7 New Reasons to Advertise with Audio

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Wednesday, Mar 16
Woman with curly hair listening to music with her hands over her heart. She is wearing a yellow shirt with yellow headphones.
Want to improve your understanding of how Americans are consuming and using all forms of audio? Check out Edison Research’s “Share of Ear”, the authoritative 7-year tracking study published every quarter that surveys 4,000 Americans annually on their audio consumption. The Q4 2021 results are in, and here are some of the key findings. 

1. AM/FM dominates share of ear among registered voters. 
  • Among registered voters, 75% of time spent with audio is spent with AM/FM radio.
  • Podcasts came in second with 11% of audio time spent.

2. AM/FM radio’s ad-supported audio share is “pandemic proof.”
  • AM/FM’s share of ear has remained dominant throughout the pandemic.
  • AM/FM radio’s share of ear held steady at #1 from 2019 through 2021, capturing over 70% of audio’s share of ear each year.


3. AM/FM radio is the “queen of the road” across every buying demographic. 
  • From 2016-2021, at least 88% of time spent with ad-supported audio in the car has been spent with AM/FM radio.

“If you want to reach people on the path to purchase while they’re in their cars, while they’re shopping, AM/FM really should dominate your media plan to reach those on-the-go consumers,” said Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer of Cumulus Media/Westwood One.


4. AM/FM radio leads ad-supported audio across major demos.
  • AM/FM radio held over 84% of the in-car share of ear for listeners 18-34, 18-49, 25-54, and 35-64.
  • No matter what age of consumer you are trying to reach, you can reach them in the car with AM/FM radio.


5. Streaming is growing as a percentage of total AM/FM radio listening. 
  • Over six years, the proportion of AM/FM radio listening occurring via online streaming has increased from 8% to 14%.


6. AM/FM radio has the largest ad-supported audio share of smart speaker listening. 
  • 43% of ad-supported audio time spent on the smart speaker among persons 18+ is spent with AM/FM radio.
  • Podcasts came in second, with 26% of ad-supported audio time spent on the smart speaker.


7. Since 2016, the daily reach of podcasts has doubled among listeners age 18-34 and tripled among listeners 25-54.
  • Now, 1 out of 4 18-34-year-olds are listening to podcasts every day.
  • Among 25-54-year-olds, almost 1 out of 5 are listening to podcasts in a typical day.


Are you thinking about advertising on radio or podcasts? SMI can help. Contact us today to get you brand’s message on broadcast, streaming, or satellite radio and podcasts.

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