By Adam Fraser
One of the most respected industry reports into digital audio and podcasting trends, as well as media trends more broadly, comes via Edison Research with their Regular Infinite Dial Report – research I have blogged about previously. The Infinite Dial is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behaviour in America and the annual reports in this series have covered a wide range of digital media and topics since 1998.
As you would expect, it’s a highly credible, quality piece of research which shines a light on some very interesting trends across the Australian media landscape. I recommend a browse through all 65 slides in the presentation deck, but if you don’t have the time here are some key takeaways from the research:
- Radio remains the leading audio platform consumed by Australians with 85% of people having listened to an AM/FM or Digital audio station in an average week, versus Spotify 21%, Podcasting 10%, Pandora 8% and Apple Music 6%.
- 72% of Australians are familiar with podcasting (compared to 60% USA) and 29% of people have listened to a podcast. Impressive to see Australian familiarity exceeding the USA.
- 17% of Australians have listened to a podcast in the last month, with 25-54-year-olds making up the largest share of monthly podcast listeners.
- An average of six podcasts are listened to each week by those who are weekly podcast listeners.
- 73% of Australians have used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music; of whom 59% have done this in the last month and 44% in the last week.
- 80% of Australians currently use social media and 90% of those aged 12-54 years are current users.
- Amongst social networks, Facebook awareness is highest (98%), followed by Twitter (95%), Instagram (94%) and Snapchat (84%). It is telling (and a little surprising) that awareness of all these social media brands is higher in Australia than the USA.
- Facebook is more likely to be the most-used social media platform with 12-24-year-olds in Australia versus the USA (58% vs. 39%), however, Snapchat is less chosen as the most-used among this group in Australia than the USA (16% vs. 31%).
- Penetration of Internet-connected TVs is higher in the USA than Australia, however, penetration of smartphones and tablets is greater in Australia.
- Netflix is the most popular on-demand video service, with 35% of Australians having access to a subscription – astonishing penetration in a relatively short period.
It is always good to assess multiple data points, and the podcasting penetration in Australia per this research is actually lower than recent research on this topic from the ABC which showed 29% of Australians had listened to a podcast in the last month.
Some fascinating insights here, especially in relation to direct comparisons between Australia and the USA. Whilst podcasting is unquestionably growing, this report affirms the hypothesis that radio seems to remain the ‘traditional’ media segment least affected by the disruption, in comparison to the more stark impact on print and TV.
Great to see this report appear on the Australian landscape and I hope this becomes an annual process.
By Adam Fraser
The latest CMO Survey has been released with its usual batch of interesting findings and insights. This bi-annual survey is well respected and is the longest-running survey dedicated to understanding the field of marketing. The latest edition received responses from 349 top marketing executives in the USA.
There are data points aplenty across the detailed 49 pages of results, but if you don’t have time to dive into the details, some of the key highlights were:
- Internet sales as a percentage of total sales remain relatively modest at 11.8%, flat on the prior survey from 6 months ago, and broadly flat over the last 3 years; from an industry perspective, Education (43% of sales) and consumer services (28% of sales) lead Internet sales.
- Marketing budgets as a whole are expected to grow but the rate of growth is slowing from prior periods (9% from 11%); notwithstanding the declining rate of growth, this remains a healthy barometer for overall spending.
- There is a marked difference re advertising spend trends between ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ (side note – these boundaries between these definitions will become harder to define in the coming years) – with digital marketing spend expected to grow by 13% versus a decline of 2% in traditional advertising.
- Marketing budgets represent 11.4% of overall expense budgets, a slight increase on 6m ago, and broadly consistent with the trends over the past 3 years.
- Marketing spend is 6.9% of company revenues – this ratio has declined from the prior 2 periods; as a barometer, this was 8.3% 3 years ago in August 2014.
- Marketers are expected to expand social media spend by 89% in the next 5 years – growing from the current 9.8% of marketing budgets to 18.5% in 5 years time.
- B2C Products lead the expected growth in social media spend; all sectors are expected to grow by ~25-40% in next year.
- Based on survey responses, the assessment of how effectively social media is integrated into overall marketing strategy is showing no progress.
- The ROI challenge is alive and well as survey respondents confirmed the impact of social media remains difficult to prove.
- Marketing spend on mobile expected to increase 117% in three years but interestingly respondents assessed mobile’s impact on customers, brand, and financial outcomes as low.
- Spending on marketing analytics is forecast to increase a massive 229% in three years – moving from 5.5% of total marketing budgets to 18%.
Interestingly, while the spend on marketing analytics is growing significantly, only 1.9% of respondents felt they had the right talent to fully leverage those analytics.
In a related blog post, CMO survey director Christine Moorman analysed the contradiction between growing spend in social, mobile and digital yet disappointing effectiveness:
“One reason performance is lagging may be because companies remain focused on digital strategies, not on building a digital marketing organization. A digital marketing organization means embedding digital marketing activities into the very core of the organization. This means that digital marketing activities transform how the company operates, including its culture, its leaders, how it makes decisions, employee training and incentives, cross-functional cooperation, and the role of marketing capabilities.”
The recurring podcast theme of tactics before strategy in marketing seems to also be coming through in this survey.
A good piece of research into the current thinking of senior marketers.
By Adam Fraser
There is certainly no shortage of data, analysis and reporting into media and marketing trends globally but Australian specific data can be trickier to access (hence my appreciation for the annual social media report from Sensis which is Australian specific).
Accordingly, I was delighted to stumble across some quality Australian data into podcasting trends, just released by the ABC. The report unequivocally showed that more Australians are tuning into podcasting.
The second annual Podcast Research Survey from the ABC is a tremendous piece of research for anyone trying to deep dive into podcasting trends and habits in Australia.
Some of the key take-aways were:
- Podcast awareness is high in Australia, with 89% of Australians 18-75 claiming to be aware of podcasts.
- Just over half of Australians 18-75 claim to have tried listening to podcasts. This is highest among 25- 34s (76%) and lowest among 50-75s (40%).
- 16% of Australians have listened to a podcast in the last week, while 29% have listened to a podcast in the last month.
Other highlights were:
- A 56% increase in podcast listening compared to the prior year, with growth highest amongst females and 14-34 year olds.
- Weekly Podcast listeners are highly engaged, claiming to have listened to an average of six podcast episodes and four podcast series per week.
- The average time spent listening to a podcast episode is 48 minutes for weekly podcast listeners who commit beyond the first five minutes.
- The smartphone is increasingly the device most often used for listening to podcasts, at 62 per cent of podcast listeners.
- Whilst the home remains the most common location for podcast listening, the report showed seen year on year growth in podcast listening in a car/truck/taxi
As long time readers of this blog will know, I am massively bullish on podcasting and a passionate consumer (as well as producer) of podcasts. In my recent podcast with marketing professor Mark Ritson we discussed the importance of market orientation, and marketers not assuming ‘they are the audience’. This report, however, confirms that in this case I am not alone! Australians are jumping on board the podcast train in increasing numbers.
I wouldn’t expect this trend to disappear anytime soon. Thanks to the ABC for producing this important annual research.
By Adam Fraser
Comscore have just released their annual report into the most popular US mobile apps.
Before we get to the Top 10, some interesting macro stats covered by the report:
- Across smartphone and tablet use, Americans spend over half of their digital media consumption time (57 percent) in apps.
- 18-24 year olds spend 2/3 of their digital media time in smartphone apps alone, spending over 3 hours a day there.
- in terms of app v web usage, 87% of mobile time is spent in apps versus browsing via the web.
- Mobile web drives more pure reach but mobile apps drive significantly more engagement.
- Interest in new apps appears to be waning with 51% of users downloading zero apps in a month, and the average user downloading two.
- Millennials are much more willing to pay for apps, with 1 out of 5 downloading an average of one paid app per month.
- Across age segments, smartphone users’ number 1 app accounts for half of all time spent on apps and the top 10 account for almost the entirety.
The top 10 apps were:
- FB Messenger
- Google Search
- Google Maps
- Google Play
I wrote as far back ago as October 2015 that the digital world was increasingly dominated by Facebook and Google. This survey confirms the trend – Facebook and Google own the top 6 – and 8 of the top 10 – most used apps, with Snapchat and Pandora completing the Top 10 list.
Facebook is also the most likely app to be positioned on smartphone users’ home screens for easy access (the report notes that there is a strong correlation between how essential an app is to a user and whether it gets placed on their home screen).
The dominance of Facebook and Google may be no surprise, but this report is packed with other interesting insights on mobile usage and behaviour. Well worth a read.
By Adam Fraser
An overarching thematic is the world of big data, something I have explored on my podcast a few times. Dive into the subject of big data and you quickly end up thinking about algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
These are not light topics; no 140 character tweet will give you any answers here. There are massive implications for marketers across the board — from ad effectiveness to programmatic, targeting to CRM, as well as the entire function of the analytics team.
We are in relatively early days in understanding this whole area — it is not even clear what the questions are which we should be asking, let alone comprehend the true implications of advancements in this space. Some difficult ethical issues exist – who are these people designing the algorithms that will impact society so broadly? Who has knowledge of the “12 secret herbs and spices”? When machines truly learn independently of humans, what does this mean for business and, more broadly, society?
No easy answers and so much to think about. Hence my recommendation of a podcast I listened to last weekend. Two of the smartest marketing analyst brains on the planet Mitch Joel (Mirrum Agency) and Avinash Kaushik (digital marketing evangelist, Google) discussing this topic for over an hour. When you truly start to get your head around machine learning (versus the efficient interrogation and analysis of “large databases”) it can be somewhat mind blowing. This is the essence of machine learning and true AI — it performs analysis of a depth, scale and complexity which humans cannot fathom let alone perform.
Mitch and Avinash don’t have all the answers; no-one does. But they help dissect the current state of play and where this may all be going.
Block off an hour to really think about this topic. Highly recommended listening.