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Edison: Share Of Radio Listening Taking Place Online Hit 10% In May.

The percentage of AM/FM radio listening taking place online hit double digits for the first time in May 2020, amidst disruptions to media consumption caused by COVID-19. According to the latest Share of Ear update from Edison Research, 10% of AM/FM radio listening among Americans aged 13+ came from streams last month while 90% occurred on a traditional radio receiver.

The average for 2020 in total so far is 9% of listening to AM/FM audio sources coming from streams.

Edison has been tracking the split between over the air and online radio listening since it debuted the Share Of Ear report in 2014. The data shows the portion gradually creeping up from just 5% of listening in 2014 to 7% in 2015, before hitting 8% in 2017 and staying there for three years until reaching 9% this year.

“Adoption of radio station streams continues to be slow,” said Laura Ivey, Director of Research at Edison Research. “While it remains an area of opportunity for broadcasters, to date most people in the U.S. listen over the air when they are listening to AM/FM radio content.”

The numbers combine music and spoken-word listening. Edison’s quarterly Share Of Ear reports show “listening via streaming is higher for spoken-word radio stations such as news, public radio, talk and sports,” said Ivey, “while listening via streaming is lower for music radio stations.”

As Inside Radio reported Friday, AM/FM radio remains the nation’s leading audio platform with a 43% share of time spent with audio among persons 18+, despite the coronavirus. The latest report shows AM/FM radio is 11 times bigger than ad-supported Pandora, which grabbed a 4% share of ear, and 22 times larger than ad-supported Spotify (3%).

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