Do Americans Spend More Time Listening to AM/FM Radio or Podcasts?

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Monday, Sep 25
Red headed woman listening to music with blue headphones on.
Edison Research’s latest quarterly “Share of Ear” report surveyed 4,000 Americans to measure daily reach and time spent with all forms of audio. Here are their key findings.

Nearly one out of every five minutes Americans spent listening to ad-supported audio in Q1 was spent listening to podcasts. This earned podcasts a 17% of the total share of ear, more than ad-supported SiriusXM (4%), ad-supported Pandora (4%), and ad-supported Spotify (4%). The winner? With a whopping 4 times the share of podcasting among adults 18 and over, AM/FM radio claims 71% of Americans’ total time spent with ad-supported audio. 


Podcast audiences are still growing, and among adults 25-54, the gap between time spent with AM/FM radio and podcasting is much smaller. Among that age group, broadcast radio’s lead is half as large, with 21% of ad-supported audio time spent with podcasting versus 52% of time spent with AM/FM radio.


“Podcast audiences have exploded,” writes Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus Media and Westwood One, on Westwood One’s Blog. According to Bouvard, “Prior to 2020, podcast audience growth was gradual. In 2021, podcast audiences went into hyper drive. Podcasts now have an 8.9 share of overall audio and a 17 share of all U.S. ad-supported audio.”

Among 18- to 49-year-olds, podcasts reach 34% of Americans daily, up four-fold since 2016. “Podcasting now has the scale that a lot of marketers said it lacked a few years ago—there is reach to be found in podcasting,” Bouvard said.


Podcasts are growing at an even greater rate among older adults, with adults 45-54 seeing a 633% increase from 2017 to 2022, and adults 55+ seeing more than 500% growth.


“Over the last few years we have seen an explosion of different access points in Podcasting,” said Andrew Nelson, Podcast Buyer at SMI. “With the medium taking up a larger and larger share of listening time, there is a show or network for everyone – meaning advertisers have a wider and more diverse audience to get in front of.”


Are you ready to hear your brand’s message where audio listeners tune into most? Contact SMI to advertise on AM/FM radio or podcasts today.

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