Radio Crushes All Other Audio In The Car


Edison Research and Triton Digital released details from the 2019 Infinite Dial study on Wednesday and the stats for radio were very good. While the majority of the research focuses on digital behavior, there was no getting around radio’s dominance when audio listening questions about the vehicle are asked.

Eighty-one percent of Americans 18 and over, who’ve driven or ridden in a car in the last month, listen to radio. That dwarfs digital music (45%), CD players (43%), online radio (28%), and podcasts (26%). At the bottom of the list was SiriusXM (22%).

In 2017 and 2018 radio was at 82%, so listening remains strong and steady for radio. The biggest loser in the bunch was, predictably, CD players, dropping from 52% in 2017 to 43% in 2019. Podcasts made the biggest gain, moving to 26% this year, from 19% in 2017.


  1. Also from the Infinite Dial 2019, when looking at the “Audio source Used most often in the car” Radio went from 57% in 2017 to 52% in 2019. And that’s 18+. Considering the median age of the radio listener is 52, I would love to see that data broken out by demo. Luckily, Edison does break this out in the ‘Share of Ear’ report which just came out for Q4’18. For Adults 18-34, Radio = 32.6% and Streaming Audio = 27.6% of ‘Daily Time Spent’. Kids these days are not even watching TV (youtube, netflix, etc. on mobile devices) let alone listening to the Radio. TSL decreases every year. Podcasts are growing the fastest, both in-car and overall, and we’re just starting to scratch the surface there. The future is bleak for radio and linear TV with so many other options available. Radio could be great once again, but with current ownership groups that will never happen. everyone is cutting costs, not investing and it gets less “live and local” every day.


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