AM/FM radio thrives in the car … but podcasting? Not so much. (Edison Research)

Edison Research harvests some interesting data from the company’s ongoing Share of Ear research in the U.S. This subscription service measures time spent listening to all audio segments across listener demographics and listening environments.

In the company’s current blog post, we learn that podcast listening does not fare well in the car, where AM/FM listening thrives. Below is a key graphic, showing that podcast consumers do not take their pod listening out of work and home environments into the car:

Expanding on this, Edison clarifies: “Listening to podcasting is more than 10% of all listening time in every location except for in-car, which is 5%.”

Edison speculates that the traditional combination of AM/FM and Sirius XM in-car listening is entrenched, and doesn’t leave room for expansive podcast use. Edison also mentions that ost drives are short-distance, and most podcasts require more time.

Our speculation is that the low level of listening is an ease-of-use issue: Connecting a phone to the dashboard is considerably more difficult than turning on an installed dashboard device. Edison mentions the plug-in issue as well.

That notwithstanding, Edison sees this metric as an opportunity: “The car seems to be an ideal environment for podcasting listening.  As such, this location seems one of podcasting’s biggest pathways to growth.”


Brad Hill