While AM/FM radio's dominance over other audio choices in vehicles isn't itself big news, Edison Research's latest Weekly Insights analysis of its “Share of Ear” data tells a different story, that of AM/FM's strength vs. streaming audio, whether in or outside the car.
Comparing in-car AM/FM radio listening (including to broadcast and station streams) in the U.S. with streaming of other audio among persons 18+, the former accounts for 88% of in-car audio time spent, vs. 12% for the latter.
The comparison remains impressive for listening in other locations aside from in vehicles, where for 18+, nearly twice the amount of time in the U.S. is spent with AM/FM radio compared to other streaming audio, 64% vs. 36%. “This might be a new way to think about radio consumption and how it stacks up against streaming in other locations besides the car,” Edison's report says.
Looking at just ad-supported AM/FM radio vs. the same for streaming audio, in or out of cars, produces an even more powerful 18+ story to take to advertisers. While there's no contest inside the car, where AM/FM accounts for 95% of time spent compared to streaming's 5%, those in the demo spend nearly four times the amount of time with AM/FM (79%) as with ad-supported streaming audio (21%) outside cars.
It should be noted that listening to SiriusXM, YouTube, podcasts, music channels on TV, owned music such as CDs, and audiobooks, are not included in Edison's comparisons.