Streaming Now Accounts for 12% of AM/FM Radio Listening in the U.S.

Edison Research’s Share of Ear® shows highest proportion ever of AM/FM Listening to streaming v. over-the-air

 The most recent Share of Ear® study from Edison Research finds that 12% of all AM/FM radio listening is via streaming, while 88% of listening is done to a traditional, over-the-air radio signal.

AM/FM radio content in the U.S. is now available through a variety of digital apps and devices, making radio listening possible on computers, smartphones, smart speakers, and through radio station websites, apps, and third party apps. Although streaming AM/FM content continues to see small amounts of incremental growth each year, and at 12% is the highest measure yet, the largest amount of listening goes to the over-the-air (OTA) signals from devices such as car radios and clock radios.

“There are many outlets for Americans to listen to free broadcast radio, including the smartphones that we know are ubiquitous in our population. To realize growth, radio has to capitalize on its content being available beyond just a traditional radio receiver,” said Laura Ivey, Director of Research at Edison Research. “We know that the pandemic has shifted U.S. listeners from their cars, where traditional radio is easily available, to their homes, where radio must be accessed on different devices. The challenge is how to convince listeners to follow radio content on different devices – radio not on ‘a radio.’ ”

Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study is the only research that measures the entire world of audio, looking at platform of listening, time of day, device on which the audio was consumed, the kind of programming, and the location of listening. The Share of Ear service measures what portion of listening to AM/FM content happens on a traditional radio receiver and how much is done on a digital device. The Share of Ear methodology fully represents the U.S. 13+ population, including not only those who are online but also those who are either not online or lightly online.

Click here for more information on subscribing to the Share of Ear service.

The Top 50 Most Listened to Podcasts in the U.S. Q2 2021

Edison Research announces the comprehensive U.S. Top 50 Podcast chart for Q2 2021. This list ranks the 50 biggest podcasts by audience size, based on the Podcast Consumer Tracking Report, the only podcast measurement service that measures the relative audience size and demographics of all podcast networks. The Podcast Consumer Tracking Report is the only measurement based on actual listening, not downloads.

The top shows based on measurement from Q3 2020 – Q2 2021 are as follows:

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
  2. The Daily
  3. Crime Junkie
  4. This American Life
  5. Stuff You Should Know
  6. My Favorite Murder
  7. Pod Save America
  8. Office Ladies
  9. Serial
  10. The Ben Shapiro Show

Scroll down to see the Top 50 list. The top three podcasts, The Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily, and Crime Junkie, also ranked in 1-2-3 order in the Top 50 Podcasts of 2020.

“This is the second anniversary of the Podcast Consumer Tracker, and the top shows have been fairly consistent over that time. Because our research covers the entire space, regardless of publisher or listening application, we have been able to report that stability even as the space continues to evolve,” said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster.

The Edison Research Top 50 Podcasts of 2021 list is derived from data collected continuously from Q3 2020 – Q2 2021, from surveying weekly podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S. Participants indicate which podcasts they listened to in the past week along with a variety of demographic, psychographic, and purchase behavior information. The results are then coded and analyzed to ascertain the genre, network, and sales representation for each podcast. The relative audience size of each podcast network is then calculated and expressed as the percentage of weekly podcast listeners reached by that network. Surveys of over 8,000 podcast listeners were conducted Q3 2020 through Q2 2021.

“What is fascinating about these data is that we are seeing some marked differences between people who primarily get their podcasts through Apple Podcasts, those who primarily use Spotify, and those who mainly use YouTube. The character of the shows–and of the audiences–differs by platform,” added Webster.

Current subscribers to the Podcast Consumer Tracker include the top networks in podcasting as well as leading technology platforms, and is growing quarterly. Subscribers include SXM Media, Google, NPR, Wondery, ESPN/ABC/Disney, WarnerMedia, and more.

For information about the Podcast Consumer Tracker, contact Edison Research SVP Tom Webster at info@edisonresearch.com.

 

About Edison Research

Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Wondery, PodcastOne, Slate, Spotify, Stitcher/Midroll, ESPN, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. The company’s annual The Infinite Dial® study has been the most widely-cited data in the podcasting space since 2005, and Share of Ear® from Edison Research remains the only single-source measure in America of the relative size of podcast listening compared to other audio media. In 2019, the company introduced the Podcast Consumer Tracker, a quarterly study that provides the only comprehensive data on podcast listening by network in the world. Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool for 17 years, conducting exit polls since 2004, and collecting real-time vote results in all 50 states to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.

Moms and Media 2021

Moms and Media 2021 reflects a year of adjustment in media usage and consumption resulting from a new, at-home lifestyle in the wake of COVID-19.

The latest installment of the annual report combines data from the Infinite Dial® series from Edison Research and Triton Digital, with recent data from Edison Research’s new ongoing syndicated measurement of social media, The Social Habit. With both studies conducted during the pandemic, the data shows how media habits have changed as a result of being home.  The report showcases how Moms in the United States maintain their mobile tendencies and rely on devices and technology to manage the new normal.  In addition, it sheds light on how moms view their children’s social media usage in regard to their adjustment of being in a pandemic.

To download the full Moms and Media 2021 report, click here.

To watch a replay of the webinar, scroll down.

Smart speakers have proven themselves as little (or big!)  helpers.  Whether it is adding to a grocery list, getting information or even setting an alarm for kids to log back into remote school, smart speakers check those boxes and more.  With hands free help, these devices are becoming part of the family.   In 2021, 46% of moms reported owning some kind of smart speaker, up from the 33% we saw in 2020.

 

Smart Speakers surge among Moms

When it comes to smart speakers, more is better for most moms.  The majority of smart speaker moms (58%) own two or more smart speakers.  The average number of smart speakers in the home is 2.7.

With the ability to place these in multiple locations around the house, mom has coverage even when she is moving from room to room.

 

Number of Smart Speakers among Moms

 

While moving room to room in makeshift, shared workspaces around the house, moms embrace the devices that help smooth the transition and quiet the noise.  With a year of video calls and online school at home, earphones are a must.   61% of moms reported owning wireless earphones or headphones.

 

Moms own wireless earphones

 

Devices are necessary but without the Internet to power them they aren’t nearly as functional.  The internet is taking the biggest piece of moms’ media time, with moms in 2021 reporting they spend 4 hours and 16 minutes daily using the internet.  That is 23 minutes more than what they reported in 2020.

 

Moms spend more time on the internet than in 2020

 

 

Over the last year, children were also adjusting to new habits due to the pandemic. Without in-person school or extracurricular activities, there was limited social interaction for children.  The mental health implications of this have been in the spotlight and a big driver of getting kids back to in-person school where possible. Social media moms look to social media to help with this for their children.   Half of social media moms agree that social media is helping their children cope during the pandemic.

 

Moms agree that social media helps children cope

 

 

Click here for more on The Research Moms at Edison Research

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of commercial clients, governments, and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, BBC, The Brookings Institution, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, Voice of America, The New York Times, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Spotify, SiriusXM Radio, and UnidosUS. Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, PodcastOne, Slate, Spotify, Stitcher/Midroll, ESPN, WNYC Studios, Wondery, and many more companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison Research is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, consisting of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News, conducting exit polls and collecting real-time vote results in all 50 states.

The Infinite Dial 2021 Australia

Despite changes to the audio environment over the last year, 86% of Australians age 12+ are reached by radio each month, and 37% are reached by podcasting each month, according to The Infinite Dial® 2021 Australia, a comprehensive study of digital media behavior released today by Edison Research.

The Australian Infinite Dial is commissioned by major sponsor Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), as well as Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) via LiSTNR and Triton Digital®. The study was fielded in the first quarter of 2021, and reflects the current state of streaming audio, following the disruptions from the Covid-19 global pandemic. Findings were presented by Larry Rosin (, President of Edison Research) , in a webinar earlier today.

Click here to download The Infinite Dial 2021 Australia

Scroll down to view the webinar

AM/FM/DAB+ live content (or catch-up podcasts) has a tremendous weekly reach of Australians age 12+ (80%), in addition to the monthly reach of 86%. This reach extends to in-car listening as well, where 84% of those who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month have listened to AM/FM/DAB+ radio.

“Australians have continued to embrace radio through this period of unprecedented disruption and are listening both live and online through multiple sources, including apps, catch-up podcasts and smart speakers,” said Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner.

“We are pleased to once again partner with Edison Research, Commercial Radio Australia and Southern Cross Austereo to provide an update on Australian’s consumption of radio, streaming audio, podcasts, usage of smart speakers, and more,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “The results of the 2021 study reinforce the continuously growing medium in the region, furthering Advertiser’s interest and confidence in the channel as an effective vehicle for reaching their target audiences at the right place and time.”

Podcasting awareness is high, with 91% of Australians reporting being aware of podcasting, significantly higher than the 78% of those in the U.S. who are familiar with podcasting. Monthly listening to podcasts by Australians is almost equal to that of those in the U.S.: 37% of Australians age 12+ are monthly podcast listeners compared with 41% of those in the U.S. The same goes for weekly podcast listening: 26% of Australians age 12+ are weekly podcast listeners compared with 28% of those in the U.S.

Australians age 12+ report spending over 12 hours per week listening to online audio. This includes listening to AM/FM/DAB+ Radio Stations online, streaming services and podcasts. In the last week, 42% have listened to Spotify, 16% to YouTube music, 8% to Apple Music, 5% to SoundCloud and 1% to Amazon Music. Listeners in Australia are more likely to listen to online audio streaming services in the car than listeners in the U.S. Thirty-nine percent of in-car listeners in Australia have listened to online streaming services compared to 31% of listeners in the U.S.

For those who listen to AM/FM/DAB+ online, there are many device choices: 46% listen through the radio station’s website, 44% listen through the radio station’s app, 38% listen through an aggregator app or website, and 23% listen through a smart speaker.

Twenty-six percent of Australians 12+ now own a smart speaker, and smart speaker owners have an average of 1.9 of these devices.

Other key Infinite Dial 2021 Australia findings include:

• 25% of Australian drivers own an in-dash system that can receive entertainment/information over the Internet

• At–home is the location most Australians have consumed a podcast: 87% percent of monthly podcast listeners have listened at home, 59% have listened in a car/truck, 51% have listened while walking around, 39% have listened while riding public transportation, 27% have listened at work, and 24% have listened at the gym or while working out.

• Australian podcast listeners listen to an average of five podcasts per week.

This marks the fifth annual release of the study in Australia, and is part of the continued expansion of The Infinite Dial®. The study is the longest running survey of digital media consumer behavior in U.S., and now includes surveys in Canada, Germany, and South Africa.

The Infinite Dial® survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2021, is a high-quality telephone survey and includes a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised of both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians ages 10 and older. For comparison to the U.S. Infinite Dial, this presentation uses data for those age 12 and older. The data is weighted to 12+ population figures.

Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere from NPR and Edison Research

NPR and Edison Research today released the findings of their first-ever study of its kind on radio — which identifies six segments of radio listeners, their listening behaviors and their attitudes towards advertising.

Click here to download Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere from NPR and Edison Research

The study, titled “Radio: Live on Air and Everywhere” reveals that radio plays an important role in the lives of consumers and that the majority of radio listeners are receptive to sponsorship messages on the platform. The findings were presented in a webinar hosted by NPR VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson and Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick and is available now at http://npr.org/radioiseverywhere.

Approximately 156 million people age 18+ – 63% of U.S. adults – listen to AM/FM radio daily, and listeners are driven to the medium for myriad reasons. The study finds that the heaviest users of radio are the most open to its advertising messages. Two of the six segments of listeners, “Radio Heads” and “Connection Seekers,” the groups that spend the most time with radio, are the least likely to avoid ads or sponsorship messages on AM/FM radio.

The six radio listener segments identified are:

  • Radio Heads (9% of radio listeners) Listen for all audio needs; listen to the most radio
  • Connection Seekers (16% of radio listeners) Listen for company and connection
  • Infomaniacs (18% of radio listeners) Listen for their need to consume news and information 
  • Rhythm Rockers (27% of radio listeners) Listen for their need to consume music 
  • Laidback Listeners (17% of radio listeners) Listen to radio only in the background 
  • Habitualists (13% of radio listeners) Listen to radio when it is the only option available 

Regardless of segment, 47% of radio listeners overall agree that listening to ads is a fair tradeoff to consume the free content. Almost half of all AM/FM radio listeners (46%) say they have considered a new company, product, or service after hearing an ad on the radio. 

NPR Radio listeners show a particularly strong engagement with radio and its sponsorship messages: with 46% agreeing that they are more likely to trust a company they hear advertised on NPR and 59% agreeing that NPR engages their mind in a more positive way than other media does. NPR listeners are more likely to be Infoseekers (26% of all NPR listeners), Connection Seekers (19%), and Radio Heads (15%)  than the average radio listener.    

Although often eclipsed in the media by other audio platforms, AM/FM radio commands 41% of all time spent listening to audio by those in the U.S. age 18+. Even with the growth in available online audio and other options, this new research finds that 33% of AM/FM radio listeners say the platform is becoming a more important part of their lives.  

“NPR has been a leader in radio for 50 years, with programming airing across more than 1000 member stations nationally,” said NPR VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson. “And while we all can agree that radio certainly has had an amazing legacy – we’re thrilled to see it also has a very vibrant future, with dedicated listeners who are especially engaged with radio’s content, including advertising and sponsorship messages.”

According to Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick, “Even in a world where people have many audio options, radio is by far the most listened-to in terms of reach and the most-used in terms of time. Don’t take for granted the fact that radio is everywhere – providing enormous audiences and engaged responses from tens of millions of people, every hour of every day.” 

How the study was conducted
Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere from NPR and Edison Research is based on a national online survey of 1,500 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted January 13-21, 2021. All respondents reported listening to AM/FM radio (traditional or streamed) in the last week. Data was weighted to match the sex, age, and ethnicity of AM/FM radio weekly listeners from The Infinite Dial from Edison Research and Triton Digital.  Edison Research Share of Ear®: A total of 4,000+ respondents age 13+ completed an online or offline survey which was offered in English and Spanish. Data weighted to national 12+ U.S. population estimates and has been tracked since 2014.

About NPR
NPR, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, is widely known for its rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling that connects with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in-person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now on smart speaker devices — where listeners can simply say, “Play NPR” to tune into their local Member station’s live stream. Users can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast on screened speakers. For more information visit npr.org/about and follow NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space.  Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.

Contacts, Press Only:    

Devon Landis
National Public Media at NPR
(202) 513-3490
dlandis@nationalpublicmedia.com

 Laura Ivey
Edison Research
(908) 707-4707
livey@edisonresearch.com