Nielsen launches The Record: a look at U.S. ad-supported audio habits

Nielsen launches The Record: a look at U.S. ad-supported audio habits

Nielsen, a leading provider of audience measurement data and analytics, this week announced the launch of a new quarterly report titled "The Record." This report dives into the listening habits of U.S. audiences specifically for ad-supported audio content.

Understanding Ad-Supported Audio

Ad-supported audio refers to audio content that includes commercials. This encompasses traditional radio broadcasting, podcasts with advertisements, and free tiers of music streaming services that incorporate ads between songs.

The first edition of The Record, based on data from Q1 2024, reveals some interesting insights into how Americans consume ad-supported audio:

Radio Still Reigns Supreme: Radio remains the dominant player, capturing nearly 70% of the average daily time spent by listeners on ad-supported audio. Podcasts follow closely behind with a 20% share. The remaining 10% is divided between streaming music services with ads and select channels on satellite radio.

Radio on the Go: According to The Record, most radio listening occurs during the day and outside the home. This trend is particularly strong for in-car listening, where radio accounts for over 80% of ad-supported audio consumption.

News & Talk Tops Radio Formats: Among radio listeners 18 and older, News/Talk stations emerged as the most popular format during Q1 2024, capturing 10.8% of total listening time. Adult Contemporary (8.6%) and Classic Hits/Country (5.9% each) followed closely behind.

Streaming Preferences Differ: Interestingly, streaming audio preferences deviate slightly from traditional radio listening habits. When looking solely at streaming platforms, News/Talk stations maintain their lead with 21.7% of listening time, followed by All Sports stations at 8.6%.

Significance for marketers

The Record serves as a valuable tool for advertisers, broadcasters, and podcasters. By understanding how audiences consume ad-supported audio, these groups can develop more targeted strategies to reach their desired demographics.

For instance, knowing that radio dominates in-car listening highlights its potential for reaching commuters. Similarly, the popularity of News/Talk formats suggests an opportunity for advertisers targeting audiences interested in current events and commentary.

Looking Ahead: A Dynamic Audio Landscape

The Record emphasizes the enduring importance of audio in the American media diet. Even with the rise of new media channels, audio remains a cornerstone for many listeners. As major events like the Olympics and presidential elections unfold in 2024, The Record predicts audio will continue to play a significant role in keeping Americans informed and engaged.

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