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Study Finds Urban, Suburban & Rural Listening Differences


Edison Research
Edison Research

Edison Research's Share of Ear study finds that listeners from urban, suburban and rural areas (as defined by the U.S. Census) exhibit distinctively different behaviors when it comes to AM/FM radio listening, and podcast listening. As seen in the graphic below, those who live in rural areas spend a much higher portion of their audio listening time with AM/FM radio, as compared with those living in suburban or urban areas.

Rural listeners spend 43% of their daily audio listening time with AM/FM radio and radio streams, compared with urban listeners who spend 34% of their time with AM/FM radio and radio streams.

Meanwhile, Urban listeners spend over twice as much of their daily audio time with podcasts as rural listeners. Urban listeners spend 13% of their daily audio time with podcasts compared with rural listeners who spend 6% of their daily time with podcasts. For both data points, those who live in the suburbs fall in between.

When viewing the graphic more closely and adding the numbers for each location together -- these numbers are essentially the same -- between 47% and 49%. It appears that the 'time budget' for radio and podcasting combined is consistent across locations; it is just the apportionment of that time that varies.

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