Infinite Dial 2016 – Study On Digital, Mobile Growth

By David Alpern

The annual Infinite Dial study was recently released. It examined the expanding proliferation of smartphones and digital Infinite Dialaudio services, such as listening to online radio and podcasts. The research found that half of the audience now listens to some sort of online radio each week, up from 44% last year. Here are some highlights of how content delivery is evolving:

  • 57% of Americans use online radio each month
  • Podcast listening is growing on a monthly basis (17% to 21%) and weekly (10% last year to 13% this year). Weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of five podcasts per week
  • In-home ownership of a radio receiver has dropped. 79% have a radio at home. Eight years ago it was 96% = nearly every home in America. Among 18-34-year-olds, radio ownership in the home is down from 94% to 68%
  • Pandora remains the best-known online audio brand with 82% awareness. Apple Music which invested heavily to relaunch a year ago is second (67%). iHeartRadio, the largest broadcaster in the country is close to Apple (65%). Spotify has strong brand presence (52%)
  • Music streaming among the 12-24 demo finds that 43% listened to Pandora within the past month and 30% listened to Spotify
  • Spotify gained as the “Audio Brand Used Most Often,” up from 10% to 14%. Pandora leads everyone with 48%
  • Broadcast radio is tied for the lead among all audio sources for keeping up-to-date with new music – ahead of YouTube. However, among 12-24s, broadcast radio falls to third (58%), behind YouTube (86%) and friends/family (74%)
  • Smartphone ownership continues to grow, reaching 76%, up five percentage points since last year. Among 12-24-year-olds, smartphone ownership rose to 93%. Even seniors are getting “smart” with more than half now using a smartphone – up 45 to 51%
  • On demand video-subscriptions are at 51% of the country. The largest is Netflix. 43% of all survey respondents subscribe to Netflix
  • Facebook remains the most-used social media platform (64%). Among 12-24s Snapchat (72%) and Instagram (66%) lead the social media pack

Media consumption is dramatically changing. Mobile is increasingly being utilized as a “first screen” after several years of having established itself as the “second screen” supplement to traditional HDTV set viewing.

Podcasts and on-demand video services are allowing for binge watching and listening, and their anticipated future growth will continue to impact and change the media landscape. Expect to see online radio continue to increase its audience reach and join smartphones and social media as broad mainstream activities.

Streaming Gains On Broadcast in 2015

By David Alpern

More and more we are seeing in rankers from Ipsos MediaCT’s TV Dailies service, which includes viewing to streaming video, that services like Netflix and YouTube are beating the major broadcast and cable networks among the 18-34 demographic, and beating nearly all the cable (but not broadcast) networks among the 35-49 demographic. TV Dailies is a syndicated service that tracks awareness and interest in upcoming new and returning TV shows weekly among a representative sample of 3,300 TV viewers ages 13-64.

Netflix is having a quantifiable impact on linear television. Alliance Bernstein reported early 2015 18-49 cable and broadcast prime TV ratings are down 10.5% YOY and kids’ cable networks (2-11 total day) are down 17.7% YOY.

How does Pandora’s daily reach compare to AM/FM Radio? AM/FM’s daily reach (74%) dominates Pandora’s daily reach according to Edison Research’s 2015 Share of Ear study.

Percentage of Americans Who Listen Daily

Why isn’t Pandora having the same impact on radio as Netflix is on television? Pandora does not create the abundance of original content, as Netflix does. Rather, the music service seems to be replacing time spent with consumer’s own recorded music. Netflix has a handful of competitors (Amazon Instant Video and Hulu), but Pandora has a significantly larger collection of competitors (including one’s own music library).

Google steps up to podcasting…

                                                    MPW Logo_Cropped

GoogleMThe Download on Podcasts: Google steps up to podcasting, but not enough

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Brad Hill

 

The announcement from Google that it would add podcasts to its Play Music interactive music service shines a light into the gloomy and under-competitive realm of podcast discovery in Android devices. But it’s a relatively dim ray of light compared to the bold discovery paths that Apple provides to its audio users.

Most podcast listening is mobile. Most podcast discovery, downloading, and streaming occurs via the podcast category in iTunes, which is carved out in the Podcasts app which appears on all iOS mobile desktops. Apple’s gigantic first-mover advantage with podcasts has widened its lead in the mobile era.

This column has complained before of Android’s gaping lack in this department. Android is, by far, the global leading mobile operating system, and offers no built-in acknowledgment or discovery of podcasts. Existing third-part apps like Pocket Casts and Podcast Addict provide solutions, but users must seek them out, download and install them — in other words, they are already podcast fans with some fluency in how discovery and acquisition work.

While the podcast category has grown dramatically, with 33% of the 12+ U.S. population having listened to a podcast at least once, and 10% listening weekly, according to Edison Research, consumption is dramatically skewed to Apple products.

Back to Google’s announcement, posted by Elias Roman, who headed Songza when it was acquired by Google, and now is Product Manager of Google Play Music. Adding podcasts to Google’s music subscription product is a smart move, roughly in parallel with Deezer’s acquisition of Stitcher, Spotify’s intent to add podcasts, and Rivet Radio’s recently announced build-out of podcast shows. Elias Roman’s unique selling point is that Google Play Music will leverage (Songza’s) content discovery algorithms to recommend podcasts based on user habits.

This is all good for Google Play Music subscribers, but is not the solution that the immense population of Android users needs. The competitive thrust is aimed at other music services, not at Apple. It is the Android operating system which needs a podcast solution, not a Google app within the operating system.

So, while we’re eager to see how Google Play Music’s podcast library develops (and happily, loading in a podcast is much easier for podcast owners compared to Apple’s daunting set of requirements), we’re doubling down on our memo to Google: Make a podcast portal, and bolt it into Android. Help bring podcasts into the mainstream.

Infinite Dial Learnings

By David Alpern

Earlier this year we posted about the Infinite Dial study about audio consumption, with the conclusion that streaming is goiThe Infinite Dialng wide, YouTube is mainstream, and podcasting is growing. Below is an article by Brad Hill, published earlier this year, that details the study.

The 2015 edition of The Infinite Dial was unveiled in March 2015 by survey producers Edison Research and Triton Digital. In its 23rd edition, The Infinite Dial is one of the most significant and respected research projects in the streaming audio industry.

A major headline came when John Rosso of Triton said that 53% of American adults listen to online radio at least monthly — an estimated 143-million individuals. (“One of the most significant findings of this year’s study,” said Rosso.) Holding to demographic tendencies of previous Infinite Dial editions, uptake of streaming radio is weighted to youth. The 12-24 demographic shows 77% listening to online radio each month.

Weekly online radio listening continues its upward march in the 2015 results — 44% of Americans listen at least weekly. That is an estimated 119-million people. In the 2000 survey, two percent of Americans made the same claim. (There has not been a year-over-year decrease during that span.) Weekly listening also skews young, with 69% of the 12-24 group listening weekly.

How about time spent? Edison found that the average weekly time spent listening to online radio was 12 hours and 53 minutes — a slight drop from last year (13:19). but with a large year-over-year jump in audience size (from 36% of Americans to 44%), the overall time spent with online radio is much higher.

Where does the listening happen? Mobile dominates, and is growing — 73% use smartphones, increased from 66% last year. Computers are still in frequent use, but declining from 64% in 2014 to 61% this year.

The presentation provided deep dives into several research topics:

  • Brands:Pandora is the best-known brand in the Internet audio business, followed by YouTube. Pandora, iTunes Radio, and Spotify all enjoyed substantial listening growth from last year’s survey. YouTube is used for music by 63% of the total population, and 90% of the 12-24 cohort.
  • Discovery:The Infinite Dial tracks music-discovery methods. The top resource in this year’s data is the Friends/Family response (70%), followed closely by AM/FM Radio (69%). YouTube is next at 61%.
  • Podcasting:The podcasting segment of today’s presentation showed overall listening at 33% of the population, or approximately 89-million people. Podcast listeners are characterized by the data as voracious, listening to an average six shows per week, and 15% listening to 11 or more shows each week. Interestingly, the podcast audience skews affluent (52% of listeners are in $100k+ households), a data point that all ad-repping networks will probably include in their sales decks.
  • Smartphone ownership:Jason Calacanis told last year’s RAIN Summit West audience: “Mobile is the only thing that matters.” Edison tells us that 71% of 12+ Americans own a smartphone.
  • Cars listening:In the car, as other studies have shown, AM/FM is the most-used audio source (81%). CD players and MP3 players fare well in this survey, and online radio comes in at 21% — higher than the 17% listenership to satellite radio. In-car online radio listening is the fastest-growing audio source by far, leaping 50% between last year’s survey and this one (from 14% to 21%).

Key takeaways provided by Edison and Triton:

  • Online audio is now a fully mainstream activity for people under 55.
  • AM/FM Radio continues to dominate in-car, but is losing its music discovery leadership.
  • Pandora remains the dominant online audio brand, though Spotify has grown, especially on the young end.
  • YouTube as a music channel is as mainstream as all of online audio put together.
  • Online radio in the car is growing—more than doubled in two years.
  • The Smartphone continues to drive online audio, and most users don’t care about data consumption.
  • Podcasting is increasingly mainstream, and carving out a segment of highly attractive advertising targets.

The Infinite Dial survey was in the field in January and February, questioning a sample of 2,002 people on landline and cell phones.

Streaming Music + Personality = The New Radio

By David Alpern

The Wall Street Journal published a front page profile of the new radio service Apple is expected to announce at its developers’ conference next week: http://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-to-announce-new-music-services-1433183201

The concept of DJ cultivated radio on the new Apple music service could be a real difference maker. The beauty of radio is well establiStreamingshed with personality and localization, two tenants that have not been as possible with the jukebox oriented nature of most of the current online streaming services. With the right amount of artistic cultivation (and Apple’s decision that we referenced earlier on this blog to recruit several high profile BBC Radio 1 talent is a good source of that) Tim Cook and Apple may have a very strong radio product about to be shared with the world.

Moreover, with Spotify having demonstrated the ability to recruit a critical mass of paying subscribers (25% of its total US audience), Apple’s new radio streaming service should be able to leverage the buzz that comes with anything Apple does. That buzz may help propel the new Apple Radio into a prominent position in the online streaming marketplace, which is rapidly becoming the new radio home for a hungry music, culture, and personality craving audience.

Apple iTunes Streaming – Launching 2015?

Our Media Partners’ ears perked up when we learned that Apple’s full-force momentum to enter the streaming music market with the upcoming iTunes Streaming service later this year succeeded in luring the immensely popular Zane Lowe from BBC Radio 1 to cross the Atlantic and move here to Los Angeles. Zane LoweBetween James Corden coming over for CBS’ new Late Late Show and Zane Lowe coming over from BBC Radio 1 (and previously London’s alt rock XFM) for iTunes Streaming, our region’s reputation as the center of the media world is strengthening even further.

Apple is pressing ahead, now that it has acquired Beats, with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services and an eye on competing with segment leader, Spotify. Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails front-man, is playing a major role in this project, along with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, and now presumably, Mr. Lowe.