Smartphones drive 'mainstreaming + mass-adoption of' Internet audio; in-home AM/FM has 'hardware concerns.'
RadioInfo's analysis of Edison Research/Triton Digital "Infinite Dial 2016" study
By Holland Cooke Radio Consultant
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Issued perennially since 1998, it's "the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior," tracking mobile, Internet radio, podcasting, and social media.
Edison VP/strategy & marketing Tom Webster and Triton president/market development John Rosso walked a well-attended webinar though a slide deck which you can download – free and in its entirety – here. And if you work in AM/FM radio, you should.
In January and February, they surveyed 2,001 Persons 12+, "as representative of the USA population as possible." Grab the arm rest:
76% of Americans 12 and older – some 207 million of us — now tote a smartphone. That's up from 71% a year ago. P25-54 it's 84% (81% last year) and P12-24 it's a staggering 93% (from 86%).
Time spent consuming media has grown from 7 hours 22 minutes per day in 2001 to 8 hours 47 minutes, "because of the smartphone" which "has re-written the media landscape." Accordingly, Webster and Rosso rebut conventional wisdom that attention is getting scarce, and quip "We just have a short attention span for crap."
Most people now listen to online audio. The estimated 155 million monthly cume is 57% of P12+; and weekly cume is 136M (50%). Weekly Time Spent Listening is down slightly for the second year in a row, which these researchers surmise as new listeners adopting the habit. "We're about to cross 100 billion hours a week" of online listening.
Meantime, the number of AM/FM radios in-home has declined. 21% of all surveyed have NO receiver at home (4% in 2008). Nearly 1/3 of Persons 18-34 have no radio at home.
In-car, radio remains the dominant audio device. "Audio Sources Used at Least 'Most of the Times' in Primary Car" by P18+:
AM/FM Radio: 54%
MP3 player/owned digital music: 15%
CD player: 11%
Satellite Radio: 11%
Online radio: 8%
Pandora still is still the T-Rex of pure play streamers, all of which enjoy increased awareness since last year. Spotify has more-than-doubled in the last 2 years, and "clearly skews younger." And "YouTube use for music consumption is significant." 66% discover new music there, just-behind 68% for radio.
"On-demand content is making the device irrelevant."
iPad and other tablet ownership "has leveled off at about half of Americans. We replace phones more often." And our anything/anywhere/anytime appetite has invaded the living room too:
60% — 163 million – own an Internet connected TV (58% last year, 51% year-before).
1/3 of the USA population has a Netflix subscription in the family AND watched it in the past week.
51% subscribe to SOME video-on-demand service (i.e., Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu).
37% used SOME on-demand video in the past week.
Add it all up: Those smartphone and no-radio-at-home numbers, and video on-demand consumption patterns, sure do nudge radio broadcasters toward upping the on-demand audio game. "More Americans are finding more time every day to consume audio that is "lean-forward.' As with video content, the tech is becoming invisible" and "social media is driving more and more listening."
How much more?
% who've ever listened to a podcast:
% who've listened to one this month:
% who've listened to one this week:
36% (estimated 98 million)
Note this shift: Of those who've ever listened to a podcast:
64% listen on a portable device (smartphone, tablet), up from 55% last year.
34% listen on a computer (42% last year).
Weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of 5 podcasts each week.
Consultant Conclusion for Content Creators: Get busy fashioning on-demand audio that fits on smartphones. Do it right, and sales will throw you a parade.
Download the Infinite Dial 2016 study for more detail, including some useful data on social media.
Holland Cooke (www.HollandCooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke, and meet HC at Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on May 20.