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On Thursday Edison Research released its findings from The Infinite Dial 2023. This year saw great news for podcasts and radio, with key insights about at-home listening and a warning about the importance of remaining in-car.
The 25th anniversary of the annual study included a random survey of 1,500 people aged 12 and older. They were asked about their online media habits.
In 1998, only 6% of America had ever listened to online audio. Today, 70% of Americans stream audio every week. Those numbers led to a banner year for podcasts after a 2022 dip, with an all-time-high 42% of Americans 12+ listening to at least one podcast in the past month.
The Commute Is Back
Edison found the audio battle has returned to the commute. As the amount of employed adults working outside the home returns to post-COVID numbers, radio still rules the auto. 73% of adults 18+ listen to AM/FM – the same as in 2022. Owned digital music played from phones takes second at 53%. Podcasts are now the third most listened to audio on the road at 38%. Data shows more commuters now travel with their favorite work-from-home-era podcasts.
In-dash entertainment is becoming a major factor as newer cars hit the road. For the first time in Infinite Dial history, more than a quarter of those surveyed said their primary vehicle has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. On the opposite end, car manufacturers removing CD players in cars led to a sharp 6% decline in CD listening – a grim reminder of what happens when you’re removed from the dashboard.
What Brands Stand Out?
While Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio are the online audio brands with the most awareness, Spotify dominates usage at 34%. YouTube Music trails second at 23%. 56% of 12-34 year olds surveyed use Spotify most often, as opposed to 1% on the iHeartRadio app. Those 55+ had a more even split between the two.
For home listening, smart speaker ownership trends stagnated while smart television ownership made huge gains. Smart TVs are in 70% of homes this year, up from 61% in 2021. A majority of people surveyed say they use their smart TVs for streaming audio use due to convenient location in the home.
The Infinite Dial 2023’s full findings are available on Edison Research’s website.