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Report: Radio Continues to Dominate Ad-Supported Media


Westwood One
Westwood One

Edison Research recently released its quarterly Q3 2020 "Share of Ear" report, one of the media industry's go-to's for understanding how Americans consume audio each day. The "Share of Ear" report quantifies the reach and time spent with all forms of audio. This week's Westwood One Insights team highlights the key findings to show that AM/FM radio continues to dominate ad-supported media.

  • Perception vs. reality: Brands and agencies significantly overestimate Pandora and Spotify's audiences: According to Advertiser Perceptions, brands and agencies perceive Spotify's share to be 24%, which is twelve times larger than its actual 2% share. Pandora's perceived audience share of 18% is over four times larger than reality (4%). AM/FM radio's perceived share (35%) is 23% smaller than its actual 43% share.

  • Listening shifts from in the home back to the car as COVID-19 restrictions lift in Q3: Before the pandemic, 32% of all audio time spent occurred in the car. During May's COVID-19 shelter-at-home period, the in-car share of audio time spent dropped to 20%. In September, it recovered to 28%.

  • Audio is pandemic proof as AM/FM radio continues to represent three-fourths of all ad-supported audio.

  • Versus AM/FM radio, Pandora and Spotify ads are audible only two-thirds of the time according to a January 2020 study of 1,571 respondents conducted by MARU/Matchbox.

  • From 2016 to 2020, ad-supported audio shares among persons 25-54 for Pandora are down, podcasts have more than tripled, and AM/FM radio has remained strong.

  • AM/FM radio is the #1 ad-supported platform on smart speakers: AM/FM radio has a 38% share of ad-supported audio on the smart speaker followed by Pandora (26%) and podcasts (17%).

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