Despite a drop-off in the number of car trips for many Americans during the spring, broadcast radio continues to hold onto the largest share of any audio medium. Edison Research’s latest Share of Ear study shows 42% of all time spent listening to audio each day remains with AM/FM radio. The number, based on a rolling four quarter average, shows broadcasters have a share more than twice as large as streaming audio and more than four-times as much as owned music.
The next three sources of audio don’t carry commercials: music videos on YouTube, which captured a 10% share, owned music (10%) and the ad-free channels on Sirius XM (9%).
One of the big gainers in recent years has been podcasting – its share jumped from 2% to 5% between 2014 and 2020 – but it still has a share that is just an eighth the size held by over-the-radio.
In 2014, the share held by AM/FM radio was a slight majority (51%) when the typical listener spent four hours a day with the medium. The big change in lifestyle many are now living may be partly to blame for the dip from then. COVID-19 has had something to do with that, but these changes have been building over time. But removing the commute from American lives has had a significant impact on all of these habits.
The Share of Ear data is compiled from participants who are given a diary which asks them to record their listening throughout the day in 15-minute increments, asking not only what platform they used, but the content consumed, and where they were located.