Share of Ear® study shows audio consumption on Mobile Devices

One of the many ways that our Share of Ear™ study helps us understand the audio space is the ability to look at different parts of the space.  Recently someone asked me about what people listen to on mobile devices — and the good news is our Share of Ear research can answer this.  The graph below shows the share of audio consumption on mobile devices, (which also includes iPods and tablets):

Share of Ear on mobile devices

With the smartphone ever a greater part of people’s lives, this will be one statistic we will be tracking closely as our studies roll out.

Share Of Ear® Study Shows Dramatic Increase In Podcasting Consumption

In the Spring 2014 Share of Ear® study (a syndicated research series from Edison Research), we took a first look at how much of the total audio consumed by Americans was devoted to podcasts. Compared to the entire audio universe–every available minute of radio, Internet radio, music files, Satellite and more–podcasts occupied a single digit percentage of America’s total audio listening. But when we looked specifically at only those Americans who listen to podcasts, we got a different story–if you listen to podcasts, you listen to a lot of podcasts.

Well, we are now rolling out the updated, Fall 2014 Share of Ear®  study to clients, and there are some significant trends. For podcasting, there is no more remarkable finding than this: if you are a daily listener of podcasts, you listen to more podcast audio than any other form of audio, as the graph below illustrates:

 

Let’s break this graph down a bit. First of all, to be clear, this graph refers to the percentage of total audio time, not a percentage of listeners or users. This chart shows all of the time spent listening to various forms of audio by those Americans who listened to at least one podcast in the last 24 hours. For the first time, we can report that podcast listeners are now listening to more podcast audio than any other form of audio (click to Tweet). In the Spring study, podcasts were a close second to AM/FM radio, but today we see AM/FM fall to third amongst podcast listeners. And while we have no doubt that Serial has contributed to this phenomenon (we fielded during the apex of Serial’s popularity), it doesn’t explain all of this finding. This is, indeed, going to be a big year for podcasting, and this is but our first clue.

A couple of other notes: first of all, the total share of podcast listening amongst all Americans increased by 18% over our Spring study, which is a significant jump. It’s also worth noting the statistic that is in the caption to the graph above: Podcast listeners (as defined) spend an average of 6 hours and 8 minutes each day listening to any form of audio. The average American spends a skosh over 4 hours per day listening to audio. What this means is that while some of the shift in podcast listening has come from other forms of media (in particular, AM/FM Radio,) much of it is simply new listening, as podcast consumers continue to bring their podcasts with them into environments and settings where they previously might not have consumed audio.

There is another implication here, however, in the shift from AM/FM Radio to podcasts with these listeners: the importance of Talk programming. The “long tail” nature of podcasts is far better able to serve the passions and interests of individual listeners than mainstream broadcast programming, but with breakout hits such as Serial, the long tail might be starting to wag the dog a little–and this may broaden the appeal of talk audio programming in general. Podcasting is a content play in its purest form–and as more and more Americans discover the medium, AND discover content that is compelling to them, we are going to continue to see interesting migrations in listening habits amongst these Americans.

Finally, when we looked at all of the listening hours available in our nationally representative Fall 2014 Share of Ear®  study, teased out the hours devoted to podcasting, and projected this across the U.S. population, we came up with this remarkable number: Americans listen to approximately 21,117,000 hours of podcast audio each and every day (click to Tweet).

We at Edison are incredibly bullish about podcasting and podcast measurement, and these figures are a pretty good reason why.

This finding is the second public release from the Fall 2014 Share of Ear®  report. Share of Ear® , a twice-yearly tracking study, is unique among audio measurement studies in that it evaluates all forms of audio, including AM/FM radio, streaming audio, owned music, podcasts, SiriusXM satellite radio, TV ‘cable radio’ channels (such as Music Choice), and others. The study is available via subscription. For more information, contact info@edisonresearch.com.

How the Study was Conducted:

Edison Research conducted a nationally representative study of 2,021 Americans ages 13 and older to measure their time spent listening to audio sources. Respondents completed a 24-hour diary of their audio listening on an assigned day. Diaries were completed both online and by-mail using a paper diary. Online diaries were completed November 4-15, 2014 and diaries by-mail were completed October 14-20, 2014. 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, Gulf News, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, Time Warner and Yahoo. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

New Data from Share of Ear® Study Released at Rain Indy Summit

Yesterday at the RAIN Summit in Indianapolis Edison president Larry Rosin presented new data from Edison’s Share of Ear® study. Click through the slideshare below to see his presentation.

 

Share of Ear®  results are from a nationally representative sample of 2,096 Americans ages 13+ who completed a 24-hour audio listening diary during May 2014.

For more information about the Share of Ear® study visit: http://www.edisonresearch.com/edison-research-conducts-first-ever-share-of-ear-measurement-for-all-forms-of-online-and-offline-audio/

 

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Increasing Broadcast Radio’s Share Of Audio Listening

Edison Research’s finding that broadcast radio controls 52% of the just-over four hours that the average listener spends with all sources of audio cannot be trended. Edison’s new Share of Ear® study is a unique first-time look at listening to all media, from music on cable TV to satellite radio to listeners’ own music collections. And part of the impetus for undertaking the study was that this information did not exist elsewhere.

That doesn’t mean people won’t try to trend the 52% number. Many will look at broadcast radio’s one-time cultural dominance, shrinking TSL, and the indifference of their own 16-year-old offspring, and conclude the number must be down. Other broadcasters will maintain that the remaining 48% number isn’t far larger than it once would have been, but merely redistributed with new measured sources of audio replacing the unmeasured “listening to ‘Who’s Next’ in your dorm room,” as Cumulus’ Lew Dickey recently put it. Read more

Edison Research Conducts First Ever Share of Ear® Measurement For All Forms Of Online And Offline Audio

Despite a constantly changing audio landscape, broadcast radio controls more than half of the more than four hours a day that Americans spend with all sources of audio. But the audio space is vibrant and changing – and newer sources of audio, from Internet-only services like Pandora and Spotify, to Satellite Radio, and even TV music channels like Music Choice now account for nearly a quarter of all listening.

Those are just a few of the findings from Share of Ear®, the groundbreaking new syndicated study from Edison Research that provides the first consistent measurement of all audio consumption, including AM/FM radio stations, online radio stations, podcasts and even listeners’ own music collections. Read more