Edison Research has published its Infinite Dial report every year since 1998. The survey report reveals timely metrics and trends that help us understand how the audio landscape is changing. The company’s 2022 report was just unveiled and contains some surprises and some reigning consistencies. Here we’re highlighting three takeaways we gleaned from the report — and what they could portend for audio advertisers. You can review the entire report here.
Is radio hanging on by a dial?
We may well be the last generation that knows what a “radio” is. Increasingly, smart speakers are taking the place of radios. The Infinite Dial study found that 40% of those who own smart speakers do not even own a radio. In 2018, that number was 28%.
Overall, 14% of the U.S. population does not own a radio — up from 5% in 2018. Could we be experiencing radio’s last stand? Curiously, the number of Americans who own neither a radio nor a smart speaker (25%) has remained nearly identical since 2018. What are they listening to?
While the physical radio may be shrinking in popularity, listeners are still listening to AM/FM radio stations, they’re just doing more of it online through their smart speakers. Streaming is growing as a percentage of AM/FM radio listening. In 2022, 35% of all radio listeners tuned into their stations online (up from 14% in 2013) while 61% listened to traditional radio (down from 85% in 2013).
Podcasts are having a (nice long) moment
The average podcast listener reported listening to eight podcasts in the last week. They’ll need to pick up the pace, though, to get through the backlog, as an estimated 900,000 new podcasts were released last year. And the additional content lured new listeners — 62% of Americans report having listened to a podcast (up five points from a year ago) and 41% of us are regular monthly podcast listeners (also up five points in the year).
We’re getting back in our cars
The Infinite Dial survey found that 75% of respondents now work primarily outside the home — up 5% from last year. As more workers return to the office, they spend more time in their cars. Quite a bit more in fact. The Federal Highway Commission says the 12-month moving average in vehicle miles was up 12.7% in January 2022. And more driving means more listening of all kinds.
In our cars we’re consuming a lot of audio content, including terrestrial radio (73% of respondents), online audio (32%) and podcasts (32%) and satellite radio (22%).
Our podcast listening habits have shifted slightly with the change — in-car listening rates increasing to 32% while at-home rates dropped slightly. In a more significant shift, in-car radio listening rates dropped to 73% from 81%. Some of that dip seems to have gone to the “owned digital music” category which rose five points year-over-year.
What does it mean for audio advertisers?
It’s invaluable to follow the trends, and the annual Infinite Dial survey makes it easy to watch the evolution of digital media, including online audio, across the decades. While there are some subtle changes this year compared to 2021, we feel most of them can be attributed to many of us returning to our offices and taking our audio habits with us. More of us are listening — 73% of the U.S. population consumed online audio in 2022, up five percentage points from 2021. In short, audio listenership is strong and growing in most categories, creating ideal opportunities for audio advertisers.
Whether people listen through a smart speaker at home, earbuds and their mobile phones on the go, or through a physical radio in the car, radio listenership remains high. This keeps traditional radio advertising spending strong. In fact, the global radio advertising market is forecast to grow 4.6% this year.
Podcast advertising is also growing as the medium’s user base grows. Insider Intelligence projects there will be 424.2 million podcast listeners worldwide in 2022, accounting for 20.3% of internet users. They further predict that U.S. podcast ad spending will increase by 30.2% in 2022. Combined U.S. radio and digital audio advertising spend was projected to hit $16.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to rise for the foreseeable future.
Advertisers looking to maximize their success in traditional radio and online audio are wise to partner with an agency possessing deep experience in the audio advertising space, strong industry relationships, bulk buying power, attentive account management and a performance marketing mindset. An experienced partner can help you navigate the enormous opportunity lying within audio advertising, ensuring your brand’s message gets heard.
At Veritone One, we work with each client to deliver a custom approach with dedicated experts that focus on data analytics, planning, strategy, buying, messaging, and creative.
To find out more about how we help you identify the best channels for your brand and work with you to craft the ideal message—one that is clear, memorable, and effective—reach out to us today to amplify your message.
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