Radio’s Roadmap To Gen Z Listenership

Gen Z Listeners in the U.S. are Heavy Users of Streaming, but 55% listen to AM/FM Radio Every Day

 Audio consumers in “Gen Z — those between the ages of 13 and 24 —  prefer listening  on their smartphones, which should be no surprise because they have grown up with the devices, but AM/FM radio’s reach among Gen Z is high (55%)according to Share of Ear® information from Edison Research. 

Megan Vartan, Director of Research at Edison Research and Jayne Charneski, founder of Front Row Insights & Strategy, presented the Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listenership webinar today — a version of this study was presented at the NAB Show Express earlier this year.  

Click here to download Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listening July 2020

Who are those in Generation Z? Gen Z is the most racially diverse generation in the U.S. to date, with 48% identifying as a racial or ethnic minority. They are the first generation of true digital natives; they are increasingly being referred to as “Zoomers,” a nod to the pace at which technology and culture have changed in their lifetimes, and now to the presence of Zoom in their lives. Having grown up in the age of the 24-hour-news cycle and endless information on the internet, they regularly consume news and information.  

Share of Ear® measures audio consumption of those aged 13+ in the U.S., so those aged 13-24 were used to represent Gen Z in this study. 

Over half (55%) of 13-24 year-olds in the U.S. are reached by AM/FM radio dailyjust surpassing the reach of streaming (53%). 

“Perhaps fact that Gen Z listens to any  AM/FM radio surprises you,” said VartanMany people believe that no young people ever listen to the radio any more. This is simply not true.  Especially when they are in their cars, but even in other places – young people do listen to the radio. 

Gen Z listeners spend 50% less of their total share of time listening to AM/FM radio than the average 13+ population, so even though 55% of Gen Zers are reached by radio daily, they spend less time with radio when they tune in. 

Gen Z listens to AM/FM Radio most when they are in the car. Almost 50% of the time spent listening to audio in the car among13-24 year-olds is to AM/FM radio, surpassing streaming audio, YouTube, and others.

Gen Z listeners are much more likely to listen to audio on a smartphone than a traditional device. Gen Z uses a radio receiver 50% less than the average 13+ population, and they use their phones for listening 75% more than the average 13+ population.

Gen Z listeners spend 58% more of their total share of time listening to streaming audio than the average 13+ population. Their share of YouTube listeningwhich is surveyed only for music and music videos, is 98% higher than the average 13+ population.

Despite Gen Z’s love for streaming and for their smartphones, 89% of their listening to AM/FM radio is done through a traditional radio receiver. Eleven percent of Gen Z’s AM/FM radio listening is going to the streams.  Even among this young, digital-first demographic, they are simply not listening in big numbers to radio streams.

“Stations need to remind these digital natives that FM radio is available digitally” said Charneski.  “This is the generation that was swiping before they were wiping…and yet, somehow they’re not thinking of FM radio as that’s available on their phones and mobile devices.”

Qualitative interviews with Gen Z radio listeners found some of the reasons they enjoy radio:
 radio provides a human connection, particularly during quarantine
radio offers the surprise of songs that have not been curated in streaming playlists
radio is a source for additional information about music and artists
–radio is a source for news and information
–radio is associated with nostalgia and good memories

How the study was conducted: Share of Ear is based on a national sample of 4,000 individuals in the U.S. age 13+, updated Q1 2020. This study does not include Share of Ear data collected during COVID-19 restrictions. The survey was offered offline and online, and offered in English and Spanish. Qualitative interviews were conducted by Front Row Insights & Strategy.
 

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 Front Row Insights & Strategy
Front Row translates consumer attitudes and behaviors into winning insights and strategies for brands and marketers.   Front Row uses qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, generational filters, and cultural trends to discover opportunities for brands and conducts research projects for wide range clients in entertainment and media, including Universal Music Group, Viacom, CAA, Focus Features, HarperCollins, MasterClass, and Spectrum.  Front Row was founded by Jayne Charneski, a leading consumer and audience insight expert and speaker on Gen Zs and generational traits

Digital Device Listening Crosses the 50% Threshold During COVID-19 Disruptions

For the first time since Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study began tracking the growth of audio consumption in 2014, the total daily share of time spent listening on digital devices by those age 13+ in the U.S. has surpassed the share of time spent listening on traditional, more linear devices.

Before the COVID-19 disruptions, 55% of the daily total share of time spent listening by those in the U.S. age 13 and older was done on traditional, more linear devices, and 45% was done on digital devices. During Q2 2020, 53% of the daily total share of time spent listening was on digital devices. 

The “digital/on-demand” devices in the Share of Ear study include smartphones, computers, internet-connected televisions and smart speakers. These are essentially the devices that Americans use to stream or listen to audio files on demand. The “traditional or non-linear devices” include AM/FM receivers, SiriusXM receivers, CD players, turntables, or TV channels like Music Choice. 

This is the first time that the digital group surpassed the more traditional forms of listeningas the digital group saw a substantial eight percentage point jump during the COVID-19 disruptions.  Before this unique time, the digital total was slowlgetting closer and closer to parity with the non-digital devices. The shift away from in-car and at-workplace listening to at-home listening led to these enormous changes. 

Digital surpassing non-digital was almost inevitable, according to the slow trend we saw in Share of Ear. It appears that these disruptions may have just accelerated the process. We will have to wait to see if the numbers revert more closely to what they were before the disruptions,” said Director of Research Laura Ivey. 

Share of Ear® report to clients, based on interviews conducted during the middle of May, 2020. 

While most of the findings are exclusive to Share of Ear subscribers, Edison Research is releasing several interesting data points for the audio industry to consider since the data provides insight into U.S. listener behavior during COVID-19 restrictions.
 

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. 

 

 

U.S. Listeners’ Audio Day Starting Later During COVID-19 Disruptions

Half of those age 13+ now begin their audio day at 8:30am; before COVID was 7:15am 

  

New data from the Edison Research Share of Ear®  study, conducted during the period of COVID-19 disruptions, shows that people in the U.S. age 13 and older began listening to audio a full 75 minutes later on average, as compared to before the disruptions.   
 
The Share of Ear study, which requires respondents to keep a detailed daily diary of audio usage, shows that pre-COVID-19, the point in the day when 50% of those in the U.S. age 13+ recorded their first entry of their audio day was around 7:15am. During Q2 fielding of Share of Ear, it was not until 8:30am that half of respondents had recorded any audio usage. 

 “This finding challenges our thinking about how those in the U.S. listen to audio during traditional drive times,” said Edison Research Director Laura Ivey.  “With many people staying at home or working from home during Q2, they did not engage with audio as early as they did pre-COVID. This data shows that if Americans continue current work patterns, audio strategies may need to be adjusted.”

Share of Ear Q2 findings are based on interviews conducted mid-May, 2020.

While most of the findings are exclusive to Share of Ear subscribers, Edison Research is releasing several interesting data points for the audio industry to consider since the data provides insight into U.S. listener behavior during COVID-19 restrictions. 

Click here for more information on Share of Ear.

 

YouTube “Listening” Decreases in 2020

Americans are spending less of their total listening time with YouTube in 2020, and YouTube as an audio-only source is reaching fewer Americans in 2020, according to two updated datasets from Edison Research. 

Known as the birthplace of the eponymous YouTube star as well as many a viral challenge, YouTube also functionally serves as a music delivery source.  The latest Share of Ear® data from Edison Research shows that Americans now spend 9% of their time spent listening to audio sources with YouTube, down from 11% in 2018. The decrease is driven primarily from younger demos, as those in the U.S. age 13-34 now spend 16% of their total audio time with YouTube, down from 20% in 2019. 

Not only is time spent listening to YouTube as an audio source lower year over year, but YouTube as a source for music or music videos is reaching fewer Americans according to The Infinite Dial® from Edison Research and Triton Digital. 2019 was a bit of a milestone for the YouTube measure, as 50% of those in the U.S. age 12+ had listened to music on YouTube in the last week. In 2020, 44% of the total U.S. population reported having used YouTube for music in the last week. 

This decrease in reach is also driven by younger demos, as was the case with time spent listening, as the number of 12-34-year-olds using YouTube for music in the last week fell 14% year over year, to 60% from 70%. Usage by 35-54-year-olds was down slightly to 53% from 56% year over year. 

As both Share of Ear and Infinite Dial have catalogued enormous gains for YouTube for music listening over the last decade, it is of note that we see some diminishment for the first time corroborated in both surveys.  (Note: data points from both surveys were captured prior to the onset of widespread COVID-19-related disruptions.)

For the latest on how Americans are discovering new music, join Edison Research VP Nicole Beniamini for New-Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial® Report, presented as a free webinar on Thursday, July 16th, at 1 PM EDT. Register for New-Music Seekers here.

 

Three stats to know before the release of the Latino Podcast Listener Report

by Gabriel Soto, Manager of Research

When it comes to Latinos, there is no shortage of audio consumption among our communityAs we are about to see, the same is true for podcast listening. The irony, however, is in the shortage of resources available to the Latino podcasting market. This strong consumption — paired with a lack of research – merits formal look into the podcast listening terrains of the Latino listening world. This is exactly one reason why we have teamed up with leaders in the audio space to conduct a study that will provide insights into the podcast listeners and non-listeners of our often simplified, but truly complex, ethnic group. But before we visit those terrains on June 30th, 2020, here are three statistics that demonstrate where podcast listening even stands for Latinos. 

To analyze these three listening habits that will help us contextualize podcast listening among our community of 60 million people (U.S. Census 2018 ACS Estimate) we utilize Edison Research’s Share of Ear®, a quarterly updated study that comprehensively measures daily listening in the audio space. 

The following data compares two groups, the U.S. general population ages 13+ (which includes U.S Latinos ages 13+) and a subgroup derived from the first, composed of only U.S. Latinos 13+. The term U.S. Latino refers to anyone who identified as Hispanic or Latino in the Share of Ear study. Data reflects Q1 2020 before COVID-19 disruption if any. 

1. On average, U.S. Latinos spend more time with audio each day than the U.S. population 

How much time do Latinos spend listening to audio? How big is our audio world? On average, Latinos listen to an astounding 44 more minutes of audio per day than the general population. The latter spends an average of 3 hours and 53 minutes daily with the medium, while that number skyrockets to 4 hours and 34 minutes if we only look at listening time among Latinos. In this sense, the Latino hourglass is bigger. The figure reveals the mountain of Latino audio listening and its influence on the audio market. It also indicates that Latinos have more time for all forms of audio like music and spoken word (e.g., podcasts).  

 

 

2. Latinos allocate their audio time to music vs. spoken-word audio similarly to the general population 

On our way toward examining the podcast terrains of the U.S. Latino listener, we pass by a view of music vs. spoken word audioFor a section of the audio world that has lost some ground to spoken word since 2014, music still accounts for an overwhelming 77% share for the U.S. population, leaving the remaining 23% of the listening to spoken word audio, which includes media like talk radio, news podcasts, and audiobooks—to name a fewThis split is similar when we isolate those who identify as Hispanic or Latino: over four-fifths (81%) of audio listening time goes to music while just under one-fifth (19%) goes to spoken word audio. Now although a smaller proportion of Latino audio listening goes to spoken word audio, we have to remember that Latinos spend more time with audio to begin with, so the average time spent listening to spoken word daily manages to equal what the overall population spends with this form of audio. Only by climbing this area of the Latino audio mountain can we see a clearer picture of where podcast listening stands. 

 

 

3. On average, U.S. Latinos spend more time with podcasts each day than the U.S. population 

Taking only spoken word audio listening, in others words, removing music from the equation, the U.S. total population spends about 18% of that time with podcasts. When we flip to Latinos, the proportion of this time spent with podcasts is about 22% larger, with over one-fifth (22%) of spoken word audio listening dedicated to the booming platform. 

These numbers show that Latinos retain relatively robust listening to podcasts – and more broadly – to audio overall. It is about time to begin exploring and embracing it.

 

The paradox is that Latinos invest more of their time listening to podcasts than the general U.S. population, yet investment in the Latino podcast market is thin. Imagine the potential if the podcast industry were growing and if the Latino population were growing too – oh wait, that is happening. So, for those looking to be a part of it – click here to find out more information about the upcoming U.S. Latino Podcast Listening Report.