The Infinite Dial 2019

Podcasting and Audiobooks Both Attain 50% Reach; Facebook Usage Continues to Drop

Edison Research and Triton Digital reveal results of The Infinite Dial 2019

Podcasting shows explosive year-over-year growth as gains in spoken-word audio mark the 2019 Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital®. Among the U.S. population ages 12 and older, the total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast passes 50% for the first time.

“This is a watershed moment for podcasting–a true milestone. With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream,” noted Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research.

One-third of the population reported having listened to a podcast in the last month, representing 90 million monthly listeners. The spoken-word audio sector also saw increases with audiobooks, as the portion of the U.S. population that has ever listened to an audiobook surpasses one-half for the first time.

“It’s a pleasure to once again partner with Edison Research for another insightful presentation of media usage and consumption in the U.S.” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.

Regarding social media, the latest study finds the number of current users of Facebook continues to drop. The study shows an estimated 15 million fewer users of Facebook than in the 2017 report. The declines are heavily concentrated among younger people.

Other findings include:

–More than half the U.S. population now reports having used YouTube specifically for music in last week. This number is now 70% among 12-34-year-olds.

–The percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds.

–Time spent listening to online audio has reached a record high this year, with weekly online audio listeners reporting an average of nearly 17 hours of listening in the last week.


The 2019 Infinite Dial is the latest report in a series dating back to 1998 that covers consumer usage of media and technology, has tracked many new mediums as they develop. The Infinite Dial currently provides the latest research in U.S. digital audio, mobile, smart speakers, podcast consumption, and social media.

The Infinite Dial study uses the “gold standard” of nationally representative survey research—a random probability telephone sample, comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of all Americans ages 12 and older. The study has become the report card on digital audio and other digital media and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, Internet radio, ad agencies, and the financial community.

Please visit the links below to download the entire study and to watch a recording of the online presentation.

Download the Infinite Dial 2019


View the recording of The Infinite Dial 2019 presentation here.


How the study was conducted:
A total of 1,500 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 3rd through February 4th, 2019, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling through both landline phones and mobile phones. The survey was offered in both Spanish and English. Data was weighted to national 12+ U.S. population estimates.

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 40 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.  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.

On-Site Insights: The Edison Research Digital Out-Of-Home Study

Just released: New DOOH study from Edison Research

With more and more Americans subscribing to ad-free content and blocking online advertising, brands are finding it increasingly challenging to reach consumers with even the most relevant information. One channel that remains strong, however, is digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. Until someone invents glasses that block advertisements, DOOH will continue to be a compelling and effective means to disseminate brand messages.

In order to measure the value of digital out-of-home, Edison Research conducted a national online survey of 1,013 Americans, ages 18+, to gauge their recall and perceptions of DOOH advertising in the places where they work, shop, eat, and travel. Approximately two-thirds of Americans (65%) say that they recall seeing an out-of-home digital video display in the last month in any of the 20 different locations listed. The study found that the highest recall for these screens were in locations where they could immediately influence a transaction such as gas stations, convenience stores, malls, and retail stores. Nearly a quarter of Americans also noted that they had seen a display in the last month at a café or quick service restaurant, which is indicative of just how rapidly this channel is becoming more commonplace, especially with the growing number of digital menus installed by some of America’s largest food service companies.

Which locations have the highest recall?

Some of the most fascinating data in this study are the recall of DOOH displays in various locations by people who have actually visited those locations. For example, while the net percentage of Americans who recall seeing digital video displays in an airport is relatively low, that is more a function of the fact that most people haven’t visited an airport in the last month. But when you look only at people who have visited each location, airports lead the way in recall, at 74%. In fact, the top locations by recall (airports, sporting events, and movie theaters) all offer truly captive audiences making these locations particularly effective for delivering a message. Of course, the power of DOOH advertising is that it is designed to capture the attention of consumers who are literally in transit, and we observed high recall of these screens not only at the airport but also at train stations (50%) and waiting areas for public transportation (32%).

The benefit of asking about each individual out-of-home venue is that we can create audience profiles for each location. Location-specific demographics and perceptions of digital video displays are available upon request.

How do consumers react to digital video displays?

Of course, recall alone is not enough–DOOH displays have to actually work! And, in fact, they do–46% of Americans 18+ who recalled seeing a display in the past month agree that digital video displays are a good way to learn about products and services, while more than a third (35%) take the sentiment a step further and agree that these displays are “engaging.” Finally, people take action subsequent to engaging with DOOH displays. One-third of those who recall seeing an ad on a digital display in the past month say that they have sought out more information about a product as a result of that interaction, while 29% say they have recommended a product they had seen advertised on a DOOH display to a friend or family member.

How do we continue to measure DOOH effectiveness?

We anticipate that DOOH advertising will continue to grow for these reasons and more, especially as new technology continues to improve the interactivity and contextual relevance of the content being served to digital video displays. Of course, if it isn’t measurable, it isn’t useful. Edison’s unique expertise in the science of exit polling and America’s most extensive network of trained out-of-home researchers give us the ability to deliver quantitative and qualitative metrics for all manner of DOOH displays and in literally any location imaginable. For more information on our capabilities or more on our On-Site Insights research, contact info@edisonresearch.com.

Access the full On-Site Insights from Edison Research report here.

Parents, Teens, and Country Music: Edison Presents at CRS 2019

Today Edison Research’s Larry Rosin, Megan Lazovick and Laura Ivey presented a brand new research study, “Understanding Parents, Teens, and Country Music.” This special presentation, commissioned by Country Radio Seminar (CRS) for their 50th anniversary, looks at both the present and the future of Country, radio, and how music gets passed down…and up.

This comprehensive study is based upon both a national survey of parents and teens, and also video ethnography of how these two very important groups interact with music, the radio, and each other. Among the presentation highlights are the following:

  1. Nearly half of teenagers say that music is a “bonding activity” with their parents.
  2. 60% of teens who listen to Country Music say their parents have gotten them to listen more to Country Music.
  3. According to Edison’s industry-leading Share of Ear® study, AM/FM radio remains the top platform for teens, with 63% of 13-19 year-olds listening to radio every day.

To view the presentation visit: https://app.customshow.com/slideshow/pn41bf

About Country Radio Seminar: Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. Country Radio Seminar 2019 is set for Feb. 13-15, 2019 at the Omni Hotel. Visit www.CountryRadioSeminar.com for more information. Like CRS on Facebook and follow CRS on Twitter(Hashtag #CRS50).

“Share of Ear”® Documents the Transition from Owned to Rented Music

Listening to ‘Owned Music’ is the biggest loser in the audio space over the last five years.

In 2014, Edison Research, the leader in the study and analysis of what people listen to in the USA and beyond, began the Share of Ear® survey, the first study designed to measure the total audio space.  Having now completed five full years of this rolling study, we can look at the biggest changes over this dynamic time for audio.

And when we look at the totality of the information, the single biggest change we have seen is the decline in “Owned Music.”

In 2014, 18% of all audio consumption came from music that people owned, whether it be their CDs, owned digital files, vinyl, cassettes, or any other format.  At the end of 2018, this share has fallen to 12%.  The loss of six ‘shares’ of listening constitutes the biggest change, up or down, documented by “Share of Ear” to date.

Not only has the share of “owned music” fallen significantly, but the number of people who listen at all to this category in a given day is down by the same percentage.  Five years ago 38% of all Americans ages 13 and older listened to owned music at some point each day, today this has also fallen by one-third to 25%.

Naturally, these declines are accompanied by increases in other ways for people to consume music.  Where exactly this listening moved to may seem obvious – but it’s not entirely what most people might assume.  These gains will be discussed in a subsequent blog post.

For information about how to subscribe to “Share of Ear®” contact Edison at info@edisonresearch.com

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, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, Wondery, 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.

In-car radio dial

“Radio” Listening Dominates Audio In-Car

As Edison Research’s Share of Ear® studies have consistently shown, when people are in their cars, it is AM/FM Radio that is the overwhelmingly dominant audio companion – -with 67% of all listening going to broadcast radio.

No matter the age of the car one is driving, this is the case. AM/FM garners a strong majority of all time spent listening in the car, even among people who drive the newest cars.

However, one can’t help but see that among those who drive the newest cars, listening to AM/FM is not quite as robust as it is among people who drive older cars.  When people have more choices, some people will, obviously, avail themselves of these new options.  And the choice that people driving newer cars seem to be making in greater numbers is SiriusXM.  As the graph below shows, among people whose principal car is model years 2015-2018 more than one-quarter of listening in the car goes to SiriusXM.

What is fascinating is if one adds together the AM/FM number and the SiriusXM number, as is shown in the graph below.  In every case, the sum of the two numbers is essentially the same.  No matter the age of the car – about seven-eighths of all listening goes to “Radio” – whether it is delivered from a satellite dish or a ‘terrestrial’ tower.

Share of Ear In Car Listening AM FM and SiriusXM

For all the discussion of new technologies in the car, such as voice activation, podcasts, and streaming, for most people and drivers of most cars, their time spent behind the wheel is taken with linear, programmed, hosted ‘radio’ type content.

For more on in-car listening, download the complete Miles Different: In-Car Audio study here.

How the Share of Ear® study is conducted:
Edison Research conducts a nationally representative study of Americans ages 13 and older to measure their time spent listening to audio sources. Respondents complete a 24-hour diary of their audio listening on an assigned day. Diaries are completed both online and by-mail using a paper diary. Diaries were completed in both English and Spanish.

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.