The Infinite Dial 2014: What’s encouraging


EdisonEdison Research and Triton Digital presented findings from their 22nd Infinite Dial 2014 study. The new national survey found that the weekly audience for all forms of online radio is now 36% of all Americans age 12+, or 94 million nationally. Internet-only audio services continue to grow, led by Pandora — now consumed by 31% monthly. iTunes Radio debuts in The Infinite Dial with 8% monthly usage.

What’s really interesting is how much listeners use iHeartRadio to actually listen to real radio stations—both locally and out-of-market. 54% of iHeart listeners listen to local radio:


Another interesting insight was the reaction of folks to having an FM chip/radio in their cellphone. Remember, they weren’t coached here with something like “having access to emergency info if the cell towers are overloaded.” These are very good numbers to an unaided question:


Another encouraging trend is how much traditional radio still rules the dash: 86%. CDs came in second, with 61%; MP3’s 31%; Satellite 17%; and online streaming 14%.

Other findings:

• More than six in ten (61%) now own a smartphone; that number increases to approximately eight in ten age 18-34.

• Growth in the adoption of the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter has slowed this year, compared with previous editions of The Infinite Dial. Facebook usage is flat compared to 2013, at 58%, while Twitter grew slightly from 15% to 16% year-over-year.

• Podcasting is on the rise, as weekly audio podcast consumption grew 25% year-over-year, from 12% in 2013 to 15% in 2014.

• In-car usage of online radio and other forms of digital audio continues to grow. In 2014, 26% of mobile phone users have connected devices to a vehicle, either physically or via Bluetooth, up from 21% in 2013.

• Snapchat is now one of the leading social networking services; 53% of mobile phone users are familiar with Snapchat, while 13% of Americans 12+ — and 46% of 12-24 year-olds — use the image sharing service.

“The continued penetration of smartphones in America is changing behavior significantly,” noted Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. “We are now seeing activities that were dominated by desktop usage in 2013, flip dramatically to become mobile behaviors. For millions of Americans, the smartphone has become ‘the first screen.’”

“The Internet of Things means audio in everything internet,” said Mike Agovino, COO, Triton Digital. “Scaling connectivity across a plethora of devices is enabling tremendous growth in online radio consumption. Listening levels have reached significant proportions across all demographic groups, and this year’s Infinite Dial study illustrates a definitive upward trajectory.”