CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group®


AM/FM radio streaming now accounts for 12% of total AM/FM radio listening among 25-54 year olds

Spoken speech accounts for one-third of AM/FM radio streaming

The vast majority of the AM/FM streaming radio audience resides in the DMA market where they listen

AM/FM radio streaming audiences are upscale and employed

NEW YORK, April 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Cumulus Media (NASDAQ:CMLS) | Westwood One Audio Active Group® (AAG) today released a comprehensive analysis of AM/FM radio streaming. The report includes the latest Q4 2021 data from Edison Research’s quarterly “Share of Ear” study, a first-ever view of all US AM/FM radio streaming as well as purchase intent data from MRI. -Simons.

The analysis revealed key insights into the state of AM/FM radio streaming, including who AM/FM radio streamers are, how their profile differs from live AM/FM radio listeners, how and where radio streaming AM/FM is consumed, and a format and market analysis of AM/FM radio broadcast models.

“While it is well recognized that podcasts are a rapidly growing audio platform, many would be surprised to learn that AM/FM radio streaming audiences have also seen significant growth over the past few years,” said said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus. Media and Chairman, Westwood One. “AM/FM streaming radio now has the scale and quality that marketers demand. With audiences larger than Pandora and Spotify, AM/FM streaming radio listeners are upscale, employed, and on the market for major purchases.

The state of AM/FM radio streaming analysis reveals valuable insights for marketers, agency media planners, and buyers. Some highlights include:

  • With Nielsen’s introduction of the headphone enhancement to its Portable People Meter service in October 2020, streaming now accounts for 12% of total AM/FM radio listening among 25-54 year olds.
  • Since 2017, the ad-supported share of AM/FM radio streaming has increased from 6% to 11% according to Edison’s “Share of Ear” study. Pandora’s ad-supported share has grown from 10% in 2017 to 8% in 2022. Over the past five years, Spotify’s ad-supported share has remained at 3%.
  • The streaming shares of AM/FM spoken word radio stations are almost double their live shares. AM/FM spoken word radio station streams (news/talk, sports, talk/personality, Spanish news/talk) account for 36% of all US streaming listens, +89% more than the live share (19%) spoken word stations.
  • 89% of the streaming AM/FM radio audience resides in the DMA market where they broadcast. Marketers can buy time on AM/FM radio station feeds with confidence that their ads will reach consumers in that local market.
  • There is wide variation in the amount of AM/FM radio stream listening that occurs in local markets. According to Nielsen’s analysis of February 2022 Portable People Meter data, 18.4% of all AM/FM radio listening in Philadelphia is via stream, compared to just 3.9% of listening in Las Vegas.
  • AM/FM radio broadcast audiences are employed, upscale, and most are between the ages of 35 and 64. AM/FM radio station streams are highly sought after by advertisers. Compared to live AM/FM radio audience in Nielsen’s 48 portable meter markets, streaming audiences are +14% more likely to be employed full-time, +30% more likely to have a family income of $75,000 and +11% more likely to be aged 35-64.
  • According to MRI-Simmons, AM/FM streaming radio audiences are much more likely to start a new business, make major purchases (new vehicle, new home, major appliance), make financial investments or to be in the insurance market.
  • Due to the high levels of time listeners spend broadcasting, advertising accumulates reach and frequency faster in AM/FM radio broadcast campaigns than in live programs. Therefore, approximately half of the ads are needed in the AM/FM radio stream to achieve the same ad frequency as live campaigns. For example, 30 ads aired each week in an AM/FM radio broadcast buy will generate a frequency of two. Fifty commercials would be needed to go live in a week to reach the same two frequencies.

Full streaming data analysis is available at This information is available on the blog as part of Cumulus Media’s commitment to sharing insights and research findings with the marketing community.

About Cumulus Media
Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) is an audio-focused media company that delivers premium content to more than a quarter of a billion people every month, wherever and whenever they want it. Cumulus Media engages listeners with high-quality local programming through 406 owned-and-operated radio stations in 86 markets; features national sports, news, talk and entertainment programming from iconic brands like the NFL, NCAA, Masters, CNN, AP, Academy of Country Music Awards and many other class partners worldwide among more than 9,500 affiliates. stations via Westwood One, America’s largest audio network; and inspires listeners through the Cumulus Podcast Network, its rapidly growing network of smart, entertaining and engaging original podcasts. Cumulus Media provides advertisers with personal connections, local impact and national reach through digital, mobile, social and voice-enabled broadcast and on-demand platforms, as well as integrated digital marketing services, powerful influencers, full-service audio solutions, research and insights, and live event experiences. Cumulus Media is the only audio media company to offer advertisers local and national advertising performance guarantees. For more information, visit


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