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Podcasting Crosses Another Milestone, Capturing Ten Percent Of Listening Time.


As young people deepen their relationship with podcasts and older Americans come onboard, Edison Research says podcasting now captures one of every ten minutes spent listening to audio. Its latest Share of Ear report shows podcasting’s share has doubled in the past three years, rising from a five percent share recorded during the second quarter of 2020.


The numbers – which measure daily total audio listening among those in the U.S. age 13 and older – have been on a slow-but-steady rise since Edison first started asking about podcasting in 2014. Back then, just two percent of the total audio day went to podcasting. “It’s been steady growth since then, and podcasts have really earned their place in the audio day as listeners in the U.S. have carved out time to devote to these shows,” says Edison Research Director Laura Ivey.


The audio pie continues to be divided into more slices and that means while AM/FM radio remains the top audio source in the U.S., with double the time spent listening of any other audio platform, its share of the audio day is shrinking. Edison says AM/FM radio had a 42% share in 2020 while today radio captures a 36% share. The figure includes both over-the-air listening and consumption of radio stations’ online streams.


Streaming music, including Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and similar services, came in second place at 18%. That is up a point from 2020.


The big mover for music is instead YouTube. It’s share of audio listening has risen to 14%, up from 10% three years ago. At the same time SiriusXM’s share slipped a point to eight percent.


Edison also reports time spent with owned music like CDs, mp3s or vinyl records, has declined by a third during the past three years. Among listeners 13 and older, owned music now has a seven percent share of listening time.


Meantime audiobooks – which Edison did not report three years ago – continues to grow, albeit with small numbers. Audiobooks had a three percent listening share in the latest update.


Edison’s Share Of Ear data is derived from a detailed one-day diary administered either online or via mail placement after a phone survey. The data has been continuously updated since 2014. When Edison wraps its next two quarters of Share of Ear, it will have completed ten full years of measurement.


“Audio has changed dramatically over the last ten years, and we have captured the changes along the way,” the research firm said in its latest Weekly Insights dispatch. “In 2014 when we started, just over half of Americans had a smartphone. Today well over 90% do. When we began, far more people had ‘radio sets’ in their homes or at their workplaces and of course no one had even heard of a smart speaker.”

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