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Edison Data Shows Pandora Sliding Vs. Spotify; Radio Difficulties With 18-24s

Once dominant streamer Pandora is becoming an afterthought. 18-24 choices affect Alternative, and possibly Triple A…

By Paul Marszalek
The Top

Cumulus/Westwood One has released a great sales deck making the case for radio. It uses data from Edison Research’s ongoing “Share of Ear” study.

The data, from Q1 2022 makes a strong case for radio, particularly against other ad-supported media. Radio’s daily reach remains strong and stable, but trouble continues to brew in younger demos, which will require shifts for Alternative stations that affect Triple A stations.

Selected Slides:

Radio continues to be at the top of the stack in terms of a reach medium – despite what ultra-hip media buyers might think. Daily reach enjoyed a slight uptick in the “post-Pandemic” time frame. However, these numbers do not account for significant usage differences among different demos.
Radio continues to dominate in terms of average daily minutes used — again, despite public perception otherwise.
While pointing out that Pandora continues to slide against Spotify, the above slide also shows that 18-24s spend nearly 26% of their time spent with audio via Spotify. With the exception of LA, Alternative stations really only have one competitor – Spotify. Cumulus/WWO attempts to make the case that increased streaming numbers are coming at the expense of “owned music” — listeners’ personal libraries. This may partially be the case. However, overall market dynamics suggest that it will be increasingly difficult to attract these younger demos to radio, meaning, in turn, formats such as Alternative may need to abandon the traditional 18-34 target in favor of, wait for it, a 25-54 target. Such a shift would competitively affect Triple A stations as it would eat away their younger demos.
Bolstering the comments above, nearly 40% of all 18-24s use Spotify on a daily basis.

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