Will Podcasting Eat Radio?

April 24, 2018


Last week Edison Research released its latest Podcast Consumer data. It’s a good piece of research that is the most quoted data about podcasting. With over ten years of data, it’s also a good tool to help watch trends.

As part of the data release, Edison Research published an updated Share Of Ear study, which shows the amount of audio that Americans put in their ears. Radio is 58% of all audio (AM/FM/SiriusXM); podcasting is just 4% of the total.

It’s tempting to assume from this 4% figure that podcasts are tiny. The research excitedly claims that podcast’s Share Of Ear has doubled in four years; but the cynic might dismiss this by saying that twice nothing is still nothing.

In most cases, however, radio listening is a habitual and automatic thing. Start up your car, and you start up your radio, too. The radio alarm clock wakes you up with the radio. It’s altogether too much hassle to spend time producing playlists for the office or shop, so radio typically wins there, too.

Podcasts are different: they’re deliberately chosen and requested. Given that they’re speech, rather than music, they typically have the full attention of the listener. They’re mostly enjoyed on headphones, rather than speakers. It’s very different listening behavior.

The Share Of Ear study is more revealing when it comes to podcast listeners. Of people who say they’ve listened to a podcast in the last 24 hours, podcasts account for a third of all audio. Broadcast radio (AM/FM/SiriusXM) accounts for less – just 30%.



  1. No.

    Radio hosts are losing jobs, many, according to comments here, people are glad to see gone and they certainly are not going to use phone data and personal time to find and listen to them and/or the hundreds of other wanna be’s who podcast to be the star of their own show to hear their own voice with zero experience, relatability, talent or skill. There is a good reason for Journalism school. Too many people think just anyone can host a show.

    It is time consuming and a challenge to keep up with favourite and respected voices with all the firings.

    Quality and trust will always be desirable and sought out. A saturation of podcasters does not replace true skill and respectability.


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