Edison Study | Finds Streaming Is Now Bigger Than AM Radio

The Q2 2021 edition of Edison Research’s “Share of Ear,” the audio-time-use study, contains several key audio insights and were highlighted by this week’s Westwood One blog. The study found that 15 cents out of every AM/FM radio advertising dollar can go to the stream as streaming now represents 15% of persons’ 25-54 AM/FM radio listening. Since 2016, the share of AM/FM radio time spent occurring via the stream has grown from 8% to 15%. Streaming is now bigger than AM radio, which represents 10% of listening.

Other highlights pointed out by Westwood One included:

Over the last five years, Pandora and Spotify have experienced erosion in ad-supported audiences. Compared to Q2 2016, Spotify’s Q2 2021 ad-supported audience shares have dropped from 1.6% to 1.4%. Pandora’s ad-supported audience share has been cut in half (7.1% to 3.8%).
Spotify’s audience trends are a tale of two cities: Ad-free subscription audiences soar while ad-supported shares drop. Since 2016, Spotify’s ad-free subscription service audience shares have jumped from 0.9% to 3.7%. Meanwhile, Spotify’s ad-supported free service audiences are small and stagnant (1.6% to 1.4%).
Perception vs. reality: Brands and agencies significantly overestimate Pandora and Spotify’s audiences. Brands and agencies perceive that Spotify’s share (24%) is twelve times larger than its actual 2% share. Pandora’s perceived 18% audience share is over six times larger than reality (3%).
Podcast audiences have tripled since 2016. The persons 25-54 share for podcasts in Q2 2021 (7.9%) is over three times the share from Q2 2016 (2.3%).
Audio is pandemic proof as AM/FM radio represents three-fourths of all ad-supported audio. At a 76% share, AM/FM radio continues to dominate ad-supported audio.
AM/FM radio owns the car with a 90% share of ad-supported audio six years in a row.

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