Edison Research and Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Annual Report and Statistics


The Infinite Dial is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America. The annual reports in this series have covered a wide range of digital media and topics since 1998. For 2017, The Infinite Dial tracks and covers new research on mobile behaviors, Internet Radio, Podcasting, Social Media, Smart Speakers and more.


  • Consumers aged 18-34 are most likely to be monthly podcast listeners.
  • 56% of monthly podcast listeners are male and 44% are female.
  • 16% of monthly podcast listeners have an annual household income of $150K or more, compared to 10% of the general U.S. population.
  • 30% of monthly podcast listeners have some grad school or an advanced degree vs. 22% of the general population. 27% have a four-year college degree, compared to 19% of the general population.
  • Monthly podcast listeners are employed: 63% are employed full-time, vs. 49% of the general U.S. population.


  • On average, people spend 4 hours a day listening to audio.
  • 53% of Americans listen to online radio every week.
  • 24% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly.
  • Podcast listening growth is increasing 10% to 20% each year.
  • 40% of Americans have listened to a podcast.
  • 15% of Americans listen to podcasts weekly vs. 3% of Americans that go to the movies weekly.
  • Weekly podcast listeners spend a mean time of 5 hours and 7 minutes per week listening to podcasts.
  • The average podcast listener digests five shows per week and subscribes to six.
  • 21% of weekly podcast listeners listen to six or more shows every week.
  • 44% of monthly podcast listeners consume most of the podcast; 42% check out the entire episode.
  • 27% of podcast listeners subscribe to have episodes automatically downloaded to their devices.
  • 77% of podcast subscribers click on a podcast and listen immediately upon downloaded episode.
  • In 2017, 31% of monthly podcast listeners use a computer to listen to a podcast; 69% use a smartphone, tablet, or other portable device affording listeners on-the-go consumption.


  • 65% of listeners are more willing to consider purchasing something they learn about through a podcast.
  • 60% of buyers prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on their favorite podcasts.
  • 45% will visit a sponsor’s website after listening to a podcast ad.
  • 60% of podcast listeners want to buy products from podcasts.
  • 45% of podcast audience members will visit a sponsor’s website after listening to a podcast episode where the product was featured.
  • 94% of monthly podcast consumers use social media, vs. 81% of the general U.S. population.
  • 48% of monthly podcast consumers follow companies/brands on social media
  • Podcast listeners engage more with companies on social sites like Facebook than the average American.
  • 64% of monthly podcast listeners check social media at least “several times a day,” compared to 52% of other Americans.

Podcast Advertising: The Zeitgeist of 2017

“Advertising models are going to have to adapt, and adapt quickly, to the American consumer’s increasing willingness to curate their own media mix and avoidance of traditional advertising messages.” Tom Webster, Edison’s Vice President of Strategy.

Many major brands are cementing podcast advertising into their marketing. In 2016 brands like GE, eBay, Slack, The Intercontinental, Virgin Atlantic and Tinder led the charge. Continued audience fragmentation is spurring advertisers to take advantage of podcasting’s ability to target niche audiences. Geo-aware dynamic ad insertion will increase to integrate timely, highly targeted, host-read, advertising in evergreen formats.

In 2017, television networks will play a vital role in helping their viewers get wise to podcasts. In part, this will be through networks creating more companion podcasts. From exclusive interviews to insider commentary, b-roll audio to subseries storylines, podcasts will ensure fans get their fix across reality, drama and current affairs.

Also significant, is the proliferation of connected cars across Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and is another key and unstoppable factor driving podcast discovery. Podcasts will go into hyperdrive with more than 200 models to carry the technology in the next 12 months. Platforms like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa will further boost take-up, breaking down barriers between discovery and play.

Research shows that people prefer host-read ads in podcasts over any other digital medium. Advertisers will move away from generic, programmatic advertisements and move towards highly targeted campaigns that focus on cultivating intimate listener experience.

Custom or branded podcasts will gain momentum steering advertisers to prioritize their content marketing strategies to “audience-first” (understanding who your audience is, what type of content they are digesting and what they want from a company like yours before doing anything else) content that is aligned with their brand’s purpose and values (ex: Whole Foods sponsoring an organic cooking radio show/podcast).

ABOUT EDISON RESEARCH: Edison Research produces the best annual research on who the podcast consumer is and conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Gulf News, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, Time Warner and Yahoo. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

ABOUT TRITON DIGITAL: Triton Digital® has connected audio supply to advertising demand since 2006, providing the technical backbone for the digital audio marketplace. The company’s innovative technology enables both live and on-demand publishers to build audience and revenue globally. As a pioneer in the space, Triton Digital has made that audience available programmatically for the first time, maximizing audience buying efficiency for advertisers across the world.