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AM/FM Radio Is Most Listened to Audio Source in U.S.

Edison Research says streaming music and YouTube claim 2nd and 3rd place

Edison Research just released its latest “Share of Ear” findings. The quarterly study determines what portion of all audio time is spent with different platforms.

The analysis looks at all audio usage across the United States among Americans age 13 and older. The data is gathered from a detailed one-day diary entry administered either online or via mail. Share of Ear data has been continuously updated since 2014. Find this quarter’s insights compiled in the graph below. 

Per Edison’s findings this quarter, AM and FM radio (counting both over-the-air and streams) accounted for 36 percent of all listening for Americans age 13 and older. Streaming music via platforms like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music, among others, accounted for 18 percent of all listening time. Using YouTube for music and/or music videos accounted for 14 percent of all listening time; followed by podcasts, SiriusXM and “owned music” — a.k.a. CD’s and other digital music files.

Bringing up the rear in terms of audio listenership are TV music channels and audiobooks, each with three percent of all listening.

Changes of Note (Since the First Quarter Update)

  • AM/FM Radio is down one point
  • Owned music dropped two points
  • Podcasts gained one point to another new all-time high of 10% of all listening
  • Audiobooks gained one point

When Edison completes the next two quarters of Share of Ear in 2023, it will have compiled 10 years of data.

“Audio has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, and we have captured the changes along the way,” said Edison in its weekly insights email. “In 2014 when we started, just over half of Americans had a smartphone. Today well over 90 percent do. When we began, far more people had ‘radio sets’ in their homes or at their workplaces and of course no one had even heard of a smart speaker.”

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