Share of Ear · July 21, 2020

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

By edison

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. 



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