The Edison Research “Share of Ear” study quantifies the reach and time spent with of all forms of audio, and a number of key takeaways from its recently released Q4 2017 data showcase the fact that AM/FM radio remains the centerpiece of all audio platforms.
Offering a tidy summary of Edison’s latest statistics is the Westwood One “Everybody’s Listening” blog, Lauren Vetrano, Director of Content Marketing at Cumulus Media/Westwood One sums it all up in one sentence: “AM/FM radio remains steady as a rock.”
For one, AM/FM radio once again takes the top spot as America’s leading audio provider, accounting for 48% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “That’s important for brands because AM/FM radio is an ad-supported platform,” Vetrano points out, while the three runner-up platforms are not. They are: owned music (13%), music videos on YouTube (8%) and ad-free SiriusXM (5%).
From there, the share of audio time spent continues to dip into low single digits, with ad-supported Pandora, TV music channels, other streaming audio, podcasts, ad-free Spotify and ad-supported Spotify.
Looking at the No. 1 ranked pureplay streaming service, Pandora, its share of audio time continues to decline. Year over year, Pandora’s share of ear dropped -7%. And while Pandora drops, Spotify sees growth. Its Q4 year-over-year share of audio time spent has increased +28%.
Meanwhile, Westwood One points to AM/FM radio’s share, which has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable. Its Q4 2017 persons 18+ daily reach was the same as it was in Q2, a solid 71%.
And in emerging media trends, podcasting is seeing huge reach growth across key demographics. From 2016 to 2017, Millennials 18-34 saw the highest jump, of 46%. Reach among persons 18-49 increased 44% and persons 25-54 grew 36%. “With more people listening than ever, podcasting has become a burgeoning audio option for consumers,” Vetrano writes. “Podcast represents an exciting audio frontier piquing interest across generations.”