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Audio Listening Has Become The New Mainstream Digital Consumer Study Reveals New Highs


Audio Listening Has Become The New Mainstream? Digital Consumer Study Reveals New Highs

Edison Research’s annual Infinite Dial survey reveals new insights into digital media consumption trends in the United States. The survey, tracking consumer media and technology usage, shows record highs in podcast listening and online audio consumption.

The findings indicate that 47% of Americans aged 12 and above listened to a podcast in the last month, a 12% increase from the previous year. Weekly podcast listening also saw a 10% rise, with 34% of the population tuning in. 

“Despite changes in how downloads are being delivered and counted, listening levels are up markedly,” according to Edison Research. This growth is primarily driven by a surge in female listeners, with a 15% increase in monthly podcast consumption and a 19% jump in weekly listenership among women.

Online audio listening has hit an all-time high, with 76% of those aged 12 and above listening in the last month, equating to an estimated 218 million people. The figures are even higher among younger demographics, with 90% of those aged 12-34 and 85% of those aged 35-54 engaging with online audio monthly.

While smart speaker ownership appears to have plateaued at 34% of the population, the number of devices per owner continues to rise, with nearly half owning three or more smart speakers.

The study has also revealed a sharp 30% decline in X (formerly Twitter) usage among those aged 12 and above, following Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform.

In the automotive realm, 70% of adults who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month listen to the radio, while 55% tune into online audio and 32% listen to podcasts.

Edison Research Vice President Megan Lazovick has expressed excitement about the research and its availability to all, stating, “We hope you are as excited as we are to have access to this rigorous research, free and available to all.”

The Infinite Dial, conducted annually since 1998, provides benchmark measures on various digital media behaviors, including streaming audio, podcasting, radio, smart audio, and social media usage. The 2024 survey involved 1,086 individuals aged 12 and older, utilizing random digit dialing techniques and an online probability panel, with the data weighted to match the national U.S. population.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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