Edison Research Releases Heavy Radio Listener Study

A new study from “The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listeners,” released by Edison Research, shows that one-fifth of broadcast radio’s biggest users already own a smart speaker. The report looks at the 30 percent 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.

The study finds that 82 percent 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, which may allow for more at-home listening over time, but can also make it easier to use competing audio services.

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 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 say they have listened to a podcast in the last week.

“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.”

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 U.S. population.

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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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