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Radio Down a Tick; Podcasts and Audiobooks Up in Edison Research Finding

Edison’s ‘Share of Ear” shows radio trying to hold off a host of competitors…
By Paul Marszalek

Radio dipped another percentage point from first quarter 2023 in terms of total listening. Overall, however, radio and radio streams still combine to grab the largest piece of the listening pie at 36%. That’s double that of streaming, its nearest competitor.

That said, the melting ice cube continues to cede time with listeners to a variety of competitors.

In the Q2 survey, podcasts and audiobooks each gained a percentage point over Q1, while owned music (CDs, vinyl, files) lost two points.

On one hand, the data does a lot to correct the “radio is dead” narrative. On the other, an examination of demographics propping up radio could cause chills among radio execs and programmers.

Radio – even public radio – is currently in a very dry run in terms of launching new programming initiatives. I’m unsure if it’s a lack of creativity, a lack financial resources, podcast distraction, poor leadership, or a combination, but if it continues, radio’s audience erosion will not only continue, but accelerate.

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