Podcasting and Audiobooks Both Attain 50% Reach; Facebook Usage Continues to Drop

Podcasting shows explosive year-over-year growth as gains in spoken-word audio mark the 2019 Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital. Among the US population ages 12 and older, as the total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast passes 50% for the first time.

Edison Research and Triton Digital Reveal Results of The Infinite Dial 2019

“This is a watershed moment for podcasting–a true milestone. With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream,” noted Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research.

One-third of the population reported having listened to a podcast in the last month, representing 90 million monthly listeners. The spoken-word audio sector also saw increases with audiobooks, as the portion of the US population that has ever listened to an audiobook surpasses one-half for the first time.

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“It’s a pleasure to once again partner with Edison Research for another insightful presentation of media usage and consumption in the US,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.

The latest study also finds that the number of current users of Facebook continues to drop. The study shows an estimated 15 million fewer users of Facebook than in the 2017 report. The declines are heavily concentrated among younger people.

Other findings include:

  • More than half the US population now reports having used YouTube specifically for music in last week. This number is now 70% among 12-34-year-olds.
  • The percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds.
  • Time spent listening to online audio has reached a record high this year, with weekly online audio listeners reporting and average of nearly 17 hours of listening in the last week.

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The 2019 Infinite Dial is the latest report in a series dating back to 1998 that covers consumer usage of media and technology, has tracked many new mediums as they develop. The Infinite Dial currently provides the latest research in US digital audio, mobile, smart speakers, podcast consumption, and social media. The Infinite Dial study uses the “gold standard” of nationally representative survey research—a random probability telephone sample, comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of all Americans ages 12 and older. The study has become the report card on digital audio and other digital media and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, Internet radio, ad agencies, and the financial community.

How the Study was Conducted:
A total of 1,500 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 3rd through February 4th, 2019, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling through both landline phones and mobile phones. The survey was offered in both Spanish and English. Data was weighted to national 12+ US population estimates.

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