Edison Research’s ‘Infinite Dial 2023’: Key Takeaways and Implications
The digital audio landscape continues to evolve rapidly, driven by changing consumer habits and technological advancements. Now in its 30th year, Edison Research’s “Infinite Dial 2023” report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of digital audio, shedding light on audio consumption trends in the United States, including radio, podcasts, and emerging audio formats like smart speakers and social audio.
What follows are some key takeaways, and implications for ministries.
Podcasting Continues Its Ascension
One of the standout trends from the Infinite Dial 2023 report is the continued growth of podcasting, with 90 million listeners each week, 83% of Americans now familiar with the medium, and 64% having now listened to a podcast – and 42% downloading at least monthly. All of this reflects a steady increase in consumption, making it a prominent and influential medium for advertisers to consider. Podcast people listen to an average of 9 shows per week, and the growth of podcasting presents an excellent opportunity for advertisers to reach engaged and niche audiences. Advertisers can leverage podcasting’s inherent targeting capabilities to reach specific audience segments for better ROI and engagement.
Online Audio Listening Shows More Growth
Defined by Edison as “AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the Internet,” online audio is bigger than ever, with 75% of Americans 12+ years listening to online audio on a weekly basis. The growth is especially pronounced among those aged 12-34 and 35-54, as more than 85% of these cohorts consume online audio each month. Audio brands like Pandora, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Apple Music are becoming ever more prominent in the daily lives of consumers, with most occupying 75% awareness among the adult population, and weekly usage now topping a third of all consumers.
Radio’s Continued Resilience
Traditional radio remains a formidable force, with 73% of Americans still choosing AM/FM first among in-car audio sources (owned digital music is #2 at 53%, followed by podcasts). This is a slight dip from two years ago, but encouraging for radio. Advertisers and broadcasters can leverage the enduring popularity of radio while also exploring digital platforms for their campaigns.
With 91% of Americans now owning a smartphone, the concept of “multi-platform listening” is increasingly critical for organizations wanting to reach people where they consume content. This trend highlights the importance of omni-channel marketing strategies for advertisers.
For ministries navigating the evolving audio landscape, here are three key recommendations:
- Diversify Content Distribution: Content creators should explore multiple audio platforms, including podcasts, smart speakers, and social audio, to reach a broader and more engaged audience.
- Targeted Advertising: Advertisers should focus on creating personalized and relevant audio ads that resonate with their target audience, leveraging data-driven insights to enhance ad effectiveness.
- Harness the Power of Radio: While digital audio is growing, traditional radio still commands a substantial audience. Advertisers and broadcasters should continue to invest in radio advertising to reach a broad demographic.
Edison Research’s “Infinite Dial 2023” report provides a comprehensive view of the current audio landscape, highlighting the prominence of podcasts, smart speakers, and the enduring appeal of traditional radio. For ministries, adapting to these trends, embracing new platforms, and creating engaging, personalized content are key to success in the ever-evolving audio ecosystem.