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."

 

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