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Edison Research: Listening to Radio Via Streams Continues to Grow

The amount of radio listening that comes via stream has risen to 12%..

By Paul Marszalek

The bump in listening to radio station stream that developed during COVID has not only held, but has increased according to Edison Research and the Share of Ear study.

The proportion of radio listening that comes via station streams is now 12%, up from 11% last year and 8% pre-pandemic.

The percentage of listening to streams versus over the air continues to climb.

The percentage of listening via streams is even higher within the 25-54 demo. Among these adults, 17% of listening comes via streams. The percentage is 13% withing the 13-24 demo. Older demos, aged 55+, lag with just 7% of listening via stream.

Note that these percentages are not the number of listeners who listen via stream, it’s the percentage of overall listening.

The fact that the amount of radio listening via stream is now in double digits speaks to the importance of having a solid smart speaker strategy, and ensuring that station streams are encoded properly to capture what is likely at-home and in-office listening.

It would be fascinating to see additional data regarding format and AM/FM breakouts to see if the phenomenon is universal or specific to particular products and platforms. For example, a quick scan of streams that register in Nielsen in top markets suggests that listeners of news talk, sports talk, and some public radio stations are among users of streaming.

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