Edison Research and Triton Digital presented their annual 2016 Infinite Dial study. As always, it is chock full of useful trend data. This year marks a breakthrough for podcasting which makes a significant leap.
1) "This is not a niche medium"- Says Edison's Tom Webster. With 1 in 5 Americans listening monthly, it is now far from niche.
2) Podcast listening is up a significant 24% since last year's study. Now 57 million are listening to podcasts each month.
3) Weekly podcast listening is up a remarkable 30% over last year. 13% of Americans are now listening weekly.
4) Podcast demos are great - 12-24 is up 35% in 3 years. This makes podcasting among the youngest media in terms of median age and tracks with the sharp growth in audio streaming among younger demos.
5) 18-24 embraces on-demand over AM/FM - Changes by demographic are tectonic and something we have never seen before. While this data point isn't from the Infinite Dial study, it comes from the most recent Edison Share of Ear study. For the first time we see the profound change of audio choice among younger millennials. By itself, streaming audio edges AM/FM. That's Yuuuuge. And, if streamed audio and podcasts are combined, and since many listen to podcasts as a live stream that seems fair, the number comes up to 35%.
6) Follow that car - The trend to online listening in the car is closely linked to podcast growth. As the friction involved in listening in the car is reduced, participation will increase. Right now, Pandora reports only 2% of their listening is in-car, so you can see the potential.
7) Mobile is eating the world - 2/3rds of podcast listening occurs on a mobile device, and this number is likely to rise, supporting the notion that the phone is the new entertainment center. That's great for podcasts.
The irrefutable shift to on-demand continues - Half of Americans are listening to online radio weekly. 1 in 5 are listening to podcasts monthly. Instant gratification is an essential expectation, especially in younger demographics. We see the arc of change in TV viewing habits as people now control their own viewing and audio is following at a substantial pace. .
These annual studies from Edison Research and Triton Digital are invaluable in viewing changes from 30,000 feet.