Streaming Radio Listenership Surged in 2020

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Jan 28
woman listening to radio through headphones

Radio listenership surged in the U.S. in 2020, growing at the fasted rate it has seen since 2002, Inside Radio reports. Increased listenership has been attributed to higher news/talk radio consumption and higher digital radio consumption.

With more people listening to the radio at home during the day, AM talk radio listenership spiked more in 2020 than it had during most presidential elections. And digital audio listenership saw an increase of 5.6%, “the fastest growth rate since the double-digit increase in 2015, when subscription digital audio services were breaking into mainstream,” said PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn.

PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage Forecast 2020-2024 found that, while advertising and marketing spending decreased 6.8% in 2020, total consumer time spent with media grew 21.8%.

“The prime beneficiaries of this paradoxical growth surge in media usage were consumer-supported media, particularly digital video, audio, games, social media and chat services,” Quinn said in a press release. “There’s no doubt that streaming media as a group were the hands-down winners in an otherwise loser of a year for many media stakeholders, particularly those dependent on advertising-driven media.”

It’s no secret: Audio is hot right now. To find out how to get your brand’s message on audio with streaming, broadcast, or satellite radio, contact SMI today.

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