The Infinite Dial 2021 | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

The Infinite Dial 2021

| March 12, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Applause to Edison Research for their “Infinite Dial” series, “the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America…tracking mobile behaviors, internet audio, podcasting, social media, smart speakers, and more.” “More” includes radio.

Here’s the whole thing: http://www.edisonresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/The-Infinite-Dial-2021.pdf

As previous reports have, this national telephone survey of 1,507 Persons 12+ is a useful snapshot of what’s changing, and what isn’t-much.

Radio, Still

Though we’ve spent less time in-car for the last year, AM/FM remains the top audio platform there, by 75% of 18+ surveyed who listened “in last month” (down from 81% in 2020 and 2019).

Rankings of the next 5 in-car audio sources remain unchanged, and changes-to-each are unsurprising:

  1. Owned digital music (45% 2019 – 48% 2020 – 48% 2021)
  2. CD player (43% – 41% – 35%)
  3. Online audio (28% – 33% – 33%)
  4. Podcasts (26% – 28% – 30%)
  5. SiriusXM (22% – 24% – 21%)

Other Media Use Plateaus:

  • Smartphone Ownership: 88% have one (85% last year).
  • Tablet Ownership: 51% (from 53%)
  • Internet-connected Watch Ownership: 18% (17%)
  • Audiobook Listening: 46% (45%)
  • Social Media Usage: 82% (80%)

Social Media

Brand Usage: Facebook is still #1, then:

  1. Instagram
  2. Pinterest
  3. Snapchat
  4. Twitter

And the report breaks-down who-uses-which platform and-how-often.

On-Demand and Online

Podcasting: Steady growth continues, and the report slices-N-dices age, ethnicity, gender, and other usage data. Wide-angle shot, P12 listening:

  • Monthly: 41% (37% a year ago)
  • Weekly: 28% (24%)

Online Audio Listening (P12+):

  • Monthly 68% (flat from 2020)
  • Weekly 62%, an all-time high (60%)
  • Weekly TSL 16 hours 14 minutes (15:12)

Pandora is still #1.

  1. Spotify
  2. iHeartRadio
  3. Apple Music
  4. Amazon Music, which you-know-who plays…

Take THIS to the bank.

My client stations – in all market sizes — are making money selling sponsors’ pre-rolls on Alexa.

So – while we’ve spent so-much-less time in-car, and so-much-more time in-home, where AM/FM receivers are less-common now – I was real interested to learn:

  • 33% surveyed – representing some 94 million in the USA – own a smart speaker.
  • Of those working from home: 49%
  • Number of smart speakers in household: 2.3 (up from 2.2 in 2020 – 2.0 in 2019 – 1.7 in 2018).

Consultant surmise: Like e-commerce and telecommuting, smart speaker use is a trend already-in-motion accelerated by the pandemic. It has never been more important that listeners know you’re there.

Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Analysis