For years radio has been pitched as an out-of-home medium with people increasingly listening at work and in cars accompanied by a decline of use in-home. According to Nielsen, about two-thirds of radio listening is out-of-home with roughly a third in-home. That made some sense to radio programmers, especially with the rise of morning TV and the startling decline of the clock radio as the wake-up tool of past generations.
Separately, we have all seen the stunning ascention of mobile everything - smartphone penetration, mobile searches, email consumption, music streaming, podcasts, app-mania, etc. Mobile is indeed "eating the world."
And then there is this chart from Edison Research which blows the doors off of conventional thinking and illustrates the difference between in-home radio listening vs. total audio listening. While radio listening at home may be at about one-third, this study from Edison suggests that the broader category of audio listening at home is just over 50%. In other words, there is more listening to audio in-home than anywhere else.
So what's happening here? People are listening to owned music, streaming audio, You Tube, Choice TV, podcasts or other sources in-home. That's what. For many, the device of choice to listen or control audio within the home is not a radio but a smartphone or tablet. The device may be tethered to a Bluetooth speaker, Sonos or something else.
Here is the larger takeaway; while "mobile" audio consumption is growing rapidly, it does not necessarily mean away-from-home listening, but rather listening via a portable device. That is a critically important distinction. In other words, although most of Pandora listening is credited as mobile, a huge amount of that listening is occurring in-home. And that profoundly changes the definition of "mobile."