How COVID is Impacting Morning Show Listening


How many times have morning show hosts been told by consultants over the years to run that money giveaway in the 7:00 hour, or to break that big news in the 7:00 hour? COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into all of that thinking.

According to new data from the Edison Research Share of Ear®  study, conducted during the period of COVID-19 disruptions, people in the U.S. age 13 and older began listening to audio a full 75 minutes later on average, as compared to before the disruptions.

The Share of Ear study, which requires respondents to keep a detailed daily diary of audio usage, shows that pre-COVID-19, the point in the day when 50% of those in the U.S. age 13+ recorded their first entry of their audio day was around 7:15am. During Q2 fielding of Share of Ear, it was not until 8:30am that half of respondents had recorded any audio usage.
Edison Research Director Laura Ivey says “This finding challenges our thinking about how those in the U.S. listen to audio during traditional drive times. With many people staying at home or working from home during Q2, they did not engage with audio as early as they did pre-COVID. This data shows that if Americans continue current work patterns, audio strategies may need to be adjusted.”


  1. The other area to be considered is usage. When/if people tune in – regardless of the time of day, what are they looking for ? Do they want the usual morning show content or are they tuning in as an WFH participant using their favorite station as background (music, talk, etc.) as they normally would in an away from home environment? It’s very obvious that things like traffic became a little less important -and yet stations continued with “traffic and weather together every 10 minutes” when there were few worthwhile incidents to report. Bottom line-how are consumers using this product?

  2. How has covid affected all day-parts? I know AM drive is most important, but what about PM Drive? Is it non-existing with things that are going on?


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