AM/FM Radio Wins Top ‘Share of Ear’

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Sep 03

Broadcast radio’s resilience has been proven yet again, this time with Edison Research’s latest Share of Ear study. The data shows that 42% of all time spent listening to audio each day is spent with AM/FM radio. This number is more than twice the time spent with streaming audio and more than four times as much as owned music. Although podcasting jumped from 2% to 5% between 2014 and 2020, its share of ear is only an eighth the size of radio’s.

The study also showed that Americans have shifted the start time of their audio consumption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before COVID-19 disruptions, 50% of Americans 13 and older reported listening to any form of audio by 7:15am. Since COVID-19 disruptions, the 50% threshold is not reached until 8:30am. 

Edison Senior VP Tom Webster said this shift does not mean Americans are sleeping in later, but that people working from home no longer need traffic reports and weather forecasts. “What we’re looking for from audio has changed and all forms of audio media have to be responsive to that,” he said. He expects the new audio habits to remain as long as Americans continue to work from home. 

Regardless of what time Americans turn on the radio, the fact remains that they are turning it on, and spending more time with AM/FM radio than any other audio medium. Still, it’s no secret that podcast advertising has its own advantages, something SMI has reported on a number of times, most recently here. Each audio medium presents huge opportunity for marketers, making all audio channels worthy of your brand message.

For information on how you can combine the strengths of radio and the strengths of podcasting for a strategic marketing mix, contact SMI today.

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