Weekly Insights · February 28, 2024

Urban, Suburban, Rural Listening Differences

By Edison Research

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Does where one lives in the U.S. affect what one listens to? Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study finds that indeed, listeners from urban, suburban, and rural areas (as defined by the U.S. Census) exhibit distinctively different behaviors when it comes to AM/FM radio listening, and podcast listening.

As seen in the graphic below, those who live in rural areas spend a much higher portion of their audio listening time with AM/FM radio, as compared with those living in suburban or urban areas. Rural listeners spend 43% of their daily audio listening time with AM/FM radio and radio streams, compared with urban listeners who spend 34% of their time with AM/FM radio and radio streams.

Meanwhile, Urban listeners spend over twice as much of their daily audio time with podcasts as rural listeners. Urban listeners spend 13% of their daily audio time with podcasts compared with rural listeners who spend 6% of their daily time with podcasts. For both data points, those who live in the suburbs fall in between. 

Share of Ear measures all audio usage, not only radio and podcasting. But take your eye back to the graphic and add the numbers for each location together. You’ll see that in combination these numbers are essentially the same – between 47% and 49%. It appears that the ‘time budget’ for radio and podcasting combined is consistent across locations; it is just the apportionment of that time that varies.

Contact us at info@edisonresearch.com for more information on the syndicated Share of Ear® study.

Edison Research and the National Election Pool have partnered exclusively with Reuters to distribute U.S. election data to clients around the World. In their latest webinar report, Reuters editorial team illuminated the global relevance of the 2024 U.S. election, unraveling both sides of key issues: the economy, ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, immigration, equality, abortion rights, climate change and more. The stakes are high and the need for reliable and fact-checked coverage is more critical than ever.  

To learn more about how Reuters is using Edison’s data in its coverage of the 2024 US Presidential Election, download the webinar report today

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