Despite Pandemic, AM/FM Radio Is the Nation’s Top Audio Platform

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Jun 23
Professional microphone in radio studio
AM/FM radio remains the nation’s leading audio platform, according to Edison Research’s latest ”Share of Ear” study. AM/FM radio holds 43% of the total time spent listening to audio among people 18+. AM/FM radio’s share of ear is 11 times larger than ad-supported Pandora’s 4% and 22 times larger than ad-supported Spotify. Even though these numbers may be accurate, don’t discount the effectiveness of Pandora and Spotify too quickly.  Both of these channels target qualified consumers making them profitable options for audio advertisers. When the focus is narrowed to just the audience shares for ad-supported audio, AM/FM’s lead is even greater, with “a towering 76% share of ad-supported audio,” according to Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer of Cumulus Media/Westwood One. The latest survey data was also good news for podcasters. Podcasting’s share of ear jumped 26% from Edison’s first-quarter report.  According to Edison, “While podcasting share increases with every update, this represents an all-time high for podcast listening share of all audio.” This is great news for advertisers, especially those planning to increase their podcast spending in the second half of the year. Edison’s data revealed that smart speaker listening also hit a new high, with its share of listening increasing by over 40%.  “The movement of so much listening to the home changed the shares of many platforms and devices,” said Edison Research Director Laura Ivey. “It will be fascinating to see how these numbers continue to develop as American life evolves during and, eventually, after this pandemic period ends.”

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