“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.

 

Women and Economic Anxiety

Click here to download the Women and Economic Anxiety study from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.

Women in the U.S. are losing sleep over their financial situations, feel more anxious than men about their personal financial circumstances, and are less likely than men to say the economy is strong. For women of color in the U.S., the differences are even more pronounced. The latest data from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll shows major disparities in how women and men perceive the U.S. economy as well as their personal economies, and for nearly all women it is a stressful story.

According to our national exit poll data from the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, women leaned vastly more to voting for Democrats, and data from The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll allows us some insight into the economic views of American women that may have motivated these choices.

The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll is a regular series of surveys examining how the U.S. population feels about their personal economy and financial situation in the landscape of the broader U.S. economy. It paints a compelling story about women and their current relationship with finances and the economy.

The Economic Anxiety Index is a tool designed by Edison Research and Marketplace to measure the amount of stress a person feels about their individual financial situation through a series of twelve questions regarding job security, saving and expenses, and general financial anxiety.

Principal Findings:

  • Women have a higher median Economic Anxiety Index score than men (26 v. 22).
  • Non-white women have a higher median Economic Anxiety Index score than women in general (30 v. 26).
  • Women are less likely than men to say the U.S. economy is strong (50% v. 70%), and only 37% of non-white women say the U.S. economy is strong.
  • Healthcare is by far the top national economic issue of concern for women with 35% of women citing it as their number one concern among a list of seven items, including taxes, immigration, and rising prices.
  • Women are less likely than men to say they are financially secure (31% v. 42%).
  • Women are more likely than men to lose sleep over their personal financial situation (35% v. 26%). Non-white women (38%) are slightly more likely than all women to lose sleep over finances.
  • The majority of women feel that Washington has forgotten them. Seventy-four percent of non-white women and 69% of all women say that the government in Washington has forgotten about people like them.

How the study was conducted:
Edison Research conducted a national survey of the United States population aged 18 and older. There were 1,058 interviews conducted via landline phone, cell phone, and online. Interviews specific to the topic of the economy were conducted from September 25, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

About Edison Research:
Edison Research (www.edisonresearch.com) 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.

 

Fifty-three million U.S. Adults now own at least one Smart Speaker

Smart Speakers See 78% Increase Year Over Year: Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research at CES

Multi-Device Households Drive Growth

The latest survey from NPR and Edison Research, conducted after the December 2018 holidays, confirms continued increases in the U.S. voice-activated smart speaker market: 53M people A18+ in the U.S. (21% of the population) now own at least one smart speaker, and the total number of devices in homes has increased 78% year-over-year. This new data from The Smart Audio Report, a recurring study launched in 2017, was presented January 7 during the CTA Research Summit at CES 2019 in Las Vegas and is available for download here.

According to the nationally-representative telephone survey of 1,000+ persons 18+, the average smart speaker household now features 2.3 devices, up from an average 1.7 devices per household at this time last year.

Other key findings from The Smart Audio Report Winter 2018 ownership survey include:

  • 52% of all smart speaker owners report using their device daily
  • 8% of people in the U.S. got a smart speaker during the 2018 holiday season, between Black Friday and the end of December 2018
  • 14M people in the U.S. got their first smart speaker device in 2018

“The growth in ownership, particularly the increase in devices per household, really speaks to the tremendous utility of voice assistant technology,” said Tom Webster, Sr. VP at Edison Research. “While these devices initially served as audio appliances, they are now becoming integrated into the fabric of everyday life for tens of millions of Americans.”

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in June 2017, is a recurring study on trends in smart speaker ownership and user behavior. A full archive of research from the Report is available at www.npr.org/smartaudio. NPR is a default news source on all major smart speakers, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana-enabled devices.

Click here to download The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, Winter 2018.

Methodology
Interviews conducted via telephone from December 26-30, 2018 among a sample of 1,002 respondents. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-3.7% at the 95% confidence level. Six-hundred interviews were obtained with respondents on their cell phones, and 33 interviews were completed in Spanish. Data are weighted to represent the U.S. population ages 18 and older.

About NPR
NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day—on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public—one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information at npr.org/aboutnpr and following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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.

 

 

Women Podcast Listeners: Closing the Listening Gender Gap

By Megan Lazovick

Thirteen years ago, when the only ways to listen to a podcast were through a computer or by transferring it to an iPod, someone from Edison Research added a question about podcast listening to our annual study Infinite Dial study. Thanks to the foresight of that hero of an audio geek, Edison has a unique look at the history of the growth of podcast listening in the U.S.

And throughout that history, we have observed that the number of women podcast listeners has trailed behind the number of men listeners. In the earlier years of podcasting, the gap was significant (in 2008, the percent of women who ever listened to a podcast lagged behind men by 25%). Today, podcasters are inching toward closing that gender listening gap (in 2018, the percent of women who ever listen to podcasts only lags behind men by 9%), and we at Edison would like to provide some information that might help close the gap further. To do so, we’ll look at some of our previously published studies to take a closer look at the women in those data sets to understand podcasting’s role in women’s lives.

The Infinite Dial

The 2018 Infinite Dial® Study from Edison Research® and Triton Digital® covers the latest research in digital audio, social media, mobile, smart speakers, and podcast consumption. 2018 was, amazingly, the 20th anniversary of the Infinite Dial, making it the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America.

According to Infinite Dial, in 2018 just over one quarter (26%) of the 12+ U.S. population are monthly listeners. The Infinite Dial estimates show that men’s monthly podcast listening was flat from 2017 to 2018. While women are still behind men in monthly podcast listening, they did grow from 21% in 2017 to 24% in 2018 – which makes for an estimated 34 million women listening.

Women monthly podcast consumers overall are younger than the 12+ population, with 44% of them under the age of 35 compared to 37% in the total population. Women age 25-34 are the really sweet spot for podcasting listenership, with over a third of them saying they’ve listened to a podcast in the last month. There is still a lot of room for growth among in the other age groups, especially with women age 55 and older, with only 13% saying they’ve listened to a podcast in the last month.

Compared to the total population, age 18+, women podcast consumers have a higher annual household income. Fully 44% have a household income of $75,000, compared to only 38% of the total population. Women podcast consumers are also more likely to have obtained higher education than compared to the total population. Thirty-six percent of women who are monthly podcast consumers have attended at least some graduate school (vs. 23% of all Americans). So, women podcast listeners are pretty well-off and highly educated: two very sought after demographics for advertisers.

One number that we really see grow year after year is the amount of time these weekly listeners spend listening to podcasts. In 2018, women podcast consumers that reported listening in the last week (15% of U.S. women), listen to an average of 5 hours and 37 minutes of podcasts per week, which is up from 4 hours and 29 minutes in 2017. Women weekly podcast consumers listen to an average of seven podcasts per week, up from five per week in 2017. These data along with and in-person interviews with podcast listeners all indicate that when someone becomes a podcast listener, he/she spends a lot of time listening to podcasts. Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study looks more deeply at time spent listening.

SHARE OF EAR

Edison Research’s Share of Ear® quantifies the reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. It is the only single-source measurement that puts broadcast radio, Internet-only streaming audio, podcasting, satellite radio, TV music channels, and listeners’ own music collections together. More information about the study is available here.

Americans age 13+ spend an average of four hours per day listening to audio. When you break out those four hours, we see 46% of that time goes to AM/FM Radio listening, 14% to streaming audio, 12% owned music, and 3% to podcasts. But, what’s really powerful is when you look at the Share of Ear among women podcast listeners. As seen below, a whopping 27% of their listening goes to podcasting and AM/FM Radio listening drops to 24% of their time. So, when women start listening to podcasts, the majority of their overall listening time is dedicated to podcasts. But how do you convert non-podcast listeners into podcast listeners?

 

Podcast Listening Barriers study

While the Infinite Dial provides a lot of information about podcast listeners, and Share of Ear gives us an idea of how much women podcast listeners listen, we wanted to know more about those women who do not listen to podcasts. So, we conducted a separate survey with those who are familiar with the term podcasting, but are not listeners. That data has been previously released as part of Tom Webster’s “Podcasting’s Next Frontier: A Manifesto for Growth,” but we’ll, again, look at this data by women to better understand the roadblocks podcasters face in picking up never-before listeners.

While all the women who participated in the study said they were familiar with the term podcasting, 31% of them said they “don’t really understand what a podcast is.”

There is also a lack of a clear understanding about the technology needed to listen to a podcast. Thirty-eight percent of our women respondents said they “aren’t sure how to listen to podcasts” and 66% said they “don’t know where to start.” We have heard these sentiments repeated in multiple in-person interviews and focus groups with non-podcast listeners. In our interviews, women were overwhelmed by the number of choices. They need someone to curate and recommend to them what content they might like.

Three-quarters of women who do not listen said they don’t have a podcast app. We know that, indeed, most DO have a podcast app (at minimum Spotify or Pandora); they are just are unaware.

Pretty much all podcast listeners know that one can download and play a podcast later, but that information hasn’t been passed down to non-listeners: Sixty-eight percent of women familiar with the term “podcasts” but who do no listen thought that podcasts would use up their data plans.

Sixty-one percent said they would listen if there were topics they were interested in, and this could be a case where they are not familiar with the content that’s out there for them, or perhaps podcasters can do more to create content that appeals to women.

Sixty-percent of women familiar with podcast but don’t listen say “podcasts just aren’t for me.” Perhaps many of them are “music-only” people. We know from Share of Ear that not everyone likes speech-based audio. However, hearing such a large percentage of women saying “it’s just not for me” could just indicate that the podcasting industry has not done a good enough job in explaining what’s available to potential listeners.

So what will we see in 2019? Will we see that podcasting has finally closed the gap between men and women listeners when Edison Research and Triton Digital released the Infinite Dial in 2019? Will we see more women-focused podcasts and women-produced podcasts? Will there be more shows universally liked across all demos that are so appealing to non-listeners that they overcome some of the obstacles that have kept them from listening previously? We are not in the business of predicting the future at Edison, but we do have some recommendations to help close the gender listening gap.

First, explain the content, not the tech.  We have done qualitative research that shows quite clearly that non-listeners, even if they say they have heard of a podcast, don’t quite understand what a podcast is. So keep that in mind when you are telling someone why they should to listen to your podcast. In interviews with podcast listeners, people tell us that they listen because they enjoy learning new things because they connect with the hosts, they even tell us how the shows they listen to make them feel. Focus your messages on what you know makes your podcast great, and challenge yourself to write a version of your pitch that does not use the word “podcast.”

Second, get to know your listeners. How much do you know about your listeners? There are so many ways to learn and interact with them. Certainly knowing basic demographics will help you sell sponsorships. But, there are other ways to learn about them too. Listen to your listeners. Invite them to email their thoughts or send audio files or interact with them on social media. Build time into your day EVERYDAY to listen to your audience. If you understand your audience, you’ll learn how to better serve them, which in the end, will better serve you too.

Lastly, invite listeners into your club. You are more than a podcast. You are a club, a community, a group of like-minded people looking to connect. Have you ever met a stranger and somehow found out that you like the same podcast? Did you instantly feel like friends? It’s an amazing phenomenon. You need to think about your podcast as just touchpoint for your entire community of listeners.

Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something. Allow people to be a part of your club. Ask them to do something more meaningful than rate your show or write a review. Maybe ask them to contribute ideas or perhaps there is a cause that is important to you and your listeners that you can support together. Be more than just a podcast by inviting others to join you in doing something. And if you can’t tell what your something is, then maybe you should work on that. Because the best shows out there are more than just shows.