Prior to the pandemic, 32% of all time spent with audio occurred in the car. That number dropped to 20% during the May shelter-at-home period. In September the amount is up to 28%, according to Edison Research Q3 2020 “Share of Ear.”
“Audio is pandemic proof as AM/FM radio continues to represent three-fourths of all ad-supported audio,” Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer Cumulus Media/Westwood One writes in a blog post detailing the study. The major changes some predicted in media use because of the pandemic failed to materialize. Comparing shares of ad-supported audio from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020 reveals little change. In 2019 AM/FM radio’s share of ad-supported audio time among persons 18+ was 78%. In 2020, the share is 76%.
A July survey of 300 marketers conducted by Advertiser Perceptions reveal that brands and agencies significantly overestimate Pandora and Spotify’s audiences. Brands and agencies perceive Spotify’s ad-supported audio share as twelve times larger than its actual 2% share. Pandora’s ad-supported audio share is perceived as four times greater than its actual 4% share. Marketers also perceive AM/FM radio’s share as 23% smaller than its actual 43% share. Edison Research’s Share of Ear Q3 2020 shows AM/FM radio’s audience is 22 times larger than Spotify’s ad-supported share and 11 times larger than Pandora’s ad-supported share.
“There is increasing global evidence that marketers are basing their media choices on their own behavior or that stoked by the digitally obsessed marketing media, rather than actual audience data,” marketing professor Mark Ritson says.
AM/FM radio has a 38% share of ad-supported audio on the smart speaker. Ad-supported Pandora is next with 26% and podcasts at 17%. Ad-supported Spotify and SiriusXM each account for 9%.