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The Record: U.S. audio listening trends powered by Nielsen and Edison Research

3 minute read | April 2024

Are you listening? As the audio horizon expands, the ways audiences are tuning in is shifting. 

Marketers need to stay on top of these trends when developing cross-channel media strategies. That’s why we created The Record—a quarterly look at how U.S. audiences spend their time with audio. An important tool for advertisers, artists, broadcasters and podcasters alike, The Record offers a unique view of time spent with ad-supported content.

The total use of audio is significant—Americans spend more than four hours with audio every day1—and it’s important to view it from multiple lenses. Consumers give nearly 70% of their daily ad-supported audio time to radio, 20% to podcasts and the rest to streaming audio (music services) or satellite radio (select channels).

The Record tracks the share of daily time spent with ad-supported audio, which represents the most important part of the audio landscape to advertisers.

A quarterly snapshot: Edison Research Share of Ear®

This chart shows how Americans spent their time with ad-supported audio in Q1 2024. 

Explore even more audio insights with the additional data tables here.

While Americans use radio throughout their day in many different settings, most listening happens outside of the home during daylight hours. And in the car, more than 80% of ad-supported audio time goes to radio. With radio offerings that spread news, culture, music, comedy, sports talk and companionship—there are meaningful ways to reach every corner of the population.  

The following tables detail how the share of audience changes by format, age, demographic and platform for the top 15 largest-reaching AM/FM radio formats. These differentiate between the share of all radio listening and the share of streaming listening specifically (those listening to the digital streams of the stations).

Tracking radio listening by format

This chart tracks which radio formats have the highest share of listening and how that differs between total radio (over-the-air and streaming combined) and the radio streaming universe.

Explore even more audio insights with the additional data tables here. 

The share of streaming listening to each format is also dynamic when sorted by age. The formats which have a higher share of audience for streaming are spoken word, which are inclusive of News and Sports, and rock-based formats, which include Alternative and Classic Rock. Conversely, Country and Spanish-Language music formats have significantly lower streaming shares compared to total listening.

Among younger listeners (18-34), there is much more balance between total share and streaming share which makes sense as these are the most avid audio streamers.

Explore even more audio insights with the additional data tables here.

Even with new channels emerging every year, audio remains a cornerstone of the American media diet. This is particularly true in 2024 with marquee sports and news events like the summer Olympics and presidential election.  As marketers look at where to best engage with audiences, The Record sheds light on audio’s reach and impact. 

The Record provides a quarterly analysis of audio listening behaviors across the total radio universe. The charts represent average daily usage and share of listening for U.S. audiences.


1 Source: Edison Research, “Share of Ear®” Q1 2024

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