As broadcasters look to smart speakers to increase AM/FM radio listening at home, a new study shows that one-fifth of broadcast radio’s biggest users already own such a device. That’s just one finding from “The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listeners,” released today by Edison Research, the leading provider of high-quality survey research about audio in the U.S., and worldwide.
The Infinite Dial is the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America. It uses ‘gold standard’ scientific telephone sampling to accurately reflect the entire population of the United States. This report looks at the 30% of the American population ages 12 and over who are “Heavy Radio Listeners” – defined as those who listened to more than one hour of radio in the last day.
“At this time of industry transition, it is vital that radio managers have high-quality research that represents the full U.S. population to use to understand their audiences. This look at the Heavy Radio Listener from Infinite Dial allows everyone to understand not just what other kinds of audio and media people are using, but how Heavy Radio Listeners compare to the population at large,” said Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research. “Readers of this report will see that the qualitative profile of Heavy Radio Listeners is very strong. This is the kind of information that Radio managers can show to agencies and clients with confidence in the quality of the data.”
Some of the many vital findings of this report are summarized on the following graphs:
The study finds 82% of Heavy Radio Listeners have a radio in their home, which means nearly 18% of this group achieved ‘heavy’ status primarily through in-car or at-work listening. Intriguingly, 20% of Heavy Radio Listeners have Smart Speakers in their homes. Those devices may allow for more at-home listening over time, but can also make it easier to use competing audio services.
In addition, the report looks at the online radio consumption of Heavy Radio Listeners.
In keeping with findings from past Edison research studies, radio’s best customers are heavy users of all audio – they listen heavily to broadcast radio, but do not limit themselves to it, something which has implications for future smart-speaker behavior. Nearly two-thirds of ‘heavies’ listen to audio online, with large numbers choosing YouTube, Pandora, and the streams of AM and FM radio stations. Over one-in-six Heavy Radio Listeners now say they have listened to a podcast in the last week.