By Adam Fraser
I am a big fan of the research produced by Edison Research and have previously written on their regular Infinite Dial report into media and podcasting trends. The Infinite Dial is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behaviour in the USA.
The latest iteration of this top quality research has just been released, and as always provides some fascinating insights into the media landscape, in particular, audio trends. You can access the full slide deck here.
For those that don’t have the time to review the detailed 66 slide pack, here are the key takeaways:
- Podcasting continues to show steady growth, with 44% of Americans over the age of 12 now say they have ever listened to a podcast, up from 40% from last year.
- Podcasting’s in-car gains continue as well: 22% of podcast listeners described the car as the place they most often listened to podcasts in the 2018 report, versus 18% last year.
- 83% of the US population over 12 own a smartphone (81% a year ago).
- Smart speaker ownership (defined as owning Amazon Alexa or Google Home) has increased sharply to 18% of the population from 7% a year ago. One-third of smart speaker owners have more than one device in the home.
- Social media usage, as a whole, declined for the first time in the survey’s history, with 77% of the 12+ age group using, social versus 80% a year ago.
- Within the social media category, the platform by platform trends were very interesting, with declines in usage of Facebook and Twitter and increases in usage of Instagram and Snapchat (LinkedIn was flat).
- The Facebook usage declines were driven by the 12-34 year-old category, with usage flat among 55+ year-olds.
- Pandora leads audio brand awareness, followed by iHeartRadio, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music (note 46% of the sample used YouTube to watch music videos/listen to music).
- 64% of the US population is familiar with the term podcasting (versus 60% a year earlier); 44% have ever listened to a podcast (versus 40% a year earlier).
- 26% of the sample had listened to a podcast in the last month, with 17% listening in the last week; weekly podcast listeners consume an incredible 7 podcasts per week on average.
- Radio remains by far the dominant medium in cars, but 18-34 year-old, in particular, are no longer buying radios in the house.
If (like me) you are a media landscape junkie, this is highly recommended reading. Look forward to the next instalment of the Australia specific report, the first of which was produced in 2017.