infinite Dial with 8% monthly usage.

• Growth in the adoption of the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter has slowed this year, compared with previous editions of The Infinite Dial. Facebook usage is flat compared to 2013, at 58%, while Twitter grew slightly from 15% to 16% year-over-year.

• Podcasting is on the rise, as weekly audio podcast consumption grew 25% year-over-year, from 12% in 2013 to 15% in 2014.

• In-car usage of online radio and other forms of digital audio continues to grow. In 2014, 26% of mobile phone users have connected devices to a vehicle, either physically or via Bluetooth, up from 21% in 2013.

• Snapchat is now one of the leading social networking services; 53% of mobile phone users are familiar with Snapchat, while 13% of Americans 12+ — and 46% of 12-24 year-olds — use the image sharing service.

“The continued penetration of smartphones in America is changing behavior significantly,” noted Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. “We are now seeing activities that were dominated by desktop usage in 2013, flip dramatically to become mobile behaviors. For millions of Americans, the smartphone has become ‘the first screen.’”

“The Internet of Things means audio in everything internet,” said Mike Agovino, COO, Triton Digital. “Scaling connectivity across a plethora of devices is enabling tremendous growth in online radio consumption. Listening levels have reached significant proportions across all demographic groups, and this year’s Infinite Dial study illustrates a definitive upward trajectory.”

Download The Infinite Dial 2014 from Edison Research and Triton Digital here.

The Infinite Dial 2014 from Tom Webster on Vimeo.

How the Study was Conducted

A total of 2,023 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 13 to February 12, 2014, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling. The study includes a total of 808 cell phone interviews.

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, Gulf News, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, Time Warner and Yahoo. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

About Triton Digital:
Triton Digital® is a mid-stage technology company focused on the digital audio industry. More leading publishers – including CBS, Pandora, Entercom and Slacker – use the Triton platform to enrich their content and deliver it to a global audience than that of any other company. Triton’s Webcast Metrics product is the MRC-accredited industry standard in digital audio measurement. Its Ad Injector technology delivers billions of impressions to millions of streams each month. Its ad exchange, a2x, is the only programmatic audience buying platform for audio and has broad adoption across both publishers and agencies. Triton Digital creates meaningful, amplified connections between audio, audience, and advertisers.

* Online Radio = Listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the Internet.

The Podcast Consumer 2012

The Podcast Consumer 2012 is the seventh study in as many years of audio and video podcast consumption in America from Edison Research and Arbitron. This study is derived from the 20th study in the Edison/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Research series, and is based upon a national, representative sample of 2,020 Americans 12+. The study looks at demographics, usage and other behaviors related to podcast consumption and the podcast audience.

Among the main findings:

* The percentage of Americans who have ever listened to an audio podcast is 29%

* Similarly, 26% of Americans 12+ have ever viewed a video podcast

* The podcast audience is significantly more likely to have viewed television programming through non-traditional means

* One in four podcast consumers plug their MP3 players or smartphones into their car audio system “nearly every day”

This study was originally presented by Edison Research VP of Strategy and Marketing Tom Webster, and can be viewed and or downloaded below.

The Podcast Consumer 2012

View more presentations from Edison Research

How the study was conducted

A total of 2,020 persons were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 20 to February 19, 2012, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2011 survey diarykeepers and through random digit dialing (RDD) sampling in geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not available for the survey. Diarykeepers represent 45% of the completed interviews and RDD sampled respondents represent 55% of the completed interviews. The study includes a total of 500 cell phone interviews.

The Infinite Dial 2011 – Navigating Digital Platforms

Smartphone Ownership Doubles Year Over Year to Nearly One-Third of Americans Says New Arbitron/Edison Research Study

Study Also Reveals That Facebook, Multi-Computer Homes Cross 50% Threshold

The percentage of Americans age 12 and older who have a smartphone has more than doubled in the past year, from 14 percent to 31 percent of the population according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2011: Navigating Digital Platforms.

The study, released today, is the 19th in a series of studies dating back to 1998. Among the many other findings:

* Facebook is now being used by a majority of all Americans age 12 and over (51%); this number was only 8% when Arbitron/Edison Research first measured the social media phenomenon in 2008.

* A majority of American households now have two or more computers (51%); as compared to 24% of households in 2002.

* Usage of online radio is up significantly, with weekly usage of all forms of online radio having doubled in the last five years; self-reported weekly time spent with online radio is now nearly 10 hours (9 hours 47 minutes).

* Daily time spent with TV, Radio and the Internet combined has increased by 20 percent in the last ten years, with self-reported daily usage now at 8 hours 11 minutes compared to 6 hours 50 minutes in 2001.

* Just under one-third of all Americans (31%) have plugged an MP3 player such as an Apple iPod into their car stereo systems.

* One in ten Americans report listening to Pandora Internet Radio in the week before they were surveyed.

* Among the 81% of American households with Internet access, two-thirds now have a Wi-Fi network installed.

* More than one-tenth of all cell phone owners have listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system.

“When you consider the rapid growth in ownership of smartphones in context with the continued rise in the use of social media it becomes increasingly clear that these platforms are fueling fundamental changes in consumer expectations and how they use media,” said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc.

“What’s fascinating about the Internet over the past ten years is the additive effect it has had upon the American media diet, which continues to expand,” said Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. “Rather than crowding other forms of media off the plate, so to speak, digital media is being consumed simultaneously with offline media, and in venues and opportunities where media might not have been consumed previously.”

Since 1998, this notable research series has reported on and analyzed consumer use of the Internet, digital platforms and their impact on radio.

“This study provides further evidence of radio’s continued resilience and relevance in today’s digital landscape,” said Arbitron’s Rose.

“The ubiquity of social media usage — and Facebook, in particular — has had an enormous impact upon the ways in which people communicate with each other – which has profoundly affected not only how companies market themselves, but also how they hire and train internally,” said Webster from Edison Research.

Download “The Infinite Dial: 2011” Presentation Slides
Download “The Infinite Dial: 2011” Executive Summary

How the study was conducted

A total of 2,020 persons were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 4 to February 2, 2011, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2010 survey diarykeepers and through random digit dialing (RDD) sampling in geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not available for the survey. Diarykeepers represent 46% of the completed interviews and RDD sampled respondents represent 54% of the completed interviews. The study includes a total of 480 cell phone interviews.

About Arbitron

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is a media and marketing information services firm primarily serving radio, television, cable, advertising agencies, advertisers, retailers, out-of-home media, and online media. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring and estimating network and local market radio audiences across the United States; providing application software used for analyzing our media audience and marketing information data; and providing consumer, shopping, and other media usage information services. The Company has developed the Portable People MeterTM, a new technology for media and marketing research.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to radio stations, television stations, newspapers, cable networks, record labels, Internet companies and other media organizations. Edison Research is also the sole provider of election exit poll data for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, Clear Channel, Citadel, CBS Radio, Bonneville and Westwood One; and also conducts strategic and opinion research for a broad array of companies including Time Warner, Google, Yahoo!, Sony Music, the Voice of America, See Saw Networks and Zenithmedia. Edison Research has a seventeen year history of thought-leadership in media research, and has provided services to successful media properties in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.

The Current State Of Podcasting 2010

The Current State of Podcasting 2010 is Edison’s fifth annual study of the behaviors, attitudes and consumption habits of the podcast audience in America. This study was originally presented at the Blogworld New Media Expo in Las Vegas on October 15, 2010. This presentation combined previously unreleased data from the Edison Research/Arbitron Internet & Multimedia series, along with previously released data from The American Youth Study 2010 and the Edison/ADM Consumer Attitudes to Podcast Advertising study, also from 2010.

Principal findings of the study included:

  • The percentage of Americans who have ever watched or listened to a podcast is 45%, up from 43% one year ago. This equates to approximately 70 million Americans 12+.
  • The podcast audience has migrated from being predominantly “early adopters” to more closely resembling mainstream media consumers.
  • Podcast consumers continue to prefer consuming content at their desktop, not on dedicated media players, but mobile phone media consumption is surging.
  • Podcast consumers index very highly for social networking behaviors.
  • Two-thirds of podcast consumers have listened to digital audio files in their vehicles by connecting an iPod or other MP3 player to their car audio system.

The Blogworld presentation was a far-ranging look at not only how podcasting has changed over the past five years, but also how those changes have created new opportunities for new media content producers to take advantage of shifts in the overall media landscape. The presentation is approximately 60 minutes long, and may be viewed or downloaded below. Alternately, you can download the data slides (only) for the The Current State of Podcasting 2010 from Edison Research.

The Current State Of Podcasting from Tom Webster on Vimeo.

Download the 2010 Edison Podcast Study Data Graphs.

How the study was conducted

A total of 1,753 people were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 25 to February 22, 2010, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2009 survey diarykeepers and through random digit dialing (RDD) sampling in certain geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not available for the survey. Diarykeepers represent 51% of the completed interviews and RDD sampled respondents represent 49% of the completed interviews. The study includes a total of 371 cell phone interviews.

Podcasting in 2010: The Calm Surface Obscures The Roiling Depths

I’m really excited to be presenting a significant session at this year’s Blogworld entitled The Current State of Podcasting. This one’s going to be a little different than what you’ve seen in previous years, where I’ve gone in and done my traditional bucketful of numbers augmented by folksy analogies. We’ve been tracking podcasting at Edison for five years now, with yearly reports on the growth and composition of the podcast audience, and even some work on the effectiveness of podcast advertising. Over that time, two things have happened, oddly simultaneously. First, podcasting from the audience perspective has grown steadily every year, from 11% of Americans having ever listened to an audio podcast in 2006, to the current figure, just under one in four. Second, however, podcasting as a “business” has changed in a somewhat counterintuitive fashion. In 2006-2007, when I first presented our data in places like the Corporate Podcasting Summit and the Podcast and New Media Expo, there were scores of startups in the podcasting space – content creators, aggregators, ad networks, specialty hosting companies, measurement companies and consultants. Chris Brogan and Christopher Penn started PodCamp as a way for independent podcasters to get together and learn from each other. Hardware and software makers alike converged on podcasting, and there were all manner of devices, podcatching software and specialist portals created to serve the space.
Today, the podcasting-specific conferences are gone. Blogworld has absorbed the best of the old PNME, of course, and this year’s excellent Digital Broadcasting track reflects the finest the field has to offer for podcasters of all stripes. Look, however, through the lens of the trusty wayback machine, at the sponsors from the 2006 PNME. How many are still in business? And, of those that are, how many remain podcast-focused? Even the venerable (in Internet years) PodCamp really isn’t about podcasting anymore, as it too has morphed into more of a generalist’s gathering of content creators of all stripes, with – of course – the obligatory heavy focus on social media. Yesterday’s podcasting experts are today’s social media gurus. This isn’t a knock – it’s an observation (and, of course, the social media space has become a significantly bigger market in a much shorter period of time than has podcasting, so for most it has been a smart shift.) In the words of BT, the only constant is change.
Yet, podcasting has never been more popular, never touched as many lives, and never made as much money as it does today. Though there have been dozens of Podangos, Todd Cochrane has built a pretty nice business with RawVoice. ESPN and NPR have taken podcasting to new heights of mass-appeal awareness and acceptance. Consolidation was inevitable, yes, but today there are success stories with advertising-supported models, sponsorship models and premium content models to be found all over the Interwebs.
podcast_listening_2010.pngAll of which leads to this innocuous-looking graph. The story this graph tells is one of calm, steady ascent – not exponential growth, but not a flatline either. In short, a nice, steady picture of incremental growth for podcasting as a medium. This graph, however, describes the calm surface over what turns out to be a far greater “sea” change below. For while the overall audience numbers show gradual shifts, the makeup of that audience has changed in some subtle, and some not-so-subtle ways. The podcasting audience is not only bigger than they were in 2006, they are different. In 2006, the podcasting world was full of bright thinkers with big ideas to capture the nascent podcasting audience. Today, many of those initial entrepreneurs have moved on to the next, new thing (and, in some cases, to chasing the same elusive early adopters that proved to be unmonetizable in podcasting’s early days.) Yet, if you dive below the surface of today’s podcast consumers to understand just how this audience has changed as it has grown, there is enormous opportunity for those willing to take a fresh look at the space.
Today, podcasting is generally seen as part of a channel strategy – a valid part of a multi-platform digital buy. Yet the shifts in podcasting’s audience – those roiling depths beneath the calm trend line of that graph above – suggest that there is yet another act in podcasting’s play, for those who truly understand the trends and can capitalize upon these latent opportunities. That’s why I am genuinely excited about my session at Blogworld (and not just in the Press Release version of “excited,” either). Instead of only presenting a snapshot of data – the 2010 podcast statistics – I’m going to be doing a deep dive into five years of our data, and five years of covering the space as an analyst, to really uncover the shifts that have taken place beneath podcasting’s surface over the past half-decade. I promise you, you will leave this session with new ideas, new action items, and maybe even a new perspective on an “old” digital medium.
I hope to see you there.