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Spoken word audio is getting plenty of press time lately, as well it should, but the Edison Research Share of Ear database reminds us that nearly three-quarters of daily audio time among those age 13+ in the U.S. is spent with music. For most people most of the time, music is their audio choice.
Weekdays and weekends might blur together for some, since remote working has changed life for many commuters, and the overall population is mobile, but there are still clear differences in weekdays and weekends when it comes to music listening.
The graph below illustrates the average number of minutes per hour devoted to music listening on weekdays. From 6am-7am, listeners average around 11 minutes of music listening. Bear in mind, this is among all Americans age 13 and over, including those who aren’t listening to anything. Plenty of people are not even be awake in this hour. The graph shows similar amounts of listening through the morning with a few fluctuations, then a little dip from noon-1p. Music listening peaks in the 3pm-4pm hour on weekdays.
Anecdotally, think of your own average 3pm hour during the week. Office workers may be taking a break from a day of meetings. Parents may be enjoying some peace, or starting after-school carpool chores. Often, the 3pm hour is referred to as a lull. Maybe some listeners need music to go with their afternoon pick-me-up coffee.
Weekends tell a different story.
As this second graph shows, the music-listening pattern is different on weekends. Listening gets a bit of a slower start, as expected, but increases steadily through the morning. Music listening peaks in the 10am-11am hour on weekends. The weekend graph has a decidedly different shape from our weekday graph.
Again, picture your typical weekend morning. Whether it be cleaning, errands, relaxing, or activities, Americans listen to the most music in the 10am hour on the weekends. The second peak is in the 2pm-3pm hour, when 14 minutes of music audio is consumed.
When both graphs are combined, it’s easy to see that once the hourly weekend listening surpasses weekday levels, it stays that way until well into the evening. From 9am to 11pm, music listening on weekend days outstrips music listening on weekdays.
The places where weekday and weekend music listening differ most? During 7am-8am, weekdays are the farthest ahead of weekends. During 10am-11am, weekends most definitely have the edge with the biggest lead over weekdays.
The weekday peak of 3pm-4pm isn’t quite enough to match weekends during the same hour, supporting the idea that weekends were made for music.