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Pandora / Publicis / Edison study: 50% of “heavy” listeners are 35+

Pandora is releasing a raft of survey results gleaned from a study conducted by the streaming company in league with Publicis Media Exchange and Edison Research. The purpose is for advertisers to better understand levels of consumer adoption of streaming.

The broad results show increased streaming adoption, with a comparison to AM/FM radio, traditionally Pandora’s direct competitor:

  • Momentum: Growth in streaming audio shows no signs of slowing with 81% of listeners (total) adding new time spent with streaming audio year-over-year
  • Time Spent: Streaming audio listening is eclipsing AM/FM, with 46% of online audio streamers spending less time tuning in to traditional radio.
  • Attention: 42% stated that audio ads are more likely to capture their attention than ads seen or heard in other places.

Following is a summary provided us by Pandora of the complete findings:

Definitions:

  • Light Listeners: Weekly online audio listeners who listen for less than three hours in a typical week – 1.4 weekly hours of online listening (Mean)

  • Medium Listeners: Weekly online audio listeners who listen for three hours to less than eight hours in a typical week – 4.8 weekly hours of online listening (Mean)

  • Heavy Listeners: Weekly online audio listeners who listen for eight hours or more in a typical week – 20.4 weekly hours of online listening (Mean)

Quantifying the Size of the Segments

  • Heavy: Streaming Audio Super Listeners – Heavy listeners consume 76% of streaming audio listening, 33% of the streaming audio population, and 50% are between 18-34 years old .

  • Light: Streaming Audio Mass Majority – Lighter listeners consumer 24% of streaming audio listening, 67% of the streaming audio population, and 35% are between 18-34 years old.

 Streaming Audio Has Changed the Media Equation For All Listeners

  • Streaming audio listening is eroding time spent listening to AM/FM, with 46% of online audio streamers spending less time tuning in to traditional radio.

  • Growth in streaming audio shows no signs of slowing with 81% of listeners (total) adding new time spent with streaming audio YoY

  • Light Listeners are more likely to shift digital video time to streaming audio.

  • Heavy Listeners are more likely to shift away from traditional media (AM/FM and linear TV). Heavy listeners are 11% more likely to be shifting their AM/FM listening time to streaming audio.

 Why Time is Being Re-routed to Audio

  • Light Listeners want entertainment (most selective)

  • Medium Listeners want to discover new music (most targeted/efficient)

  • Heavy Listeners want companionship and inspiration (most open)

Age and Experience Impact Streaming Audio Listening Volumes

  • Half of Heavy online listeners are aged 18-34. Most of these listeners are digital “natives,” the oldest of whom came of age with digital downloads.

  • The other half are age 35+; super-audio enthusiasts who are more likely to be full-time employed, and use more audio of all kinds – but especially online audio – in all phases of their lives.

  • A quarter of Heavy online listeners have at least 10 years of experience listening online, and a quarter more who have at least five years of experience.

  • Experience matters: people become habituated with their phones with time. They prioritize digital media technologies in their new cars, and they acquire connected devices for new location-based and time-of day listening.

 How They Use Audio

  • Lighter listeners use streaming audio as an AM/FM replacement, with 82% saying they use it as a way to be entertained and 64% to discover new music

  • Heavy listeners use streaming audio to fulfill higher level needs – streaming audio is a tool to become inspired (70%), seek companionship (54%), and offer ways to escape (82%)

  • Mood regulator – All streaming audio listeners agree, they listen to audio to “Express their emotions”

  • Modern Media users

    • All streaming audio listeners use modern media – more digitally focused habits choosing digital media (SVOD, streaming video) vs. traditional media (TV, AM/FM Radio)

    • Heavy listeners are voracious users of all modern media – They index far above average for frequent usage of all digital audio and video. Consequently they index lower for frequent use of traditional media sources. They particularly lean into Podcasts 2x more than light listeners (early adopters).

Audio Formats

  • Music acts as a companion in everyday activities and routines, such as housework/chores (87%), getting ready (74%), cooking/baking (73%), and running/exercise (66%) for both heavy and light listeners.

  • Podcasts are listened to in more stationary moments, such as eating (62%), working (62%), or riding/driving in a car (60%) for both.

Nearly half of streaming audio listeners say audio ads are less disruptive than other forms of advertising, and thanks to streaming audio’s ability to be highly personalized and dynamic, 43% say the audio ads are more relevant to them.

  • 42% stated that audio ads are more likely to capture their attention than ads seen or heard in other places.

  • Heaviest listeners have greater ad receptivity with streaming audio than the average listener, with them being 21% more likely to recall a brand/message and 15% more likely to discover a new brand through hearing an audio ad.

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Brad Hill

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