According to eMarketer's just-released 2021 U.S. study of time spent with media, the research company's forecast for radio shows a fairly steady average of nearly an hour and a half of listening per day from now through 2023. While pandemic-related issues, such as less in-car listening and more working at home, knocked down that daily average by seven minutes from 2019 to 2020, the predicted year-to-year difference from 2021 to 2023 is closer to 40 to 50 seconds less per year.
Podcasts, while displaying increased average daily listening year-to-year from 2019 to 2020, with continued increases forecast through 2023, will remain behind time spent listening to traditional radio by an hour or more a day, with 2021's forecast at 86.22 minutes for radio and 19.87 for podcasts.
Looking at the bigger picture, share of time spent daily with digital vs. traditional media continues to gain, with digital’s share expected to pass 60% for 2021. For adults in the U.S., time spent with all media in 2020 increased by nearly an hour per day (58 minutes) to a new high average of 13 hours, 21 minutes. “The pandemic drove a dramatic increase in time US consumers spend per day with media,” eMarketer senior analyst Audrey Schomer says. “Most of those increases will stick in 2021, but traditional TV will lose all its 2020 gains, and other traditional formats will fall slightly further in 2021.”
Continued gains in time spent are also forecast for media consumed via other connected devices, including connected TV (CTV) and internet-connected gaming consoles. “Smartphones will continue to dominate time spent with digital media on any device, adding to 2020 gains,” Schomer says. “Social networks will largely keep last year’s increases, but growth will stall through 2022. Internet time via desktops/laptops and tablets will decline this year, while time with media on CTV devices and smartphones will grow.”