Moms and Media 2021 reflects a year of adjustment in media usage and consumption resulting from a new, at-home lifestyle in the wake of COVID-19.
The latest installment of the annual report combines data from the Infinite Dial® series from Edison Research and Triton Digital, with recent data from Edison Research’s new ongoing syndicated measurement of social media, The Social Habit. With both studies conducted during the pandemic, the data shows how media habits have changed as a result of being home. The report showcases how Moms in the United States maintain their mobile tendencies and rely on devices and technology to manage the new normal. In addition, it sheds light on how moms view their children’s social media usage in regard to their adjustment of being in a pandemic.
To watch a replay of the webinar, scroll down.
Smart speakers have proven themselves as little (or big!) helpers. Whether it is adding to a grocery list, getting information or even setting an alarm for kids to log back into remote school, smart speakers check those boxes and more. With hands free help, these devices are becoming part of the family. In 2021, 46% of moms reported owning some kind of smart speaker, up from the 33% we saw in 2020.
When it comes to smart speakers, more is better for most moms. The majority of smart speaker moms (58%) own two or more smart speakers. The average number of smart speakers in the home is 2.7.
With the ability to place these in multiple locations around the house, mom has coverage even when she is moving from room to room.
While moving room to room in makeshift, shared workspaces around the house, moms embrace the devices that help smooth the transition and quiet the noise. With a year of video calls and online school at home, earphones are a must. 61% of moms reported owning wireless earphones or headphones.
Devices are necessary but without the Internet to power them they aren’t nearly as functional. The internet is taking the biggest piece of moms’ media time, with moms in 2021 reporting they spend 4 hours and 16 minutes daily using the internet. That is 23 minutes more than what they reported in 2020.
Over the last year, children were also adjusting to new habits due to the pandemic. Without in-person school or extracurricular activities, there was limited social interaction for children. The mental health implications of this have been in the spotlight and a big driver of getting kids back to in-person school where possible. Social media moms look to social media to help with this for their children. Half of social media moms agree that social media is helping their children cope during the pandemic.
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.
Moms and Media 2020 reveals an unwavering commitment by U.S. moms to devices and technology, highlighted by a dependence on the internet amidst a new, COVID-19 world.
Click here to download Moms and Media 2020 from Edison Research. Scroll down to view the webinar.
The latest installment of the annual report combines data from The Infinite Dial® series from Edison Research and Triton Digital, with a recent survey conducted during COVID-19 restrictions. The report highlights how Moms in the United States continue to hold tight to their tech tools, with functionality being the biggest driver. While sheltering at home, now more than ever, moms are relying on their technology and media to get through the day.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets keep up with busy moms and smart speakers continue to hold their place at home. In 2020, 33% of moms own some kind of smart speaker and moms who own one, own multiple.
As shown by their interest in smart speakers, multi-tasking moms love help when it comes hands-free. Voice assisted technology is gaining popularity and finding its way into all sorts of devices and moms are taking advantage. Two-thirds of U.S. moms use some form of voice-operated personal assistant.
While being isolated at home, moms are using just about all of their devices more. Working remotely, helping children with distance learning and keeping in touch with friends and family are just a few of the reasons why moms are leaning even more heavily on their devices.
Moms are not the only ones who are increasing their use of devices and technology. With schools closed, children are distance learning at home using new digital platforms in their virtual classrooms. Now a necessary part of their daily routine, technology allows children to connect online with coaches and teammates until they can return to the field.
It is unclear what the future holds, so for now the day-to-day habits continue as they are. When life resembles the old normal again, moms will adapt once more. However, while it is unknown how long this new normal will last, nearly 4 in 10 moms think their current media habits will stay with them even after it is over.
From The Research Moms at Edison Research
Facebook usage has fallen among social media users in the U.S., but one group is not showing the same decline: moms. Eighty-one percent of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population.
Ninety-two percent of U.S. moms use social media compared to 79% of the U.S. population age 12+, and a new study from The Research Moms at Edison Research, Moms on Social Media 2019, reveals some of the reasons moms are active users of social media.
Moms have two major motivators for continuing to use social media: the emotional connection it provides, and the practical ways it helps them in their busy lives. The study finds that on the emotional side, moms are using social media to stay up-to-date with friends, share aspects of their lives, and share their opinions. On the practical side, moms are using social media to get information on school events, details on extracurricular activities, health and parenting advice, and find product recommendations.
As Edison Research Vice President Megan Lazovick notes, “It turns out that the majority of moms are using social media for more than just social motivations. The bottom line is, the life of a mom is not simple, and the way she uses social media isn’t simple either.”
Some key findings:
- 81% of U.S. moms on social media use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population 12+. There are 15 million fewer Facebook users in the total U.S. population 12+ in 2019 than there were in 2017, according to The Infinite Dial 2019 , but we don’t see that same downward trend among U.S. moms
- Pinterest and Instagram have seen significant gains year-over-year. Among U.S. moms on social media, 63% are using Pinterest in 2019 compared to 47% in 2017, and 53% are using Instagram compared to 37% in 2017
- 36% of moms on social media agree with the statement, “You often feel like social media is your main connection to the outside world.”
- 80% of moms on social media say they turn to it for product recommendations, and 58% of moms on social media said Facebook is the platform they turn to first for product recommendations
- Regarding how they feel about social media, 59% of moms on social media say they feel connected, 54% say they feel entertained, and 41% say they feel informed.
There is a negative side to social media for moms, though:
- 53% of moms on social media say there is too much negativity on social media
- 23% of moms on social media say social media has had a negative impact on their emotional well-being
- 24% of moms who use social media say they would like to quit, but nearly the same percent of moms on social media (23%) say they can’t live without it
- 49% of moms on social media say they have decided not to post, share, or comment on social media because they worried others would judge
- 26% of moms on social media say they feel annoyed, 25% say they feel addicted, and 24% say they feel concerned about social media
The relationship U.S. moms have with social media is complicated as social media has become necessary for the busy moms of today. Moms might experience negative feelings on social media, but without it, they’d lose the ability to keep in touch with friends or keep up with the daily activities of their families and lives.
Moms were asked if they thought social media had brought people together or divided people, and their answer perfectly illustrates this complicated relationship: they were split almost evenly with 51% saying social media has brought people together and 49% saying social media has divided people.
Edison Research Vice President of Digital Operations Laura Silvia adds,“As moms ourselves, we discuss many of these items around the office, so it is especially exciting to quantify moms’ feelings about social media and at the same time produce research that is useful to brands and marketers.”
About The Research Moms
The Research Moms are a group of experienced researchers within Edison Research with a specialization in understanding today’s moms. Combining a solid platform of market research with real life insight, they are a unique resource for analyzing habits, behaviors and trends among moms. Pooling their research talents from the different branches of Edison Research, they are equipped for both quantitative and qualitative studies.
About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space. Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.
The annual Edison Research The Infinite Dial® study estimates that there are 15 million fewer Facebook users in the U.S. today than there were in 2017. However, among moms in the U.S., Facebook remains strong year over year.
The Research Moms expand on this finding with their latest all-new study, Moms on Social Media: It’s Complicated.
Join The Research Moms on Wednesday, December 18 at 2pm ET as they debut data from this study that explores moms’ usage, perceptions, and sentiments of all social media. This is a brand new survey conducted in the second half of 2019 among a sample of moms in the U.S. It includes why they use social media, what they use it for, and how they feel about using it – and how their feelings and actions don’t always align.
Last week in front of a wonderfully supportive crowd at M2M: The Marketing to Mom’s Conference, VP Megan Lazovick shared new data from The Research Moms of Edison Research, in addition to the following confession:
Last night before my presentation, while I probably should have been rehearsing, I was instead leading a brownie meeting of thirteen seven-year-old girls. We made friendship bracelets and decided our troop cause this year would be to help save the sea turtles. People told me I was crazy to become a girl scout leader, given I’m often traveling the country to conduct focus groups and in-person interviews as part of the qualitative research I do for my company and our clients. But the funny thing about being a mom, at least for me, is that it comes with this incredible drive do things, things you never thought you’d ever do, all for these little people in your lives. And while I’m happy to give my time, I do notice that there is definitely a lack of time to myself. And that’s probably true for many of you moms in the room. And it’s true of the women that I meet when I’m conducting those qualitative interviews I mentioned. So, let me introduce you to some of the moms I have met:
The need for something to “stimulate the mind and heart” and the emotional connection moms have with audio, that’s what I’d like to talk about today but let’s first touch on something else we heard in that video: “survival mode.” Those words hit home for me. Because when you are a busy mom, unfortunately, sometimes just making it through the day is enough. We sometimes have to celebrate the small victories, right?
A few years ago the moms at my company Edison Research formed a division called The Research Moms. In addition to the work we do for our clients interested in moms’ research, twice a year our mom squad comes together to conduct research about moms, just because we feel like it. The mental and physical load of moms is something the research moms of Edison research recently explored in our study called Moms on the Mother Load. In this survey of over 500 moms, we learned that 84% of moms say they handle the majority of the parenting responsibilities. Now, I just have to say, that it is extremely satisfying to settle an argument with your husband about the division of household labor, by fielding a national study of Americans.
But, this study told The Research Moms what we already suspected, that women are also primarily responsible for the majority of household chores. They have a lot on their minds: 89% of moms are primarily responsible for making doctors appointments for kids, 87% fill out school forms, and 83% are primarily responsible for arranging childcare. Bringing children to the doctor, packing for vacation, grocery shopping, laundry, assigning household chores, helping with homework… all of these are primarily moms’ responsibilities. So with all of these things on mom’s plate, when does mom find the time for self-reflection? For inspiration? For relaxation? And what exactly is this “me time” I keep hearing about? If a mom is going to get any of that – it must fall within the cracks of her already busy day and here’s where audio comes into the picture.
We have found that moms are spending more time with audio. Our Moms and Media report sources data from Edison Research’s Infinite Dial– a study that has been tracking a whole range of digital media consumption habits and behaviors for the past 22 years! Now I’ll just share the last few years of listening questions, but we’ll see that more moms are spending time with audio. Seventy-eight percent of moms are weekly AM/FM radio listeners. Online audio listening has been steadily rising with moms – from 74% in 2016 to 87% today. And the world of podcasting has been extremely exciting in recent years, growing rapidly from 37% of moms who listen in 2016 to well over a majority today. Audiobook listening has seen growth as well, as on-demand services have made them easier to access — 46% of moms listened to audiobooks in 2017 and 59% of moms listen today.
And while you might think of video when you think of YouTube – it’s actually really strong for music listening. Seventy-seven percent of moms use YouTube to listen to music. So as new technologies have made audio easier to access, moms are using audio more – especially on-demand audio.
Now, one of the most fascinating findings of 2019, in my opinion, came out of a study we did for the country radio industry called Parents, Teens and Country Music. Almost 60 percent of moms in our national survey said that they learned about at least one music streaming service from their teenager. But this isn’t just about awareness, is it? We found consistently in our studies that when it comes to technology or new things to do on the phone, the transfer of information was much greater from child-to-parent than the other way around. The teens are pulling parents to Spotify or Apple or Pandora. Here’s a peek at how teens are influencing their parents.
We also learned from that study that 76% of moms of teens agree that their teenagers assist them with new technology. And one of the most exciting developments in the audio space in the past few years has been consumer adoption of smart speakers – devices such as the Amazon Alexa or Google Home. In partnership with NPR, we have done a lot of research about these devices in our The Smart Audio Report series. In the three years, we have been conducting the research, we have seen it go from 6% of moms owning a smart speaker in 2016 to 34% moms in 2019 —which is pretty amazing growth. And one of the first things we noticed was that 45% of those that own a smart speaker have children in the household. These devices are especially appealing to families.
As part of our research with NPR we decided to go into the homes of smart speaker owners to see how the devices are changing behavior in the home. I’d like to introduce you a precious family. Lizzie let us into her home when her baby was just five weeks old.
If you’re someone who hasn’t experienced how truly helpful these devices can be then that video of Lizzie juggling a baby and a peanut butter sandwich might drive the point home. Whether it is audio from your google home, or an old-fashioned radio, audio has this one quality that any mom can appreciate: it is great for multitasking.
Here’s all the things that moms are doing while listening to audio according to the 2019 Research Moms Report:
• 90% are in the car
• 82% are doing housework or chores
• 73% are cooking or baking
• 69% of Moms listen to audio when they are spending time with children
The point is that, audio is the perfect companion for a busy mom. And why does mom like to listen to audio? Well, if you live your life in survival mode – you are even more desperate for something that “stimulates the mind and heart.”
Here are the things moms are looking for when they listen to audio: 46% of moms say they frequently listen to be entertained, 38% frequently listen for relaxation. Others say it gives them energy. It’s an Espace. Reminds them of the good times in life. It keeps them company. It allows them to express emotions or become inspired.
Now, I toned down the title of this presentation to “The emotional power of audio” but I originally titled this presentation: How Moms Use Audio for Self-Care and Inspiration, While Still Getting Sh*t Done. Because moms are true multitaskers. And audio is the perfect media for the multitasker. Can you make the mundane and sometimes maddening chore of matching and folding socks inspirational? The right audio program can. That is the power of audio. And who wouldn’t want to align their brand with such powerful content?
We asked moms, “When a product or service is advertised on an audio program you listen to, how, if at all, is your opinion of the of the company or brand affected?” Thirty percent of moms said somewhat more favorable and another 19% said much more favorable. This indicates there is some goodwill toward brands that appear on these programs.
We also asked, “When a radio personality or a podcast host recommends a product or service, how is your opinion of the company or brand affected?” And again about half the moms sad it made their opinion of the brand somewhat or much more favorable. We know that when you have loyal listeners, a show’s personality or host has a tremendous amount of influence. Let’s listen to our panel of moms once again on the topic of advertising:
So, what does this tell us? For me, it’s simple. When a brand is properly aligned with the programming and the execution is women-friendly, women will be engaged with the advertising. And, we know this from the dozens of brand lift studies that we conduct every year for various podcast producers. We’ve seen smashing successes when an advertiser takes the time to craft messaging that is relevant to the audience. But, we’ve also seen utter failures when an advertiser just repurposes advertising from another medium and doesn’t take the care to make it podcast-friendly. So, not every advertiser belongs on every podcast, or playlist, or station. And the right buy can make all the difference.
And I know I’ve been hitting you with a lot of data points from a lot of different studies but I have one last point to help put this all into perspective. Our Share of Ear® report is a diary study that measures all the time that Americans are listening to audio in a day. On average, moms listen to four hours of audio a day. Now, that’s an average, so some are listening to a lot less than four hours and some are listening to a lot more than four hours. But ON AVERAGE, moms listen to 4 hours of audio. That’s a lot of opportunities to reach moms. And that’s an opportunity to sponsor programming that is meaningful to them, that inspires them, and that is a part of what keeps them sane.
We know EVERYONE wants mom’s attention: the dog, the kids, the partner, the PTA. That’s a lot of clutter that you have to cut through. I hear all this hype about self-care…Self-care does not happen before a mom is finished caring for everyone and everything else. Yes, I’ve heard the lectures about how moms should take time out for themselves and good for you if you can make it happen. But, the reality of everyday life is that you sometimes have to grab the self-care in the in-between moments. And audio is in the between – or the layer on top of the chores that makes the chores more bearable. So, align yourself with the part of mom’s day that makes things better. The part that makes the boring parts of motherhood less mundane.
I mentioned the premise of this presentation to my coworker who I have been working with for over a decade. She said, “You know what – I listen to audio whenever I clean the house. It actually makes me look forward to cleaning!” I said, “Actually, I really need to organize my closet and I can’t wait because I want to listen to the new Dolly Parton podcast.” We both laughed, thinking about how we would never have such a conversation before we became moms. And you know what? Life is different then it used to be, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And to be honest, I am really looking forward to saving the sea turtles with my Girl Scouts. I should see if there’s a podcast on the topic.
Click here to download The Power Of Audio: How Moms Use Audio for Self-Care and Inspiration