The Infinite Dial 2010: Use of Social Media Explodes

Almost Half of Americans Have Profiles Says New Arbitron/Edison Research Study

Study Also Reveals Younger Consumers Eager to Adopt Mobile Digital Radio

The percentage of Americans age 12 and older who have a profile on one or more social networking Web sites has reached almost half (48 percent) of the population in 2010 – double the level from two years ago (24 percent in 2008), according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2010: Digital Platforms and the Future of Radio.

The new study, released today, also reveals that consumer use of social networking sites is not just a youth phenomenon. While nearly eight in ten teens (78 percent) and 18 to 24s (77 percent) have personal profile pages, almost two-thirds of 25 to 34s (65 percent) and half of 35 to 44s (51 percent) also now have personal profile pages. The study also shows that 30 percent of Americans age 12 and older, who have a profile on at least one social networking Web site, use those sites “several times a day” compared with only 18 percent one year ago.

“The use of social networking sites has expanded beyond younger consumers, with substantial numbers of Americans over the age of 35 now using social media,” said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc.

“Social networking has become a part of mainstream media behavior,” said Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research.

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

“Americans continue to hold radio in high regard, with nearly eight in ten saying they plan to listen to as much AM/FM radio in the future as they do now – despite advances of technology” said Arbitron’s Bill Rose.

“Younger consumers show interest in radio on mobile phones,” said Tom Webster from Edison Research. “More than four in ten mobile phone owners age 12 to 24 say they would listen more to FM radio if a tuner were built into those phones.”


Key Findings about Radio and Digital Platforms:

Nearly one in four Americans has listened to audio from an iPod or other MP3 player connected to a car stereo: Although consumers often have to deal with myriad adapters and other barriers to in-car listening, 54 percent of iPod/MP3 player owners have listened to their device in their car; this equates to 24 percent of all persons age 12 and older having listened to an iPod, iPhone or other MP3 player while connected to a car stereo.

Three in ten 12 to 24s are “very interested” in online radio in the car and on mobile devices: Among those age 12 to 24, 30 percent are “very interested” in listening to online radio in-car, while 28 percent are “very interested” in listening to online radio on mobile devices.

Consumers say radio station Web sites are improved but TV and print sites are leading the local battle: Nearly half of people age 12 and older give credit to radio for improvements in their Web sites. Forty- eight percent say that radio station Web sites have gotten more interesting compared to 17 percent believing them to be worse or less interesting. However, monthly visitation to radio station Web sites (16 percent) among persons 12+ lags visitation to local TV and local newspaper Web sites.

Other key findings:

The Internet passes TV as most essential medium in Americans’ lives: For the first time, more Americans say the Internet is “most essential” to their lives when given a choice along with television, radio, and newspapers; 42 percent chose the Internet as “most essential,” with 37 percent selecting television, 14 percent choosing radio, and 5 percent said newspapers. While television still leads among those over the age of 45, Internet dominates among younger persons age 12 to 44.

More than six in ten households with Internet access have a Wi-Fi network at home: Sixty-two percent of homes with Internet access have wireless network set-ups in their homes, more easily enabling the consumption of digital media in any room of their home, as more and more devices feature built-in Wi-Fi such as the new Apple iPad.

Texting has become a daily activity for nearly half of all mobile phone owners: Nearly half of mobile phone owners (45 percent) age 12 and older text multiple times a day. Three quarters of teens (75 percent) and persons age 18 to 24 (76 percent) text multiple times a day compared with nearly two thirds (63 percent) of 25 to 34s; and four in ten (42 percent) 35 to 44s and 45 to 54s (37 percent).

Broadband access has leveled and growth has stabilized for some digital platforms: Growth of residential broadband has leveled off, with 84 percent of homes with Internet access having broadband connections. The slower growth of residential broadband is associated with little year over year change in weekly usage of online radio (17 percent) and online video (29 percent). The study suggests that expanded use of use of mobile devices and in-car Internet may spark the next wave of growth.

This study, as well as previous studies, may be downloaded free of charge via the Arbitron and Edison Research Web sites at and

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.

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, 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, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Universal Music Group, Time Life Music and the Voice of America. Edison Research has a sixteen year history of thought-leadership in media research, and has provided services to successful media properties in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.

Portable People MeterTM and PPMTM are marks of Arbitron Inc.

ADM research notes podcast advertising appeals to “unreachable” consumers

Washington, DC – January 28, 2010 – The Association for Downloadable Media, in conjunction with Edison Research, announced today the findings of its recently concluded Podcast Consumer Attitudes study. Respondents to this online study of active podcast consumers indicated that although they are increasingly turning away from some mass media platforms and advertising approaches, they are receptive to advertising and sponsorship messages in downloadable media. These consumers also show a significant tendency to consume podcasts on their mobile phones, highlighting the importance of the channel as a truly portable medium.

According to Edison Research Vice President Tom Webster, “A podcast advertising buy is not a redundant media buy for advertisers and marketers. These are attractive, affluent consumers that mass media is losing.” He also notes, “Ninety percent of these respondents indicated that they had taken some kind of action as a result of podcast advertising or sponsorship, and over 40% reported purchasing behaviors, which indicates that they are receptive to the right message, in the right context.”

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ADM Chairman, Chris MacDonald stated, “This study reinforces what the ADM has always believed, that podcasts and downloadable media provide valuable and effective options to reaching the otherwise unreachable, in ways that work for the consumer.” He goes on to say, “It’s obvious that an online or offline audio or video buy that does not include a podcasting component will miss a very attractive advertising target.”

Other findings of this study included the following:

Nearly 80% of these podcast consumers agreed that “when price and quality is equal,” they “prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor” the podcasts they regularly enjoy.

37% of these respondents expressed some positive sentiment about advertising in the podcasts they regularly listen to or watch, compared to only 6% positive sentiment expressed for the advertising approaches of television or commercial radio.

In fact, 78% of these respondents agreed (and 21% agreed strongly) that their opinion of a company is more positive when they hear it mentioned in one of the podcasts they regularly enjoy.

In addition, 72% of these respondents were at least somewhat receptive to sponsorship messages in the podcasts they regularly enjoy, with 5% indicating that they are generally “interested in them and/or often find them useful.” When sponsorship or advertising messages are read by the host(s) of the podcasts themselves, again 72% are receptive, but 20% indicate that those messages are generally interesting and useful.

Presentation materials and a full report are available at and

Survey Methodology

Respondents in this online survey were recruited using audio/video messages embedded in podcasts from some of the leading aggregators of downloadable media, including NPR, Wizzard, RawVoice and Revison3, during the 4th quarter of 2009. Interviews were conducted from 10/20 to 11/16, with a final tally of 4,787 completed surveys. Raw results from the survey were weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the U.S. audience for audio and video podcasts, as reported from nationally representative data sourced from the 17th Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Study (2009) and The Podcast Consumer Revealed (2009).

About the Association for Downloadable Media

The Association for Downloadable Media is focused on providing standards for advertising and audience measurement for episodic and downloadable media. The organization’s constituents include individual podcasters, media companies, publishers, syndication companies and distributors offering downloadable media, advertising agencies, marketers, technology suppliers, hardware and software manufacturers of portable media products and services, market research firms and audience and advertising effectiveness measurement companies. Through our volunteer membership, we provide leadership in and organization of advertising and audience measurement standards, research, education and advocacy to all those involved in portable media (Podcasts/ATOM/RSS media enclosures) across the Internet, iPods, MP3 players, mobile devices, P2P and other upcoming platforms.

About Edison Research

Edison Research is a global leader in market and consumer research for businesses and media organizations worldwide, and has been the sole provider of exit poll information to the six major news organizations –ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press–since 2003. As part of this effort, Edison has conducted exit polls and collected precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major primary and the general elections in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Edison provides companies with custom research solutions to measure audience, effectiveness and other key metrics of marketing and advertising campaigns. They are, along with Arbitron, the co-authors of the widely-quoted Internet and Multimedia Research Series, now in its 18th iteration.

Edison Research Shows Increase in POP Radio Audience of In-Store Audio Advertising in Drug, Grocery and Mass Merchandiser Stores

Edison Research, a leading market research company based in Somerville, New Jersey, announced the release of research that measured an increase in the total audience for POP Radio, LP (Point-of-Purchase Radio), a leading provider of in-store audio advertising in Drug, Grocery and Mass Merchandiser stores. This study updates POP Radio audience estimates originally released in 2007.
Edison’s clients include many of the nation’s largest broadcasting companies and music labels as well as Arbitron, Inc. Edison Research also conducts the election exit polls for the major television news networks and the Associated Press.
The research solicited consumer feedback to in-store audio as well as physically counted the number of shoppers exposed to in-store audio. The study found:
• The stores in the entire POP Radio network (including drug, grocery and mass merchandiser stores) have an average of 13.5 million daily visits from shoppers ages 12 and older every week. This is a 31% increase from the 10.3 million daily visits estimated by Edison Research for the entire POP Radio network in 2007. This increase is largely reflective of the increased number of stores in the POP Radio network.
• The stores in the POP Radio Drug Store network have a reach of 8.6 million people ages 12 and older every week.
• The stores in the POP Radio Grocery network have a reach of 19.8 million people ages 12 and older every week.
• The stores in the POP Radio Mass Merchandiser network have a reach of 5.3 million people every week.
• The average number of shopping visits per week is 2.41 times for the Drug store, 2.96 times for the Grocery stores and is 2.40 times per week for the Mass Merchandiser stores.
• The average length of a shopping trip in Drug stores was, on average, 18 minutes; it was 28 minutes in Grocery stores and 35 minutes in Mass Merchandiser stores.
• This research was able to provide measures national Gross Rating Points (GRP’s) to provide side-by-side evaluation of POP Radio with other broadcast properties by the media buying community. Unlike most nontraditional and out-of-home media, POP Radio can provide detailed GRP estimates for specific demographic targets. For example, the total daily reach of a commercial that runs once per hour on the POP Radio Grocery and Mass Merchandiser Networks and twice per hour on the POP Radio Drug Store Network would reach an estimate 7.1 million shoppers per day. This is the equivalent of a national rating of 2.8. This is a 37% increase from 5.2 million shoppers per day measured in the 2007 Edison Research audience survey.

The goals of the Edison Research study were to quantify exact audience delivery of the POP Radio advertising and to determine how many shoppers were exposed to in-store audio on a daily and weekly basis. The study results validated POP Radio current audience and revealed that a vast majority of Grocery, Drug and Mass Merchandiser shoppers are aware of messages delivered through POP Radio.
“Our research demonstrated that within Grocery, Drug and Mass Merchandiser stores, and over a demographically diverse sample, POP Radio reaches over three million shoppers each day in a captive audio environment. Many in-store media providers struggle with a quantitative method for calculating their audience. The simple methodology we employed for this study validated the POP Radio audience,” said Joe Lenski, Executive Vice President of Edison Research. “In advertising, repetition and frequency often drive results, and POP Radio delivers a hard-to-reach audience right at the point-of-purchase.”
In addition to physically counting shoppers in Grocery, Drug, and Mass Merchandiser locations, Edison Research interviewed shoppers about their shopping habits to determine frequency and length of shopping trips. The survey sample represented a cross-section of America, spanning multiple ethnicities and age groups. A cross section of stores in terms of geographic location and store size were included in the survey.
“We are extremely encouraged that the Edison study provides independent confirmation that POP Radio delivers such a solid audience and provides a powerful reach and frequency of consumers directly in the store,” said Gary Seem, President/CEO of POP Radio. “Edison Research has developed a very bullet-proof methodology – by simply counting the shoppers entering the stores and measuring time spent shopping – to prove that POP Radio is literally the largest radio station in the country, reaching millions of consumers in a captive environment at the point-of-purchase.”
To obtain an executive summary of the Edison Research survey, and learn how you can take advantage of POP Radio to target and influence consumers at the point-of-purchase, please contact Gary Seem, POP Radio at 802-362-9180.

Survey Methodology

Entrance and exit interviews were conducted by Edison Research at a national sample of Grocery Stores, Drug Stores, and Mass Merchandiser Stores from Monday, October 13th to Sunday, October 19th, 2008. Entrance and exit interviews were conducted at a national sample of Food Lion Grocery Stores from Thursday, November 13th to Wednesday, November 19th, 2008. A total of 3,950 interviews were conducted at 140 stores between 9AM and 9PM on all seven days in the week.
Edison Research recorded counts of the number of shoppers observed for each store in the sample. The calculation of total audience estimates is based upon the total number of stores in the network as reported by POP Radio Network as of November 1, 2008. The total number of stores reported in the POP Radio Network is 11,163 stores including 5,104 Drug Stores, 4,687 Food Stores and 1,372 Mass Merchandiser Stores.
About Edison Research
Somerville, NJ based Edison Research provides consumer market research and public opinion polling to businesses, governments, and news organizations throughout the world. Edison is particularly renowned for its Exit Polling techniques, and is the worldwide leader in the application of Exit Polling to consumer research. Edison Research, affiliated with many Arbitron research projects, also works directly with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, Citadel Radio, CBS Radio, Bonneville and Westwood One. Since 2003, Edison Research has conducted all exit polls and election projections for the six major news organizations–ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press. To learn more about Edison visit

About POP Radio

POP Radio delivers in-store audio advertising to retailers including grocery, drug, convenience store and mass merchandiser businesses. The audio advertising, that is an overlay to the in-store music, is a comprised of retailer specific messages combined with third party national advertising. With the diversification of mainstream media, POP Radio has perfected the art of reaching consumers at the point-of-purchase, in a captive environment and only moments before the purchase decision is made. Founded in 1983, POP Radio has been delivering targeted audio advertising to retailers with proven sales lift results and a positive ROI.
As consumers are increasingly overwhelmed by the barrage of media messages delivered via traditional broadcast and print media, advertisers are searching for ways to more effectively reach and influence their prospective customers. POP Radio delivers audio messages, similar to network radio, yet in a captive environment and at the point-of-purchase where no channel surfing can occur and the consumer hears the message only minutes – or even seconds – before the purchase decision is made.
POP Radio delivers messaging – both national and local ads – to Grocery, Drug and Mass Merchandiser stores, while providing advertisers with a captive audience at the point-of-purchase. POP Radio is currently in over 11,000 stores. In addition to the Edison Research quantitative audience research, POP Radio has numerous studies of the effect on sales via matched panel scanner data research. Since 2004, these studies have shown a consistent average sales lift of 16% over control stores.
Edison Research
Joe Lenski, 908-707-4707
POP Radio
Gary Seem, 802-362-9180