Edison: Gen Z and Millennials Prefer The ‘Radio With Wheels’


    Do Gen Z and Millennials listen to AM/FM? Do they stay away from radio altogether? New data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear may have the answer for listeners aged 13-34. While numbers not a strong as some would hope for, it’s certainly not bad news.

    The demographic demonstrated a surprising loyalty to traditional radio despite common perceptions about streaming. Edison revealed that 53% of young people 13-34 listen to radio daily. This statistic underscores radio’s enduring reach and its relevance, fueled by in-car listening. Of these younger listeners who do engage with radio, 56% exclusively do so in their vehicles, making the car a crucial environment for advertisers aiming to capture this audience.Edison Young Adult

    In Q3 2023, Edison found radio’s share of in-car listening time reached its highest level in eight years. The proportion of over-the-air radio listening rose by 13%, reaching 45% of the total listening time, matching the pre-COVID numbers from Q4 2019.

    In a separate MusicWatch study, broadcast radio not only held its ground but has also saw an increase in listenership in 2023, despite the growth of digital and streaming platforms. This growth is particularly evident in the in-car listening segment, where 69% of listeners still prefer radio, highlighting its continued relevance and the critical need for its presence on vehicle dashboards.

    These trends show the importance of the AM For Every Vehicle Act to maintain an in-car presence.

    On the flip side, 44% of these listeners tune in from other locations. This breadth of listening habits presents an opportunity for advertisers and programmers to craft strategies that reach young listeners not only in their cars during key drive times – morning (6-10a) and late afternoon (3-7p) – but also across other parts of their daily routines.


    This data emphasizes the need for targeted programming during peak listening times to effectively engage the 13-34 demographic. The full Share of Ear report offers additional details on daypart and age-specific listening patterns, with more details to be released.


    1. There is ZERO chance that 53% of 13-34 year olds are listening to any radio. This is coming from someone who had a 16 year radio career.

    2. Oh yeah, in the 26 year old’s home I listen to a great deal of radio vacillating between mostly AM and some FM and talk, sports and Christian. A few tidbits reach her ears.

    3. When riding in my car my 26 year old listens to FM radio of her choice. Half of our travels I listen to AM of which she listens for a short while before she puts in her buds and listens to whatever.

      My 28 year old and husband recently purchased a new vehicle. She listens to a playlist prepared for herself and her toddler. Once she learns to operate the car radio she will listen to OTA stations.


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