Listening occasions: How radio, streaming, and podcasts differ

Listening on the go, or when alone, or on weekends, or weeknights — how do different audio content types draw listeners? That’s one question examined by the Audacy Insights blog, in a piece authored by Idil Cakim, SVP Research & Insights.

“We love talking about audio. But the catch folks can fall into is considering audio as one big bucket. It’s not. Over-the-air (OTA) Radio, Streaming Audio and Podcasts all have nuance that drive audience and listening habits in different ways,” Cakim notes. Specifically, her study examines the tope three “listening occasions” for OTA (over-the-air) radio listening, streaming OTA, and podcasts.

The ranked results:

Interesting to observe that online listening to both radio and podcasts have  identical profiles, which differ completely from listening to OTA terrestrially.

Also quite interesting is the “Attention Index” in this study. We are not told how this index is calculated, but comparing podcast listening to radio listening, and to all listening, shows that podcasts command more attention to the content:

Gen Z gets a focus in this research: “Gen Z comes to audio to both be informed and entertained. A recent quantitative survey of teens and young adults found that 75% of podcast users listen with the goal to learn something new, and 74% agree ‘putting on a podcast while doing other things keeps me entertained'”.

Below we see time-spent metrics comparing Gen Z and Millennials, and a share-of-ear chart (from Edison Research data) showing AM/FM getting half of the time spent listening to all audio by the 13-24 age group.


Brad Hill