The Infinite Dial 2014 review part 5: Music discovery

The Infinite Dial, a large-scale research survey of consumer media usage in its 22nd year, was unleashed today by Edison Research and sponsor Triton Digital. Triton is newly involved in the project, replacing former partner Arbitron. As in past years, The Infinite Dial 2014 was unveiled in a multimedia webinar hosted by Edison’s Tom Webster and Triton’s Mike Agovino.

The music-discovery segment of The Infinite Dial 2014 is where AM/FM took the spotlight. Although interactive online service contain functions specifically designed for discovering music, and keeping up to date with current releases, using those features requires effort and skill. That might be why traditional radio still shines as a medium for staying current.

The study revealed that AM/FM surpassed all other sources of music listening and recommendation(even offline social recommendations from friends and family) for staying musically up to date:

ID am-fm up to date

The balance of preferred sources shifts, though, when the survey breaks out the young 12-24 demo. In that cohort, YouTube scores the highest popularity percentage of any source for any age: 84% of respondents go to YouTube first for staying up to date with music. Pandora and “Friends/Family” tie for second most-preferred in the teen+ set. iHeart Radio is more popular in the youngest subset than in the whole survey population, at  26%. Here’s the whole 12-24 chart:

ID up to date sources 12-24

Both slides above indicate the sources which respondents have ever used for staying musically current. The numbers settle down when the question became which music source was most-used. But AM/FM still surpassed the others. Friends/Family remained important in that view, too — apparently people still talk to each other in our digitally connected world!

ID up to date most used

Brad Hill