Streaming audio share drops in-car compared to radio, especially when ad-supported: Edison Research

It is well established that in-car listening is a stronghold for American radio’s reach. A recent edition of Edison Research’s Weekly Insights series puts numbers to the comparative strength of AM/FM in the car, and compares them with out-of-car listening. All of the metrics below come from Edison’s subscription-based Share of Ear project, which measures time spent with different audio categories in U.S. listening (18+).

The short story is that in-car listening is friendlier to AM/FM than outside the car, by a double-digit percentage margin:

While AM/FM enjoys a nearly 2x time-spent advantage outside the car, the dominance increases to over 7x in the car. 

The shape of this imbalance is continued, and even exaggerated, when radio listening is compared to the ad-supported category of streaming audio. (An example of ad-supported streaming audio is Pandora’s basic non-subscription service.)

Here, we see the radio’s out-of-car advantage is nearly 4x, and the in-car time-spent advantage is a whopping 24x.

Edison makes this clarifying note: “Note that listening to SiriusXM, YouTube, podcasts, music channels on TV, owned music such as CDs, and audiobooks, are not included in these comparisons.”

Brad Hill