RAIN 2018 highlights: Research & Metrics


As the title is explanatory, let’s get to it. RAIN’s most important 2018 coverage of research and metrics in digital audio.

Research & Metrics

March is a giant month for research knowledge about streaming audio, with two annual reports of top importance in that month. One is The Infinite Dial, a decades-long continuing consumer survey of how Americans listen, produced by Edison Research and Triton Digital. From our perspective at RAIN, Infinite Dial is the most  important knowledge event of the year.

The Infinite Dial

RAIN coverage of The Infinite Dial 2018 ran to five parts:

Infinite Dial has an Australian version, too. Online audio and podcasting were on the rise in the 2018 edition.

(Inifnite Dial Canada launched in 2018; RAIN’s coverage is HERE.)

RIAA and the Recording Industry

The other report we eagerly await in march comes from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), detailing the revenue breakdown of streaming music and purchased music. the headline bullet point of the 2018 report (covering the full-2017 period) was that streaming represented 65% of revenue to the record industry, and was initiating a rebound in overall industry outlook.

More Key Research

  • Edison Research, supported by Triton Digital, performs consumer survey work specialized to podcasting. In the 2018 edition of The Podcast Consumer, the “share of ear” doubled from previous reporting.
  • In the IAB’s annual report of the preceding year, across all digital advertising categories, digital audio advertising was up 39%.
  • HD Radio doesn’t have great traction in the U.S., but the DAB/DAB+ standards do well abroad. The WorldDAB reported 12-million receivers sold in 2017.
  • Jacobs Media produces an annual Techsurvey, which surveys avid radio listeners about their preferences. In the 2018 edition, radio performed strongly, of course, as podcast and smart-speaker listening grew.
  • The IAB partners with PwC to produce a much-scrutinized annual podcast advertising revenue report and projection. In June, the 2018 report predicted podcast ad revenue soaring to $659-million in 2020.
  • Along the same line, PwC issued a report projecting that Australian podcasting revenue and audience will nearly double by 2020.
  • From MusicWatch, a September report showing growth in music subscribers, and raising some questions.
  • From an Audio Monitor U.S. Report, a “growing disconnect” as youth favors streaming while older groups continue tuning. (Verified by the Gen-Z Panel at RAIN Summit Orlando in September.)

To See All of RAIN’s Research Reporting…

…go HERE. (Nearly 200 articles covering research in 2018.)

Brad Hill