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Moms Are Streaming Audio More, But Still Discovering Podcasts And Listening To Radio.


Programmers interested in the evolving media habits of today’s moms could learn a thing or two from “Moms and Media,” the annual study from the Research Moms at Edison Research released just in time for Mother’s Day. Moms in the U.S. are spending more time on the internet, increasingly embracing digital devices, and using TikTok more, according to the report.


Defined as a woman having a child under 18 living in her household, the biggest slice of the mom pie is 35-44 year-olds (44%), followed by 45-54 (28%), and 25-34 (22%). Nearly two thirds are employed either full time or part time and 70% of employed moms work outside the home.


U.S. moms self-reported using the internet 15 minutes more than they did in 2022, for a total of four hours and 15 minutes per day. After flat usage during the past two years, online audio made some gains in 2023. More than eight in ten moms (83%) listen weekly to online audio. That’s a big leap from 75% last year. (Online audio includes AM/FM radio stations on the internet and internet-only audio sources.) Moms who listen weekly listen for an average of 15 hours and 46 minutes.


AM/FM radio listening is holding steady among moms. Nearly two-thirds (65%) have listened to radio either over the air or online in the last week. That’s steady from 66% in 2022 when there was bounceback after people were stuck at home during the pandemic. “While not at pre-pandemic levels, this has improved from what we saw during lockdowns,” Edison Research VP, and Research Mom, Melissa DeCesare said in an online presentation of the results Thursday.


The data, based on the Infinite Dial 2023 and a supplemental national online survey, shows moms continue to discover podcasts. Overall, 69% of moms have listened to a podcast, up from 65% last year. And 46% have reported listening in the last month, 32% in the last week, steady with 2022 and up sharply from 28% in 2021.


While 95% of moms own a smartphone, tablet ownership has leveled off at about two-thirds after a peak in 2019. So has smart speaker ownership – about half of moms have any kind of smart speaker, steady with 2022 levels. “Smart speakers had their moment in 2021 when they broke out of their plateau,” said DeCesare, rising to 46% from about one-third in 2019 and 2020. That jumped again to 50% in 2022, “likely driven by many of the pandemic habits that formed while at home,” she explained. “This habit may have been started during the pandemic but continues even now.” Alexa devices maintain their dominance in the category, where the vast majority of moms [63%] have more than one smart speaker.


In light of their multitasking lives of juggling kids at home and work commitments, most moms continue to choose hands-free technology – 68% use some form of voice-operated personal assistant in 2023. But voice assistant usage has declined in the past year on non-smart speaker devices such as mobile phones, computers or other devices. That may be because the smart speaker is the only device in the group where voice activation is the primary and only way to interact with it.


When it comes to consuming audio, wireless earphones and headphones are trending up with moms – seven in ten (71%) own a pair, up from 63% in 2022. “This tech really came into play and was necessary during the pandemic when everyone was at home,” DeCesare noted. “But it is definitely still gaining ground even now.”


Social media is steadily engrained in the lives of moms – 93% use it, unchanged from last year. While Facebook is the platform used the most (83% penetration) both it and Instagram are losing ground to TikTok, which made a massive jump from 26% to 42% last year and rises to 50% in 2023. In fact, TikTok made huge gains as “used most” among social media moms from just 6% in 2022 to 19% in 2023.


From radio and streaming audio habits to device usage and favorite social media platforms, the study provides a deep dive into how this multi-tasking, advertiser-coveted population segment consumes media. Download it HERE.

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