That was the recent headline from eMarketer’s major study of media time spent. What was eMarketer’s #1 most surprising finding?
US adults spend much more time with non-digital radio than they do with social networks on a smartphone.
eMarketer says: “There’s no shortage of buzz about social media. There’s next to none about radio. But according to eMarketer’s latest forecast, US adults’ average daily time spent with non-digital radio is much higher than their time spent with social media.”
Each day, Americans spend 3X more time with AM/FM radio than social media
According to Nielsen’s Comparable Metrics report, adults spend an hour and 50 minutes a day with AM/FM radio, and 36 minutes with social media on their smartphone.
What about specific demographics?
- Millennials: 18-34s spend twice as much time with AM/FM radio versus smartphone social media. According to Nielsen, they spend one hour and 30 minutes with AM/FM radio and 44 minutes using social media on their smartphone.
- Gen X: 35-49s spend 2.6X more time with AM/FM radio than social media. Nielsen states one hour and 55 minutes for AM/FM radio compared to 44 minutes on social media on their smartphone.
- Boomers: Among adults 50+, AM/FM radio time spent is 4.5X social. 2 hours AM/FM radio versus 27 minutes with social media.
Time spent with AM/FM radio is consistent across ages
According to Nielsen, 17% of all U.S. media time spent goes to AM/FM radio. That 17% share of time spent is the identical among 18-34s, 35-49s, and 50+.
Nielsen finds that times spent with TV skews old, while social media use skews young. AM/FM radio listening? Consistent across generations.
Advertisers significantly overestimate Pandora and Spotify audiences
A study conducted by Advertiser Perceptions found that advertisers and agencies perceive time spent with AM/FM radio and Pandora/Spotify to be nearly the same.
But perception is not reality. Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study reveals AM/FM radio time spent and audience shares dwarf Pandora and Spotify.
Surprise: Daily time spent with Pandora and Spotify is tiny
According to “Share of Ear,” Americans spend only 14 minutes a day with Pandora and just nine minutes a day with Spotify. At two hours a day, time spent with AM/FM radio is 8.4 times greater than Pandora.
The implication: It’s tough to get ads heard if consumers spend so little time with the media platform.
Adding AM/FM radio to a TV and digital media plan boosts reach 22%
AM/FM radio has triple the time spent of social media and far more usage than Pandora and Spotify. What happens when you add AM/FM radio to a TV and digital media plan?
Brands gets 22% more reach for the same budget! A 20% reallocation of a TV/digital plan to AM/FM radio results in a 22% lift in incremental reach.
The AM/FM radio reality is full of surprises:
- Americans spend 3X more time with AM/FM radio than social media
- AM/FM radio audiences are consistent across ages
- Pandora and Spotify daily time spent is dwarfed by AM/FM radio
- Advertisers significantly overestimate Pandora and Spotify listening
- Adding AM/FM radio to a TV/digital plan generates a 22% increase in reach
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.