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Listening Is Shifting Back to the Car

But Edison Research says at-home listening remains higher than pre-COVID

Edison ResearchAudio consumption in the United States is shifting from home back to the car as quarantine restrictions have lifted in some areas.

Edison Research released a summary of its latest Share of Ear report.

[Read: Removing Car Radios “Puts Consumers at Risk,” Former FEMA Head Says]

“Prior to COVID-19 restrictions in Q2 2020, 32% of all audio in the U.S. was consumed in-car,” the company stated.

“When quarantine restrictions went into place in Q2, erasing many Americans’ commutes and greatly reducing travel in general, in-car listening plummeted by 38% so that it accounted for only 20% of all listening. This caused at-home listening in Q2 to soar from 49% of all listening to 70% of all listening, an increase of 43%.”

Now its latest research, conducted in early September, shows a shift back to the car as quarantine restrictions have eased in some locations and in varying degrees.

“In-car listening grew from 20% in Q2 to 28% today, not quite equal to the pre-COVID number of 32% of all listening,” it stated.

At-home listening levels fell from 70% early in the quarantine period to 59% of all listening today. The company said at-home is still 10 points higher than pre-COVID. “With a U.S. workforce that has seen many employees transition to home office environments, future surveys will bear out whether or not this is a permanent shift.”

Meanwhile, listening at work has “slightly rebounded” over the same period.