Share Of Ear Report Shows Listening Time At Home Has Risen 44% During COVID-19 Pandemic

Edison Research’s Share Of Ear report finds that listening time in the home has increased by 44% during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report was based on interviews conducted in mid-May 2020.

The data provides insight into U.S. listener behavior during COVID-19 restrictions. Findings show that while total time spent listening was only slightly lower during the COVID-19 disruptions in the United States, there was a considerable shift in where that audio consumption happened. While 48.5% of all listening occurred at home before COVID-19 (and this finding has been very consistent since Share of Ear began in 2014), 70% of all listening was at-home in May. All three other locations studied (car, work and ‘other’) dropped during that time period.

“It’s important to recognize that our survey asks where the respondent is when they are listening to audio – not what they are doing,” said Edison Research director Laura Ivey. “The shift to ‘work-from-home’ for so many, especially office workers who tend to spend a lot of time with audio, is clearly reflected.”

Podcasting’s Share of Ear also jumped significantly – up 26% from the Quarter 1 2020 report to this new update. During COVID-19 restrictions, 5.4% of all time spent with audio was with podcasts, up from 4.3% in Q1. While podcasting share increases with every update, this represented an all-time high for podcast listening share of all audio.

Smart Speakers also hit a new high, with its share leaping by more than 40% (albeit from a relatively low base). During COVID-19 restrictions, 5.3% of all time spent with audio was through a smart speaker, up from 3.7% in Q1.


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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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