What You Need to Know from Edison Research’s Q2 2019 Share of Ear Report
When it comes to audio, a slightly-adjusted old phrase comes to mind: “The more things change, the faster they change.” Over the last couple of decades we’ve seen a slow-but-steady audio consumption shift from traditional (AM/FM radio and music that you own) to digital, on-demand, and subscription-based. Sure, hipsters are helping vinyl make a comeback, but otherwise, the pace of the shift is accelerating.
The Share of Ear report by Edison Research has been surveying consumers’ daily audio usage over the past five years, reporting on everything from the audio source, listening device to content types. From all the takeaways, one thing was clear: digital is dominating the space more than ever before, and it’s just getting started.
Here are our top takeaways from this most recent edition of the Share of Ear Report:
AM/FM time spent is on a slippery slide. Time spent with traditional radio is at an all-time low: over the last five years, people aged 18-54 are spending 19% less daily time with AM/FM and time spent among 18-34s has fallen by nearly a full hour per day. These numbers defy the radio industry’s “92% of the country listens to radio” narrative. Keep in mind that’s a weekly reach figure, which includes some people who listened once during the week for as little as five minutes, such as the time it takes to buy an item in a convenience store.
In response, young listeners have gone digital. The message is clear: the next generation is used to consuming their content digitally, and for them, audio is no different.
And the AM/FM is only a medium for many of these listeners when nothing else is available—75% of those 18-34 year-olds listened to the radio only in the car, and even then, mainly because they tend to drive older cars that don’t have the capabilities for digital audio.
With digital on the rise, the podcast boom still isn’t over. Daily podcast reach shot up by 25% year over year, and overall time spent rose 19% during the same period. From our experience, people who consume podcasts listen to 100 additional minutes of audio per day vs. the general population. We’ve also noted that people under age 50 get more of their “personality/talk” content from podcasts than they do from AM/FM radio. All of these metrics point to a bright and engaging future for podcasts.
So, what does it all mean? Great question. Sure, it’s helpful to see the data broken out into content types, listening habits, and age, but how does that affect your business? It all comes down to knowing your listeners—who they are, where they’re listening, and who has the potential to be reached. Understanding how your audience listens will help you better craft an ad that is personal and meaningful to each of them. The digital evolution has become a revolution, and we want you to understand where your audience is these days.
Want to understand more about what these insights from the Share of Ear report mean for your marketing strategy? Talk to our team to find out more.