Lunchtime Webinar Series — Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine

Edison Research SVP Tom Webster presented the latest installment in our Lunchtime Webinar Series — Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine on May 21, 2020.

Click here to download the presentation, Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine 2020 Edison Research

Scroll down to view the webinar

This presentation includes previously unreleased data from the Podcast Consumer Tracker, the only comprehensive, all-inclusive measure of podcast listening in the U.S. This data was collected continuously before and during the current COVID-19 crisis, and is the industry’s only look at how podcasting’s audience, not just their downloads, has been impacted by the pandemic.

Additionally, the recording below includes videos of interviews with podcast listeners from the last few weeks, as they share their experiences with listening to podcasts during quarantine, along with new data on podcast listeners from The Infinite Dial® 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Key findings include:

  • 41% of  weekly podcasters have had their work reduced or eliminated
  • The employment and work patterns of those in the U.S. age 18-34 have been affected the most by COVID-19
  • While those who have had their jobs reduced/eliminated are listening more, those whose work from home hours have increased are spending less time with podcasts
  • Desktop/laptop listening has risen as a result of quarantine. AM/FM listening by podcast listeners is down
  • Usage of on-demand delivery/convenience services has risen among weekly listeners
  • While genre consumption has begun to return to pre-quarantine levels, News and various Home and Self Improvement topics have increased significantly


The Smart Audio Report 2020 from NPR and Edison Research

Use of Smart Speakers in the U.S. Increases During Quarantine

NPR and Edison Research release The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020, find 77% of adults in the U.S. have had a change in their typical routine due to COVID-19 outbreak

New research from The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research finds that 77% of those in the U.S. age 18+ are experiencing a change in their typical routine due to the outbreak of COVID-19 as of April 1, and voice-assistant usage has expanded during these disruptions. The annual survey, part of the industry’s longest-running public research series about smart speaker consumer behavior in the U.S., captures new data on smart speaker ownership — now reaching 24% of the U.S. population A18+ (60M) — and how consumers are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic at the time the survey fielded March 31- April 1, 2020.

The full study is available now at

With stay-at-home orders and the closing of nonessential businesses across the country from mid-March to the present, adults in the U.S. are behaving in accordance with regulations. Forty-one percent of U.S. adults say they are staying at home and not leaving unless it is an emergency, and 54% are only going to places they feel safe and/or are necessary. The Smart Audio Report measured how those affected by the restrictions are using voice assistants:

  • 36% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak, and 52% of 18-34-year-olds say the same.
  • 35% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners are listening to more news and information since the COVID-19 outbreak, and 50% of those ages 18-34 say the same.
  • Usage of voice commands in general has increased slightly since the COVID-19 outbreak, with 52% of voice-assistant users saying they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day, compared to 46% before the outbreak.

“With tens of millions of Americans no longer commuting, smart speakers are becoming even more important as a conduit for news and information,” noted Edison Research SVP Tom Webster, “and this increased usage and facility with voice assistants will likely increase demand for this technology in vehicles once our commutes resume.”

“Our daily routines may have changed, but our need for easy access to reliable journalism remains critical – even more so than ever before, “ said NPR Vice President of New Platform Partnerships Joel Sucherman. “We see that in listening patterns and the continued growth in the number of devices Americans have in their homes.”

Other key findings include:

Of those who use voice assistants, more than two-thirds say they ‘make their lives easier’.

46% of smart speaker owners say they use their smartphone voice assistant more since acquiring their smart speaker

59% of smart speaker owners who also use a voice assistant on their smartphone say the tasks they use for each of the devices are mostly different

52% of smart speaker non-owners who use some type of voice commands are likely or very likely to buy a smart speaker in the next six months — 34% of all smart speaker non-owners say they are likely or very likely to buy a device in the next six months

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in 2017, is a recurring study on trends in Smart Speaker ownership and voice assistant user behavior. A full archive of research from the Report is available at

How This Study Was Conducted
The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020 is based upon a national telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted December 31, 2019 through January 5, 2020, and a national online survey of 1,660 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted March 31, 2020 through April 1, 2020. Ethnographic interviews were conducted in Denver, Kansas City, and Orlando. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

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 can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (, and now it’s easy to listen to stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, “Play NPR,” and you’ll be tuned into your local Member station’s live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, the NPR One skill, NPR News Now, and Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at and by 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.

Lunchtime Webinar Series: Portents for November

Edison Research President Larry Rosin presented the second installment in our Lunchtime Webinar Series, Portents for November: A Review of the Edison Research Democratic Primary Exit Polls, on April 16, 2020.

Since 2004, The National Election Pool (NEP) and Edison Research have conducted the only national exit polls in the United States. The NEP is the source for projections and analysis for every midterm election, presidential primary, and presidential election in the United States.

In this webinar, Larry examines the Democratic Primary electorate through findings of exit polls (37,001 in-person interviews) conducted by Edison Research across America. He discusses what we can learn from who voted, which issues mattered to these voters, and what motivated their decisions. He also tackles the question of how exit poll results could indicate what we might see in the Presidential election this November.

A recording of the webinar is now available for viewing:

Click here to download a copy of Edison Research Portents for November .

Click here for more information on Edison Research and exit polls. 

Lunchtime Webinar Series: Inside the Infinite Dial

Yesterday we presented Edison Research’s first installment in our Lunchtime Webinar Series, Inside the Infinite Dial: How Edison Research Leverages Original Research Into Award-Winning Thought Leadership. Edison Research SVP Tom Webster gave attendees a look behind the curtain at the evolution of The Infinite Dial through a content marketing lens.

The complete webinar is now available for viewing below.

Please join us on April 16th at 1pm for our next Lunchtime Webinar where Edison Research President Larry Rosin will present Portents for November: A Review of the Edison Research Democratic Primary Exit Polls. Registration link will be available soon at and on Twitter at @edisonresearch.

March 10th: Another Good Night for Joe Biden

By Sarah Dutton 

Joe Biden won a large share of the delegates at stake in the March 10 primaries, besting Bernie Sanders in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho. North Dakota went to Sanders. (At the time of this writing, Biden and Sanders were neck and neck in Washington.) Here are some takeaways from the Edison exit poll data in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Washington that help explain why Biden did so well.  


In Michigan, which Bernie Sanders won four years ago, Sanders’ support was down among many demographic groups compared to 2016. In 2016, he won among men, white voters, white voters without a college degree and union households – all groups he lost to Biden this year. And Sanders’ support was down this year among women, voters age 45 and older, and moderates (groups he lost in 2016 and 2020).  


Large turnout in Mississippi, where nearly seven in ten voters were African American and 87% of them voted for Biden, powered his huge win there. 74% of black voters want to see a return to the policies of Barack Obama.

Sanders was unable to win over many black voters in Michigan (27%) or Missouri (24%) either. 


In Missouri, turnout among voters 65 and over rose from 22% to 31%, and Biden won them by a large margin, 81% to 14% for Sanders. Across all age groups, Sanders’ support was down this year compared to 2016, but especially so among older voters.

Sanders lost among both men and women here; in 2016, he won among men.


In Washington, where 81% are very or somewhat concerned about the Coronavirus, Biden is seen as the best candidate to handle a major crisis – 44% chose him, versus 27% for Sanders. (Biden came out on top in this measure in Michigan too, 50% to 31%.) 

Washington’s primary voters were primarily white. Biden won among whites both with (32% vs 26%) and without (37% vs. 34%) a college education.


Candidate Supporters 

The Edison exit poll data clearly demonstrate the excitement many Sanders’ supporters feel about his candidacy.  In Michigan, Missouri and Washington, more than four in five Sanders voters would be enthusiastic about him as the party’s nominee.

But Joe Biden currently leads in the all-important delegate count. How will Sanders’ supporters feel if their candidate is not the nominee? Few Sanders voters in these three states would be enthusiastic about Biden as the Democratic candidate, and just about a fifth will be upset. 

But as was the case on Super Tuesday, large majorities of Sanders voters in all three states say they will vote for the Democratic nominee in November, no matter which candidate wins the nomination.