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AM/FM Users' Median Age? Depends On How You Look At It.

The next time you're asked about the median age of radio listeners and how it compares to that of podcasts or streaming audio, be prepared to give a more detailed explanation than you might have expected.

Edison Research’s latest “Weekly Insights” email addresses the question with “Share of Ear” study data from second-quarter 2022, based on Americans age 13 and older, showing there are two measures of median age: for audience reach based on listeners, as in the point where half the listeners are older and half are younger; and based on time spent listening, with median age being where half of the listening is being done above that age and half below.

Based on listener cume, then, AM/FM radio has a median listener age of 46 – 12 years older than the listener to streaming audio (as in pureplays such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and Amazon Music, excluding podcasts listened to on any of these platforms) and podcasts – while its median listening age is 51, 14 years older than that of podcasts, and 20 years older than that of streaming.

It's notable that using TSL pushes radio's median age up five years, while streaming audio is knocked down by three years. Looking at cume, podcasts' and streaming's median ages are the same, while podcasts' median is up by a couple of years based on listening, suggesting older listeners give more time to podcasts vs. younger.

“All three of these platforms have lots of listeners, and listening, in all age groups,” Edison says. “But the midpoint of these listener and listening bases are significantly different.”

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