The Infinite Dial® Reports · May 13, 2021

The Infinite Dial 2021 Canada

By Edison Research

Smart Speaker Ownership, Podcast Listening Remain Robust Among Canadians

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Smart speaker ownership and podcast listening remain robust among Canadians despite COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, according to The Infinite Dial 2021® Canada from Edison Research and Triton Digital®

Twenty-seven percent of Canadians 12+ own a smart speaker, up one percentage point from 2020, and smart speaker households in Canada now own an average of 1.8 of the devices, up from 1.7 in 2020.

Podcast listening saw slight movement as monthly podcast listeners increased one percentage point to 38% of all Canadians 12+ compared to 37% in the 2020 survey. 

Although podcasting’s reach saw only a slight increase since last year, engagement remains strong, with 76% of podcast listeners typically listening to all or most of the podcast episode, and weekly podcast listeners consuming an average of five podcasts per week.

Online audio reach has remained consistent as well, as 71% of Canadians age 12+ are monthly online audio listeners, compared to 70% in 2020. 

Spotify is in a dominant position among online brands as 30% of those in Canada age 12+ have used Spotify in the last month, with the next-highest brand being YouTube Music at 15%. Spotify is also the biggest mover in this year’s survey, as forty-one percent of Canadians 12+ say Spotify is the online audio brand they use most often, up from 37% in 2020 and 32% in 2019. 

“The pandemic disrupted people’s lives in some very significant ways,” noted Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “The fact that so many of the key audio metrics we track remained stable in the face of these disruptions really speaks to the continued importance of online audio and podcasting in the lives of Canadians.” 

“With more than 7 in 10 Canadians 18+ listening to online audio each month, the results of this year’s survey underscore the role that that this highly-engaging medium continues to play in the daily lives of consumers,” said Stephanie Donovan, SVP, Publisher Development at Triton Digital.  “Canadians of all ages continued to turn to both streaming audio and podcasts for education, information, and entertainment, even during a year of unprecedented change.” 

Other findings of The Infinite Dial 2021 Canada include: 

  • 77% of Canadians age 12+ have driven or ridden in a car in the last month, down dramatically from 92% in 2020, reflecting the change in habits of Canadians due to quarantine restrictions. 
  • Almost one-fourth (24%) of Canadians who have ridden or driven in a car in the last month own an in-dash information and entertainment system.
  • When asked what time spent with online audio is replacing, 31% said it replaced time with over-the-air AM/FM radio, 30% said owned music, 4% said SiriusXM and 35% said it is “new time” not taken from another medium. 
  • 48% of podcast listeners listen to podcasts produced by Canadians.

How the study was conducted
In February 2021, Edison Research conducted a national telephone survey of 1,001 people aged 18 and older, using random digital dialing techniques to both mobile phones and landlines. The survey was offered in both English and French. Data is weighted to national 18+ population figures.  

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of commercial clients, governments, and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, BBC, The Brookings Institution, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, Voice of America, The New York Times, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Spotify, SiriusXM Radio, and UnidosUS. Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, PodcastOne, Slate, Spotify, Stitcher/Midroll, ESPN, WNYC Studios, Wondery, and many more companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison Research is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research 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, consisting of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News, conducting exit polls and collecting real-time vote results in all 50 states. 

About Triton Digital
Triton Digital® is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry. Operating in more than 80 countries, Triton provides innovative technology that enables broadcasters, podcasters, and online music services to build their audience, maximize their revenue, and streamline their day-to-day operations. In addition, Triton powers the global online audio industry with Webcast Metrics®, the leading online audio measurement service and Podcast Metrics, one of the first IAB certified podcast measurement services in the industry. With unparalleled integrity, excellence, teamwork, and accountability, Triton remains committed to connecting audio, audience, and advertisers to continuously fuel the growth of the global online industry. For more information, visit 

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