Edison Research and Triton Digital

Continuing a multi-year growth trend, podcasting awareness and usage in the U.S. continue to rise, according to the latest Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital. Three fourths of Americans age 12+ (75% or roughly 212 million people) are now familiar with podcasting, up from 70% in 2019, and 37% (104 million) listen monthly, up from 32% in 2019.

“Podcasts now reach over 100 million Americans every month and are attracting an increasingly diverse audience,” Tom Webster, Senior VP of Edison Research, said Thursday after presenting Infinite Dial 2020 with Triton Digital President of Market Development John Rosso. “With 62% of Americans now saying they have used some kind of voice assistance technology, audio is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives,” Webster added.

The eagerly anticipated technology and media consumption study also found 62% of those in the U.S. age 12+ use voice-operated assistants, and 45% of those in the U.S. age 12+ have listened to audio in a car through a cell phone. This year’s study also showed that 18% of Americans age 18+ own a car with an in-dash information and entertainment system.

Presenting the study remotely from their homes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Webster and Rosso called it “the work from home edition” of Infinite Dial, which has tracked consumer adoption of developing technologies for 22 years. The national telephone survey of 1,502 people aged 12 and older was conducted in January and February, before the coronavirius disrupted everyday life for millions of Americans.

Other findings include:

  • Growth in smart speaker ownership as a result of multiple devices in households. In 2020, smart speaker households owned an average of 2.2 of the devices, up from an average of 1.7 just two years ago.
  • Thirty-nine percent of men and 36% of women age 12+ in the U.S. are monthly podcast listeners, which is more balanced than the 36% of men and 29% of women who were monthly listeners in the 2019 study.
  • Thirty-two percent of those in the U.S. age 12-34 use Facebook most often, down from 58% five years ago. Twenty-seven percent of those in the U.S. age 12-34 use Instagram most often, up from 15% five years ago.

"The study findings provide advertisers and the industry at large with valuable insight into the ongoing evolution of devices, content, and formats that Americans use to consume news and entertainment,” said Rosso.

More from Infinite Dial 2020 in Friday morning’s Inside Radio.