Today, American media planners have more audio channels to consider than ever. With so many options available, it can be tough to get a full picture of actual listenership and understand how effective advertising is on each platform.
Take satellite radio. SiriusXM has 33 million subscribers. That sounds like a huge number to advertisers. But how much of the SiriusXM audience is listening to ad-supported channels? How does AM/FM radio’s audience compare?
Using Edison Research’s Share of Ear data, we dug deeper into SiriusXM’s reach and share to see how the platform stacks up against AM/FM radio.
SiriusXM listening is mostly an ad-free experience
When comparing AM/FM radio and SiriusXM, an important factor to consider are the ads themselves. AM/FM radio is a commercial-driven medium. In fact, on average, 84% of the AM/FM radio audience hears the ads when they listen to AM/FM radio at home, at work, or traveling in the car.
In contrast, only 26% of SiriusXM time spent listening is to ad-supported spoken word channels. 74% of SiriusXM time spent is to the music-based ad-free channels.
Ad-supported SiriusXM: low reach, tiny audience share
So let’s narrow in on an apples to apples comparison and look at just the ad-supported SiriusXM channels compared to AM/FM radio.
Edison reports that AM/FM radio’s daily reach is 72%. Ad-supported SiriusXM is only 4%. Ads on SiriusXM hit only 4% of America, leaving a huge 96% of the country not reached by the medium.
Looking at share, we see a similar story. In the car, ad-supported SiriusXM channels only have a 4% share of audio time spent. AM/FM radio? Sixteen times greater at a 67% share. 67% of American audio time spent in the car is with AM/FM radio.
The reality: Despite perceptions, the audience to SiriusXM’s ad-supported service is actually quite small. Most listening to SiriusXM is to their music-based commercial-free channels. AM/FM radio, on the other hand, dominates the audio landscape with huge daily reach and massive in-car share of audio time spent.
Lauren Vetrano is Director of Content Marketing at Cumulus | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.