Weekly Insights · January 24, 2024

The Dayparts when Audio Platforms See Peak Listening

By Edison Research

This post is from Edison’s Weekly Insights email. Please click here if you would like to subscribe.

In this week’s Insights email:

Which dayparts have the most minutes of listening from each platform?

The word “daypart” doesn’t even make Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. But those in the broadcast industry or advertising world know it’s how a listening day has traditionally been divided. Dayparts are the blocks of time within the day to run advertising or programming to reach certain audiences.  

Our Share of Ear® dataset collects listening data continuously through the day, allowing subscribers to look at how listening habits differ by daypart.  
The graphic below shows which daypart has the highest average listening time for each audio platform measured in Share of Ear (not which audio platform rules that daypart). It might not be immediately clear that these standard dayparts do not all have the same number of hours: some have four hours and some have five. We have taken this into consideration, so the calculations below reflect average listening minutes per hour in each daypart.

Let’s start with AM/FM Radio. The daypart when radio usage peaks is, no surprise, mornings; also known as “morning drive time” (6am-10am). Radio has a historical focus on strong morning shows and many radio listeners have lifelong habituation to listening in the morning whether at home starting the day or driving to work or school.

What might be a bigger surprise is the one type of audio that sees its strongest daypart in the evening (7pm-Midnight) – listening to music on YouTube. During a time of day when we have historically seen audio consumption drop, as television viewing takes over, this form of music-video entertainment is used more in the evenings than any other time of day, showing what a unique form of consumption YouTube for music makes. We have to envision people putting YouTube on their Smart TVs or phones and either using it as background to other activities or perhaps actively watching.

Many audio types see their peak listening in the midday hours (10am-3pm). Audiobooks, owned music, podcasts, SiriusXM, and streaming all have middays as the daypart with the greatest amount of average listening. SiriusXM might come as a bit of a surprise here, as so much of its image is dominated by Howard Stern and other morning offerings. But the lure of commercial-free music leads many SiriusXM users to report long spans of listening through the midday hours. 

Afternoons, or “PM Drive Time” (3pm-7pm), is when Music Channels on TV have the most listening. Keep in mind that what we are looking at here is each platform on its own, and the proportion of listening during each daypart for that platform. This is not looking at the dayparts and ranking each platform’s listening during that daypart.

Edison Research and WorldDAB present “Dashboard Dialogue” hosted by Edison Research Vice President Megan Lazovick, and WorldDAB President Jaqueline Bierhorst.  
Click here to register for Dashboard Dialogue Wednesday, January 31 9:00 am ET/14:00 GMT  
Please note the early start time for this webinar  
The study provides an in-depth review of DAB radio’s usability in the car with videos from consumers detailing their likes and dislikes, plus what they love about radio in the car today. Edison Research surveyed listeners across France, Germany and the UK, through in-car interviews, as well as over 2,400 online interviews.   
The initial findings from this unique study were presented at WorldDAB Automotive 2023. This webinar builds on those findings by going in-depth with qualitative interviews and further insights. 

ICYMI, we wrote a book! We are thrilled to offer Sound Data: The State of Audio in 50 Charts for purchase. What started as a Weekly Insights email project in 2022 has grown into a compilation of findings that illuminate the state of the audio industry. 

Sound Data will be available on Amazon and other major online outlets soon. For now, you can click here to purchase this full-color, softcover book.

Get our latest insights delivered to your inbox.