We all like to think we know our ideal audience inside-out, but consumer behaviors are constantly changing. So it’s up to reports like The Infinite Dial 2022 to give marketers the insights needed to make crucial, up-to-date decisions.
The Infinite Dial is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in the U.S., tracked annually since 1998, and unveils the latest research in digital audio, social media, mobile, smart speakers, and podcast consumption.
Conducted by Edison Research, and this year sponsored by Wondery and ART19, The Infinite Dial 2022’s findings are particularly interesting for those who invest in audio (specifically podcast) and social media content. The study provides keen insights into what content people are consuming, on what platforms, and how.
In short, it’s a content marketer’s data banquet!
Which is why it’s become a bit of an annual tradition for us to do an episode covering The Infinite Dial’s top takeaways, so if you want to hear any of the previous episodes, check out our 2021, 2020, and 2019 episodes out on our blog.
The latest report details some really interesting findings around weekly podcast listenership, TikTok usage, and offline user behavior (keep reading to find out why this is important).
So let’s dive in. Hit play to hear what The Infinite Dial 2022 findings mean for content creators and marketers…
Or keep scrolling for our top six takeaways from The Infinite Dial 2022.
6 key findings from The Infinite Dial 2022
As you’d expect, The Infinite Dial 2022 is jam-packed with visualized data – and this year’s report is 70 slides long.
While all of this data is interesting in its own right, we’ve picked out the takeaways we think are most relevant to content creators and marketers. To see all of them, download the full report.
1. 75% of the U.S. population primarily go to work and school outside of the home
Now you may be thinking, why is ‘where people work’ important to content creators?
But the disruption to established work routines and the introduction of remote working drastically changed consumer behavior when it came to content.
Content consumption is often linked to routine and habits.
For example, I used to spend a lot of time listening to podcasts while I drove to the gym and meetings. When the pandemic hit, I stopped listening to so many podcasts because my “commuting” time had disappeared!
This year, there’s been a 5% rise in people going to work and school outside of the home. So, in terms of creating content, if you pivoted your strategy to target those at home more, it may be time to think about what you can do to keep up with your audience’s daily habits.
Perhaps that means launching a podcast so your audience can listen on their commute (like me!). Or maybe repurposing your content into bite-size social media videos, suitable for short work and study breaks.
2. 100 million people now own a smart speaker
That’s 35% of the U.S. population that use a smart speaker. And 33% of those own more than 3 smart speakers in their home. Most of which are Amazon Alexas.
Again, you might be thinking, so what?
If you’re creating audio content, what does it sound like on a smart speaker? How could you make it more smart-speaker friendly?
Perhaps this means repurposing your podcast into shorter, highlights-only episodes, so more people can listen to your content while they do the washing up. Or repurposing your videos into podcast episodes.
Also, when people ask Alexa a question the relies on her search functionality, how easily searchable are you?
3. TikTok is not just for the kids anymore!
TikTok is still a hot topic for all age groups. 88% of the U.S. population are now familiar with the platform, and it’s seen sustained, rapid growth, throughout all age groups included in the survey.
Even the 55+ category.
While this is likely no surprise, it really hammers home the point that marketers can’t ignore the platform any longer. It’s increasingly likely that it’s where your customers are hanging out, so you might want to try dipping in your toe.
How about by repurposing your content to TikTok? Find out how in this post.
4. Twitter usage is also growing
It’s not just the new platforms seeing growth. Twitter usage is also up 6% in the last 24 months.
The OG social media platform is constantly finding new ways to engage users, with lots of user-driven updates, such as making threads an official thing.
Whether Twitter will continue to grow following Elon Musk’s takeover is unknown.
There have been some great content repurposing success stories to come out of Twitter. We featured these two in our It Started with Content series, so if you want to learn more about utilizing this platform, check that out.
5. Weekly podcast listening dropped 2% in 2022
For the first time since podcast listening was reported on, weekly podcast listening has declined.
The good things to note here is that the overall percentage is still higher than it was in 2020, and the listening percentage of the U.S. population equates to 74 million weekly podcast listeners.
As a podcaster, am I worried? Absolutely not.
Edison Research say a large reason for this is the change in people’s habits throughout the pandemic (see point 1).
So, whilst there may have been a bit of a podcast-listening-bubble in 2021, the amount of R&D currently going into podcast development and listening platforms worldwide tells me that figure will continue growing in 2022 and beyond.
6. Podcast listeners are more likely to use social media
Here’s a really easy conclusion to draw from this data: if you have a podcast, you need to promote it on social media!
Podcast listeners across the board are more likely to spend time on social media compared to the rest of the U.S. population.
If you want more listeners, more engagement with your content, and more results from your podcast, get repurposing it to social media!
We repurpose our podcast (and our clients’) to a lot of social media platforms every week, and one of the ways we do it is to turn the content into graphics. Here are 7 ways you can repurpose your podcast content into social media images.
The Infinite Dial 2022: next steps
Those are our top takeaways from this year’s report, but there are plenty more where that came from!
For more findings around audio listening, social media usage, and podcasting, download The Infinite Dial 2022 report.
If you’re thinking about using these insights to improve your audience reach, we can help.
Capturing your audiences’ attention is hard. Creating the content to help you do this, for multiple platforms, is even harder.
We help our clients reach more people online and keep their audiences engaged in their content for longer through the power of repurposing. Find out how by watching the short video on our homepage, or find the service that’s right for your organization here.