Weekly Insights · August 16, 2023

Weekly Insights 8.16.2023 AM/FM: OTA, Streaming, or Both

By edison

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The audio space is a dynamic environment, and Edison Research’s unique Share of Ear® survey has been recording the changes in this space for nearly ten years. As has been well documented, the biggest transformations we have seen over time relate to the rise of the smartphone and the reallocation of listening time from other devices to the mobile phone.

Despite those changes, listening to AM/FM remains a powerful force in total audio listening, particularly with regard to reach. Bearing in mind that Share of Ear respondents are keeping a one-day audio diary, fully 63% of respondents (among the total sample, Americans age 13 and older) are reached by AM/FM radio content every single day. That is really a huge total – in a typical day, way more than half of everyone age 13+ in the U.S. listens to AM/FM radio.

So this week we decided to look inside that number – at those people who listen to radio in a typical day. We wanted to see how they are listening. Is it on a ‘radio set’, meaning ‘over-the-air’? Or are they listening to the streams of AM/FM stations on a digital device (phone, computer, smart speaker, internet-enabled television, video game console, etc).

As the graph below shows, 84% of daily radio listeners report listening exclusively over-the-air, and 5% of radio listeners reported listening only to streams. A sizeable portion – 11% of respondents (or about 7% of all Americans age 13 and older) recorded both.

As all audio consumption has evolved over the decade of Share of Ear, so is radio listening evolving. Nearly one-in-five daily radio listeners record at least some listening on a digital device.

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Podcast Movement 2023 starts Monday — will we see you there? Edison Research Senior Director of Research Gabriel Soto presents a keynote address on Tuesday morning, and then later in the day, Edison VP Megan Lazovick will be featured in Shattered Ceilings: A Truth and Dare Session with Podcasting’s Inspiring Women. Register here.

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