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Americans Spend More Time Listening Via Mobile Devices

Since 2014, smartphones have slowly been edging out traditional radio hardware, says Edison Research

On Friday, Dec. 16, Edison Research presented its “Top 10 Findings of 2022.” Findings detailed everything from podcast consumption both nationally and globally and smart speaker ownership to in-car listening habits among different generations.

For those of us in the radio and broadcast industries, some of the most pertinent information delved into how our audiences are accessing their audio in and out of the car.

Per Edison Research’s 2022 report, Americans now spend more time with audio through a mobile device than a traditional AM/FM radio receiver.

In 2014, around half of all daily audio content was listened to via a traditional receiver. This year, the mobile phone has just barely surpassed the AM/FM receiver, as can be seen on the graph below. It’s important to note that this data specifically refers to audio hardware, not radio content in general, which can be listened to in many ways via smart speakers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.

This date is further split up by age.

Another hot topic: How the public is consuming media in their vehicles.

In its report, Edison said radio still dominates the in-car listening environment even with the changing habits of Gen Z.

Traditional AM/FM receivers narrowly take the top spot for Gen Z-ers ages 13-24, claiming 48 percent of time spent listening by device.

During the presentation, representatives from Edison said the in-car environment proves different when tracking listening habits. Despite the mobile phone edging out traditional receivers overall, in the car, young listeners spend about half their time with AM/FM radio, with the U.S. population age 13 and older spending 58 percent of their time.

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on Edison Research’s Top 10 Findings of 2022. Read Part 2.