The Infinite Dial 2021 – Save the Date

Edison Research and Triton Digital® present the 24th year of The Infinite Dial®

The Infinite Dial® 2021 from Edison Research and Triton Digital® is slated to take place on Thursday, March 11th at 2 PM ET, and registration is now open.

Presenters Tom Webster (Senior Vice President, Edison Research) and John Rosso (President of Market Development, Triton Digital) will once again showcase much-anticipated findings on digital media consumption in the US. The Infinite Dial® remains the longest-running study of consumer behaviors around media and technology in America.

“The Infinite Dial has become the survey of record for digital media over its 24-year history, and with COVID-19-imposed quarantines and other disruptions in our daily lives, there has never been a more important time to chronicle how Americans are spending their time and to track the changes in those behaviors,” said Tom Webster.

“We are pleased to unveil the results of the 2021 Infinite Dial Study, providing broadcasters, online audio publishers, podcasters, advertisers, and the financial community with updated data around Americans’ consumption of streaming radio, online music, and podcasts, as well as the usage of smart speakers and more,” said John Rosso.

New to webinar this year is the opportunity for viewers of the study to become involved by submitting a video of themselves asking questions around podcasting, audio streaming, device usage, social media trends, radio, or other items related to The Infinite Dial. Webster and Rosso will select a few entries to air and answer during the live event.

This year the report continues to measure a number of trends in media usage and consumption habits around streaming media, podcasting, radio, mobile media, smart speakers, social media behaviors, and more.

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.

About Triton Digital
Triton Digital® is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry. Operating in more than 50 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.

###

For more information, press only:

Laura Ivey
Edison Research
(410)353-7845
livey@edisonresearch.com

Kristin Charron
Triton Digital
+1 866 448 4037
Kristin.charron@tritondigital.com

Edison Research Introduces The Social Habit

Edison Research is debuting The Social Habit, new ongoing measurement of U.S. social media user attitudes and habits. The Social Habit marks the first time that national trending data of users of social media brands is available to subscribers.

The Social Habit will provide the ability to analyze data on social media users by political party affiliation or political ideology, among many other demographic variables. As the data will be collected continuously, subscribers will be able to pinpoint changes in behaviors and attitudes about social media as they happen.

The new The Social Habit dataset will allow subscribers to:

–Spot trends in usage and attitudes about social media as they happen

–Compare demographics and data from various social media brand users including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and TikTok

–Examine attitudes about topics such as trust in news coverage on social media, how users believe social media should be regulated, and privacy concerns

–Analyze social media data before and after certain important dates, for example, January 8 when President Trump was removed from Twitter

“The Social Habit is a logical brand extension for us,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin. “We have recently seen the worlds of media, social media, and politics collide, and as a company that measures all of these spaces we feel that now is an important time to mine these insights.”

Edison Research has been tracking social media behaviors as part of The Infinite Dial® since 2008, including heritage brands such as Facebook and Instagram, and was among the first to measure emerging brands such as TikTok before they gained significant market share. Edison Research previously released summary findings on social media behavior as part of their original The Social Habit study in 2019, and the effects of social media on American moms as part of their Moms and Media project in 2020. The Social Habit is an ongoing tracking study of U.S. social media users age 18 and older. Tracking began December 18, 2020, with approximately 350 interviews a week. The data is weighted to match the sex, age, and ethnicity of U.S. social media users from The Infinite Dial® 2020 report.

Data from The Social Habit will be showcased in a free webinar on February 16 at 1pm, Twitter Before and After Trump. Click here to register for Twitter Before and After Trump webinar

Contact Edison Research at info@edisonresearch.com for more information on becoming a subscriber to The Social Habit.

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.

Edison Research Published Studies 2020

It is customary at year’s end to reflect a bit on the work that was accomplished in the prior twelve months. This year we are grateful to be able to look back at the studies that we conducted, and recognize that through the dedication of our Edison Research team and our research partners Ad Results Media, Adonde Media, Lantigua Williams and Co., Libsyn, Marketplace, NPR, Pandora, PodcastOne, and Triton Digital, we were able to produce many valuable research insights in spite of the challenges of 2020.

This year’s findings shed light on audio, podcasts, economic anxiety in America, and of course the ubiquitous impact of COVID-19. Our biggest project of the year was by far the 2020 election, as we conducted the exit poll of record for the National Election Pool (NEP) comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC, which meant we interviewed over 100,000 voters for the general election. As of this writing, exit poll work continues with the runoff Senate elections in the state of Georgia.

So thank you all for your support during the past year, and we hope you enjoy perusing these research projects from 2020.

Latino Podcast Listener Report in English:

Latino Podcast Listener Report in Spanish:

Edison Research’s 10 for ’20

Welcome to Edison Research’s 10 for ’20. It’s like a Top 10 List for 2020, but better — because we know 2020 doesn’t warrant a standard Top 10 List.

Despite the circumstances of quarantine, we were fortunate enough to continue to do market research projects and talk to thousands of people about their audio habits, their views on the economy, and their voting choices as well. We had to revise some of our research methods, particularly when it came to the work of exit polls, and we had to embrace working remotely, but we have 2021 in the sights, so we are thrilled to bring you these findings.

The three defining news stories of 2020 were the global pandemic from Covid-19, the U.S. presidential election, and a time of racial awakening and reckoning across the country. Those three wound their way through all of our research this year, which is one of the reasons our 10 for ‘20 list is impossible to present in rank order.

Here are our biggest findings from 2020, presented by various members of our Edison Research team, in an order that tells the story of this momentous year. Below each finding you will find links to the cited studies that you can explore for more information.

U.S. audio consumption changed as a result of COVID-19
Source: Share of Ear Listening Location, Share of Ear Audio Day Starts Later
Listening location changed dramatically in second quarter with 70% of total listening taking place at home, down from 49% pre-quarantine.Third quarter saw some listening shift away from home, with 59% of total listening taking place at home. Americans’ audio day started later as quarantine restrictions began. Before the pandemic, half of all respondents in Share of Ear had recorded some type of audio consumption by 7:15. During the quarantine restrictions of second quarter, that time shifted forward by 75 minutes so that half of respondents had recorded some type of audio consumption by 8:30. In third quarter, that time had only bounced back to 8:15am.

100 Million Americans listen to Podcasts Monthly
Source: The Infinite Dial 2020 with Triton Digital
While we still haven’t hit ‘peak’, this is the year where podcasting hit over 100 million monthly listeners. After years of single-digit growth, that’s more than a 40% increase in a two year period. Compared to the explosive growth of monthly podcast listening in the last five years from 21% of the US population in 2016 to 37% in 2020, monthly Twitter usage has essentially stayed the same 17% of the US population in 2016 and 17% in 2020. That means today, well over twice as many people listen to a podcast every month than use Twitter monthly.

25% of U.S. Latinos Listen to Podcasts Monthly; many are new to the medium
Source:The Latino Podcast Listener Report with Adonde Media, Lantigua Williams and Company, Libsyn, NPR, and Pandora
Listenership among Latinos is poised to grow as their awareness of the medium increases, and this growth may have already started. Over half of Latino podcast listeners started listening just within the last year. There are big differences between Language Dominant groups, with Spanish-language dominant listeners being more likely to have come to the medium within the last six months. Latinos have significantly been contributing to the expansion of podcasting already. The industry will have a better chance at maintaining this momentum if they take time to understand this group.

Spoken Word’s share of audio listening increased 30% over the past six years, 8% in the last year; growth driven by women, African-Americans, Latinos and 13-34-year-olds
Source: The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research
2020 was a good year for Spoken Word audio, including sports talk and play-by-play, talk and personality audio programming, and audiobooks. The share of time spent listening to spoken word audio in the U.S. increased by 30% in the past six years, and 8% in the just the last year. The highest levels of growth are coming from women, African-Americans, Latinos and 13-34-year-olds. In addition to the convenience and multitasking benefits of spoken word audio, listeners tuned in for personal growth, better content, and the positive effects on mental health.

55% of Gen Z listeners are reached by AM/FM radio every day
Source: Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listenership with Front Row Insights and Strategy
Our study shows that 55% of all Gen Zs listen to AM/FM radio each day, so they recorded at least some radio listening into their Share of Ear diary. This just surpasses our estimate for streaming. In an environment where radio people are constantly hearing that no young people listen to the radio anymore, this is powerful proof that it is not the case. More than half said they listen every day. Of the time spent listening to all audio among 13-24 year-olds, 22% of it goes to AM/FM radio.

60 million Americans now own a smart speaker, and usage increased during quarantine
Source: The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research
Twenty-four percent of people in the U.S own at least one smart speaker – around 60 million people. Over one-third of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak – and younger Americans, those 18-34-year-olds, are even more likely to turn to the device for a diversion – a little over half – or 52% — of young Americans said they are using smart speaker for music and entertainment since the pandemic started.

Over half of U.S. Moms agree they are spending a lot time helping their children with distance learning; Moms much more likely to be the primary person responsible for helping
Source: Source: Moms and Media 2020, Marketplace-Edison Research Poll

Fifty-four percent of moms agree they are spending a lot of time helping their kids with distance learning during COVID-19). Moms with school age children who are remote learning are much more likely to be responsible for helping their children with school. Sixty-three percent of moms said they are primarily responsible for helping their children with online learning, compared to 29% of dads who said the same. Nearly half of those moms (48%) agreed that online school was overwhelming. (Marketplace-Edison Research Poll) 30% of moms reported cutting back on work hours in order to help their children with schooling.

More than half of Americans don’t see America as the land of equal opportunity
Source: Marketplace-Edison Research Poll
Forty-eight percent of Americans said that generally speaking, Black workers are typically paid less than white workers doing the same job.” Breaking this down by race – more than three-quarters of Black Americans say this is the case. What is also really striking is that 41% of white Americans and about 48% of Hispanic or Latino Americans say this is the case.
In the same vein, six in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation.

COVID-19 changed how we vote
Source: Edison Research Election Polling
During this 2020 General election more people voted prior to election day either by mail or early in person than ever before (at least 100 million). The exit polls and raw vote count showed clear differences in candidate preference according to the method by which an individual chose to vote. Among those who voted by mail (about 43% of voters), Biden won the group by 31 points – 65-34. Those who voted early in person (about 24% voters), split their vote evenly between Biden and Trump. Finally,voters who voted in person on election day, (about 33% of voters), voted for Trump 59-39.

Voter turnout was up by more than 21.5 million people, many of whom voted for the first time
Source: Edison Research Election Polling
The biggest story of this election is the enormous increase in turnout. In 2016 the US had about 137 million voters which was a turnout record itself. For the 2020 General election, turnout will end up at about 158.5 million voters, an increase of about 21.5 million voters. A significant portion of this turnout increase were the 14% of voters who said they voted for the first time this year (whether it be during the primary of general). Of those 2020 first time voters, the exit poll shows they voted for Biden 64 to 32.A final aspect of this high turnout electorate to acknowledge is that it featured a noticeably lower percentage of third party presidential votes than in 2016. In 2016 about 6% of voters voted third party, while this year less than 2% went to a non-Democrat or Republican choice for president.

CHR – Contracting Hit Radio

So much of radio’s self-image revolves around what we radio people know as CHR and what most listeners might call “Top 40.” Those stations that likely use “[City]’s #1 Hit Music Station” as a slogan. Those brands so many grew up with and still look to as leaders – the Kisses, Hots, Powers, Bs, Zs and Channels that populate the format.

And yet, according to Nielsen’s ratings, over the last few years, CHR’s ratings are consistently, and increasingly, fading away.

The nearby graph shows CHR’s total week shares in Nielsen’s PPM markets for each year – January through November (to avoid the Christmas distortions). As you can see, among all listeners (age six and older) the format’s share of radio listening has stepped down steadily in each year since a modern peak in 2014. The drop from 2016’s 8.1% to this year’s 5.5% represents a rather precipitous 32% decline in just four years.

In 2016, CHR was the second-most listened to format, behind only News/Talk. With this year’s tally complete, CHR now ranks tied for fourth, having fallen behind Adult Contemporary and Country.

You might be thinking to yourself – “Is this just a function of young people listening to less radio? Thus making CHR shares harder to attain?” While 18-34 broadcast radio usage is down, CHR’s purchase on that audience is down as well. The second graph shows the same trend but among 18-34s. Shares to CHR are down 30% among this group. CHR has been the highest ranking format among 18-34s in each year since PPM came along, but the gap is dwindling – now less than one point ahead of second-place Country.

And you can cross off two other possible hypotheses:

• Are there simply fewer CHR stations?
o No. Per Nielsen, the number of stations they track in the format is essentially flat.
• Is the listening being lost to other near-neighbor formats?
o No. Rhythmic CHR is also at a record low. Hot AC is at a record low and dramatically tapering off from a 2015 peak. Not-as-near Alternative is at a record low, despite a number of stations switching into the format. Country is at its low 6+ and just above that level 18-34. Urban, Spanish Hits and Active Rock all are essentially flat.

At the same time, the reach, or ‘cume audience’ to many of these stations remains robust. As an example, look at New York, where Z100 currently sits in seventh place in share, but second in cume. Or to find a more extreme case, Chicago, where WBBM-FM (B96) is 19th in share but ranks fifth in cume.

Clearly, something is happening with contemporary music radio across the board. Perhaps there is simply a dearth of compelling current music to play across all contemporary formats – and CHR is just a few hit songs away from changing the trajectory. Maybe the ultra-high spin rates employed by most contemporary stations, but especially CHRs, has caught up to the listeners, creating a high-cume/low TSL vortex. But it seems far likelier that the issues are more fundamental.

The biggest clue to what might be happening comes when one considers this: Among 18-34s, both Classic Hits and Classic Rock are at record high shares. This could be a statement about ‘current’ music and its relative quality. However it seems more likely a factor of who is spending more time listening to radio versus less. Those interested in the newest music are likely scratching that itch more effectively with other, non-radio options – leaving behind bigger shares for those who want to mostly listen to older, ‘classic’ music. Understanding this phenomenon is the first key to figuring out a new way to engage with radio’s competition for those younger listeners.