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Radio Remains Dominant Ad-Supported Audio Platform


Westwood One
Westwood One

The fourth quarter 2020 edition of Edison Research's "Share of Ear," an audio-time-use study, contains stunning news. AM/FM radio remains the dominant ad-supported audio platform as the medium's 74% share of ad-supported audio is 11 times bigger than Pandora's and 19 times larger than Spotify's. This week's Westwood One blog outlines the key audio highlights of the study.

  • AM/FM radio owns the car with a 90% share of ad-supported audio - and has for six years running: Since Edison began the "Share of Ear" study, AM/FM radio's in-car share of ad-supported audio has hovered around a 90% share.

  • Adding podcasts and AM/FM radio streaming generates incremental reach to over-the-air AM/FM radio media plans.

  • Podcasting achieved a 12% share compared to Pandora and Spotify's combined 11% share of ad-supported audio among persons 18+.

  • Podcasts have scale, especially among persons 18-34: In the last year, Edison reports significant podcast daily reach growth among persons 18-34. As of Q4 2020, podcasting's daily reach is now 25% to 32% of persons 18-34.

  • Ad-supported Pandora and Spotify music streaming peaked in 2016; Podcasting now accounts for all the growth in audio: A four-year comparison of "Share of Ear" data reveals ad-supported Pandora and Spotify shares have dropped from a 12% share in 2016 to a 11% share in 2020. Over the same period, podcast shares increased 4 times, 3% to 12%.

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