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Research: Radio Dominates Ad-Supported Audio Across Locations.

Radio captures the majority of ad-supported audio listening across locations, according to a Hubbard Radio analysis of Edison Research's Share of Ear data for second quarter 2022. “Radio connects brands with attentive and captive audiences in the car, the home, and at work,” Katz Radio Group says in a summary of Hubbard’s analysis on its Sound Answers blog.

Keep in mind that Hubbard is looking exclusively at the ad-supported portion of audio listening. Missing from its analysis is listening to ad-free, subscription-based services, which make up the bulk of streaming music listening. Hubbard Radio is a subscriber to Edison’s syndicated service, which releases data quarterly and is based on a rolling national diary-based survey of 4,000 Americans aged 13 and older.

The new data shows AM/FM radio commands nine out of every 10 minutes spent with ad-supported audio in the car, 10-times as much listening as ad-supported streaming and podcasts combined. “When it comes to reaching consumers in the car, on-the-go, and close to the point of purchase, radio dominates,” Katz says in its summary of the findings.

Radio also grabs the majority of at-home and at-work listening occasions – six out of every 10 minutes spent with ad-supported audio at home and at work are to AM/FM radio. “Brands have ample opportunity with AM/FM radio to reach consumers in a variety of different mindsets and activities – as they relax, check emails, do household chores, order dinner, shop online – countless moments for relevant and meaningful brand connection,” Katz says.

While the majority of audio time is spent with ad-supported platforms (60% in 2021), it is trending down, while the share with ad-free platforms (40% in 2021) is moving up. This is part of a trend of consumers “buying their way out of ads,” according to Edison Research President and co-founder Larry Rosin.

Meanwhile, Edison publicly released some second quarter Share Of Ear data that looks at the full spectrum of podcast listening. After several quarters of softening daily reach numbers among young adults, Edison says podcasting’s reach among 13- to 34-year-olds jumped by nearly a third during the second quarter. It says 29% of young adults listened to a podcast on a daily basis, for its best number since the start of 2021. Edison says that drove the total population estimate of daily podcast listeners up to 16%, its highest level in a year.

“It’s reassuring to see a mid-year bounce back in daily listening among the age group that reported this year’s largest reduction in podcast listening,” said Senior Director of Research Gabriel Soto.

The new numbers come after Edison released its annual Infinite Dial report in March and it showed a three-point decline in the monthly podcast listening in the U.S. The largest decline in monthly listening occurred among 12–34-year-olds. “Ultimately, a mid-year check-in points to a normalization of podcast listening instead of a complete downturn,” Soto says in a blog post.

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