Two weeks ago, Edison Research revealed that more audio is now consumed in the U.S. through mobile devices than through traditional radio receivers. Now the research firm has broken down that data by demos, looking at how different age groups consume audio through a mobile device versus a radio.
In 2014, seven years after the birth of the iPhone, mobile and radio were in a dead heat for time spent listening to all audio by those age 13-34. Today almost half of all audio consumed by 13-34s in the U.S. is done on a mobile device (48%), with 19% of the audio time going to a traditional radio receiver. Edison notes in its weekly insights email that this includes all listening in all locations. The rest of the listening is split among devices such as computers, TVs, and CD players. “This might be surprising for those who believe 13-34s are all-mobile-device-all-the-time – they aren’t,” Edison says.
Meanwhile, the share of time spent with audio through a mobile phone by those age 35-54 has doubled in the past eight years. “This group has spent their adulthood with increasingly advanced mobile tech, but they are still exposed to traditional radio receivers through their existing in-home hardware in-car radios,” the insights piece points out. It’s important to remember that this data refers to the device on which the audio is consumed, not the content. “Listeners can be consuming radio content on their mobile phones, for example,” says Edison.
As you might expect, traditional radio receivers still have a stronghold with those age 55+ as over half of their audio time (52%) is spent using a radio and 14% of that time with a mobile phone. “This group used to spend 68% of their audio time with traditional radio receivers in 2014 and 5% with mobile phones,” the Edison piece says. “Clearly their audio preference is with radios, but it’s worth noting that their share of time with mobile devices has more than doubled.”
Edison’s conclusion from the new data: “Regardless of the quality and near-endless variety of audio content available, the device through which it is offered will be key to winning listeners as audio tech marches on.”