Infinite Dial 2015 Study: Online Listening Goes Mainstream, Podcasts Deliver Prime Audience
March 4, 2015 at 12:53 PM (PT)
TRITON DIGITAL and EDISON RESEARCH released their annual INFINITE DIAL study on consumer adoption of digital media in a webinar hosted by EDISON VP TOM WEBSTER and TRITON Pres./Market Development JOHN ROSSO.
Among the results highlighted in the study, 53% say they listen to online radio monthly (including both streams of broadcast stations and online-only offerings like podcasts). Growth is being driven by sharp increases for 25-54 adults. Weekly listening is also up, from 36% in 2014 to 44% this year, doubling over 4 years, also driven by increases in adults 25-54, but time spent listening fell slightly, likely because overall hours of consumption are up. Online listening, the study's takeaway segment noted, is now "fully a mainstream activity for people under 55." Smartphones lead among devices used to listen to online radio, from 66% to 73% in a year; connected TVs are also showing growth, from 12% to 18%. In cars, online listening rose from 26% to 35%, with 12-24s the early adopters (59%) and 25-54s at 39%.
PANDORA is the overwhelming leader when consumers are asked about Internet-only audio, with YOUTUBE next. Using aided awareness, PANDORA is known by 75% of respondents, with iTUNES RADIO second at 62% and iHEARTRADIO third at 59%. PANDORA also leads in usage, at 45%, well over second-place iHEARTRADIO (17%) and third place iTUNES RADIO (16%). Among adults 12+, 34% said they listened to PANDORA in the last month, with iHEARTRADIO and iTUNES RADIO at 11% and SPOTIFY at 10% (but SPOTIFY is showing significant growth among 12-24s). The figures are similar for listening in the last week. Respondents picked PANDORA as the overwhelming choice for "the audio brand used most often."
But YOUTUBE shows huge usage figures for watching or listening to music videos, and a significant number use it to listen without actually watching the video.
On podcasting, listening is up to 33% of respondents, with smartphones used by 55% of listeners (42% use computers). On a monthly basis, 17% say they listened to a podcast in the last month (about 46 million); weekly, 10% (27 million) say they listened. Among podcast listeners, 45% have a college degree and 52% earn more than $100,000 a year. The study also looked at SERIAL, noting that 10% said they were aware of the podcast and 3% had listened, comparable to some network TV shows. Listeners heard an average of six podcasts per week.
Smartphone ownership has grown, with 86% of 12-24 year olds owning a smartphone and 81% of 25-54s owning one. The top app mentioned was PANDORA (downloaded by 50%), with iHEARTRDIO well behind in second at 17% and SPOTIFY at 15%. Regarding data consumption, 58% said they are not concerned about exceeding their data plan limits and 42% saying that they are concerned; 12-24 year olds were the most concerned, at 49%. 40% said they were aware of SHAZAM and 16% of SOUNDCLOUD, but only 17% had downloaded SHAZAM and 6% had downloaded SOUNDCLOUD.
Tablet ownership has grown, but the growth has not been accompanied by growth in online audio listening using the devices. Internet-connected TV ownership has risen from 51% to 58%.
AM/FM radio still leads in in-car use, at 81%, with CDs second at 51%, MP3 players third at 38%, and online radio at 21%, but online is showing sharp increases. Asked what they use in the car "most of the time," AM/FM leads, well ahead of other media. In-dash information and entertainment systems are making inroads, increasing from 8% to 10% this year, but asked if in-dash systems are important in their purchase considerations for a new car, a majority said that it was of little or no consideration.
Social media usage continues to increase, with 73% of adults 12% -- 197 million -- saying they are using at least one social media platform. FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and INSTAGRAM lead for brand awareness, while FACEBOOK leads with 62% of social media usage and remains the social media site used most often by a wide margin. Practically all platforms showed growth in the past year. FACEBOOK was the leading platform among 12-24s with 74%, with INSTAGRAM second at 59% and SNAPCHAT third at 57%; the analysis noted that the latter two are visually oriented.
“Media consumption habits have changed dramatically in the past five years,” said WEBSTER. “Online Radio has become mainstream, Podcasts are enjoyed by a significant portion of the population, and even the social media platforms that dominated five years ago have shifted. It’s vital for marketers and advertisers to understand and plan for these shifts.”
“Perhaps the most significant finding from this year’s report is the change in frequency of use for streaming audio,” said ROSSO. “For years Americans have been occasional listeners but for the first time it’s apparent that streaming audio has become an ingrained part of our lives as the number of Americans listening weekly is now 44%. This is a huge opportunity for publishers and marketers to better identify and target their listeners to maximize ad-based revenue.”
Download the study's PowerPoint deck by clicking here.