AM/FM Radio’s Share Of Listening In Cars Hits Eight-Year High


    As radio fights for its place in the automobile dashboard, the latest Edison Research Share of Ear data from Q3 2023 shows radio’s percentage of time spent listening in the car is at its highest point in eight years. The proportion of OTA radio listening compared to any other medium rose 13%, finishing at 45% – tying Q4 of 2019’s pre-COVID numbers.

    This news comes after previous data released revealed OTA radio accounted for 37% of all daily audio consumption in Q3, more than streaming music and YouTube listening combined.

    This boost is aligned with the continued increase in physical commutes, as “work from home” dwindles. One of the slowest groups in returning to the office? The advertising and marketing industry. This differential has had implications for exposure to out-of-home advertising and AM/FM radio, with the average American encountering these mediums more frequently due to higher commuting rates.

    Commuting Share of Ear High
    (Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group)

    The good news for radio? As advertisers’ commutes return, so do their recognition and perception of radio advertising’s effectiveness and reach; according to the new edition of the Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group’s Advertiser Perceptions study.

    Findings show that 82% of marketing professionals now commute, a significant increase from last year (63%), but still below the 94% of average Americans, per MARU/Matchbox. The office days for those in media agencies and marketing are averaging four days, with a notable 11% working up to seven days a week. In contrast, average Americans are working nearly five days, again showcasing a higher exposure to outdoor and radio advertising.

    Despite the incremental rise in office commutes, the study found that the advertising sector is more likely to work from home than the general population. A notable 18% continue to work remotely, with more than half of those stating they have no plans to return to full-time office work.

    As for in-person professional interactions, 62% of marketers and agencies have resumed face-to-face meetings with media vendors, while 63% are participating in industry events and conferences once again.

    While some employees may not be keen on returning to pre-pandemic working and commuting, radio stands to see multiple victories: one in the automobile as listening climbs and another in the minds of advertisers and media buyers who again recognize radio’s power.



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