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AM/FM Radio Accounts For 41 Minutes Of Ad-Supported Audio's Hour, 51 Minutes In Car.


Based on Edison Research's “Share of Ear” survey results for second-quarter 2023, Cumulus Media/Westwood One's Audio Active Group has created two ad-supported audio clocks, showing each major platform's share of a typical hour of listening in the U.S. Each clock is based on multiplying Edison's share of time spent with ad-supported audio among persons 18+ by 60 minutes.


The resulting clocks, as shown in Westwood One's blog, shows that for all ad-supported listening, AM/FM radio accounts for 41.4 minutes, followed by podcasts with 11.4, then ad-supported SiriusXM, Spotify and Pandora with 2.4 minutes each. Shown as share of time spent, AM/FM claims a 69% share of all U.S. ad-supported audio, with podcasts at 19%, and ad-supported SiriusXM, Spotify and Pandora with 4% each.


Using the same formula for persons 18+, the U.S. ad-supported audio clock for in-car listening gives AM/FM radio greater dominance, with 51 minutes of the hour. Podcasts represent 4.2 minutes, with ad-supported SiriusXM at 4.2, and ad-supported Spotify and Pandora with 1.2 minutes each. The Edison shares these are based on show AM/FM with an 85% share of ad-supported audio in the car, with podcasts at 7%, ad-supported SiriusXM at 4%. and ad-supported Pandora and Spotify at 2% each.


Westwood One's analysis notes the explosive growth of podcasts in the past six years, according to Edison, with persons 18+ share of ad-supported audio time spent up from 5.4% in 2017 to 19.2% in 2023, including a leap from 11.2% in 2022. Also noted are podcasts' daily reach of persons 25-54 over the same period, from 7.0% six years ago to 31.8% this year, again with a jump from 2022 when it stood at 22.0%. Reach is higher for 18-34s and 18-49s in 2023, 39% for the former and 34% for the latter.


“Initially, marketers criticized podcasting for lacking scale,” Cumulus Media/Westwood One's Audio Active Group Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says. “No longer. Podcasting is [now] reaching one out of every three Americans daily. The weekly reach is in the high 30s/low 40s, and the monthly reach is starting to approach 50%.”


As for ad-supported Spotify, the blog points out that while “Share of Ear” shows the streaming service's ad-free subscription audience share up 133% among 18+ since 2017, its ad-supported audience share has gained just 18%. “The growth in Spotify’s average monthly users does not translate to an advertiser benefit,” Bouvard says. “In fact, 71% of the tuning minutes to Spotify are to its advertising-free subscription service.”


There's more good news for radio, when it comes to the impact of music streaming since 2017, as shown by Edison. Even as share of time spent with music streaming with Pandora or Spotify – vs. with owned music – among persons 18+ has grown from 51% to 70%, AM/FM radio streaming has doubled, and podcasts quintupled, over the same period, while Pandora's ad-supported share has been cut in half.


“Time spent with music streaming comes at the expense of owned music, not AM/FM radio,” Bouvard notes. “AM/FM radio has lost share to the digital version of its broadcast (AM/FM radio streaming) and podcasts, [so] streaming really has not impacted AM/FM at all. Interestingly, the AM/FM streaming share of a 12 is actually bigger than the combined 9 share of [ad-supported] Pandora and Spotify combined. From a streaming audio standpoint, AM/FM streaming all by itself is bigger than the combination of Pandora and Spotify.”

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