Mobile device share of listening on track to surpass traditional radio receivers in the U.S.
Listening on a mobile device now accounts for 30% of all time spent listening to audio by those age 13+ in the U.S., an increase of 67% since 2014, according to the latest Share of Ear® report from Edison Research. Listening on a mobile device has been growing steadily since Edison Research’s Share of Ear study began tracking audio consumption among Americans in 2014.
The gap between listening on a traditional radio receiver and a mobile device among those age 13+ has narrowed remarkably quickly since 2014: 31 percentage points separated the two in 2014 and only five percentage points separate the two today. The traditional AM/FM radio receiver does account for the largest share of audio consumed but has decreased the most since the survey began, now accounting for 35% of all audio consumption compared to 49% in 2014.
Mobile devices have already surpassed traditional radio receivers in the younger age groups. Among those age 13-34, 46% of total daily audio consumption is done on a mobile device and 20% is done on a traditional AM/FM radio receiver.
It is important to note that these statistics speak to device only, not the audio product that is delivered by the device. Mobile devices can deliver a wide range of audio products, including radio station programming.
“Mobile devices, particularly of course the phone, have been gaining on the traditional radio receiver as the primary listening device for as long as we have been measuring Share of Ear, but with the disruptions of the last year the gap has narrowed dramatically.” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin. “As fewer people have a standard radio receiver in their homes these days, naturally more listening comes through digital devices.”
COVID-19 disruptions meant Americans spent more time consuming audio at home in 2020 and less time consuming audio in-car, the prime location for listening to a traditional AM/FM receiver, which could explain some of the change in the past year. Further data analysis in the coming year will be needed to see if these audio habits remain post-quarantine.
How the Share of Ear® study is conducted: Edison Research conducts a nationally representative study of Americans ages 13 and older to measure their time spent listening to audio sources. Respondents complete a 24-hour diary of their audio listening on an assigned day. Diaries are completed both online and by-mail using a paper diary. Diaries are offered in both English and Spanish. The Share of Ear study is released quarterly and is available on a subscription basis.
For more information about becoming a subscriber to Share of Ear, visit www.shareofear.com or email Edison Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.