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Time Spent With Radio vs Streaming Audio

You might have read the headline and thought, nope — no way do listeners spend more time with radio than streaming. In part two of our four-part series on the strength of AM/FM radio in the U.S., we break it down and shine a spotlight on the strengths of radio that might not be so obvious at first glance. 

This week’s finding: Listeners age 18+ spend more than twice the amount of their daily audio time with AM/FM radio compared to streaming audio. (See graphic below) 

Using Edison Research’s Share of Ear® dataset, we compare the share of daily audio time spent with AM/FM Radio listening (including over-the-air and streams) with non-AM/FM streaming audio (including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Apple music, etc.). With adults in the U.S. clocking 71% of their time listening to AM/FM Radio, that’s more than double the time spent with Streaming Audio (29%).

If we go one step further and add a filter to see what share of this audio time is ad-supported vs ad-free, we see an even bigger lead for AM/FM radio vs streaming audio.  

The graph below shows only AM/FM Radio (which includes streams) versus ad-supported streaming (not allstreaming). Note that listening to SiriusXM, YouTube, podcasts, music channels on TV, owned music such as CDs, and audiobooks are not included in these comparisons.  

More than five times the amount of daily audio consumption among U.S. adults is spent with AM/FM radio, including radio station streams, (85%) than with ad-supported streaming audio (15%). 

Much of the time spent listening to streaming sources isn’t ad-supported; but these points illustrate a strength of traditional AM/FM radio and its streams when compared in an ad-supported universe (including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Apple music, etc.).

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