Larry Rosin: Radio vs. Streaming by ‘Generations’

larry rosin contributor logo canvasThis guest column is contributed by Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research. It was first published on The Infinite Dial blog.

We stand at an interesting time demographically speaking, in that one can divide the U.S. population into nearly equal parts using typical demographic groups. Millennials, if defined as those between 13 and 34, are one-third of the population; the 35-54 group is also one-third, and the 55+ age group is one-third as well.

So, it’s a convenient time to look at our Share of Ear (TM) data by these three groups. Below you can find the Share of Ear for AM/FM Radio and Streaming Audio. Note — these are the numbers just for these two items — the Share of Ear study also measures owned music, podcasts, and other categories of audio — so these don’t add to 100%.

share of ear - radio listening by generations 638w

Now some people are surprised that “AM/FM Radio” gets twice as much listening than Streaming Audio does among Millennials — because those who follow the hype might think that Streaming (meaning Pandora, Spotify, and the like) has surpassed AM/FM among these younger Americans. (And to be clear – listening to the streams of AM/FM count in the AM/FM side of the ledger — although that’s a small portion of that total.)

Once one travels beyond Millennials, the ratio of broadcast to streaming widens significantly. As you can see the ‘Generation X’ types in the 35-54 age group spend five-fold more time with broadcast than with streaming, and those over 55 have a ratio of about 18:1.

Meanwhile, you can get a sense for the size of Pandora by taking the streaming number and dividing it in half — as our surveys find that Pandora is almost exactly half of the streaming usage in all age groups.

Larry Rosin

One Comment

  1. Hi Larry, Great article! I hope it is okay that I shared it on LinkedIn.
    Also, do you mind if I use the article in a leave behind for some of my prospects here in Auburn/Opelika. I will include your photo and byline, of course.

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