Audio Streaming on Smartphones Grows in Popularity

September 8, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Cross-Media & Traditional | Digital | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Non-mobile Connected Devices | Radio | Tablet

Nielsen Audio Weekly Reach in Q1 2020 Sept2020More Americans are regularly streaming audio on their smartphones: research from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report [download page] shows that the number of US adults streaming audio on their smartphones in Q1 2020 grew by 28% over the same quarter last year.

In the first quarter of 2020, almost two-thirds (64%) of US adults streamed audio on their smartphones on a weekly basis. This is up from 50% in Q1 2019. Streaming audio on tablets has also gained reach, with 24% of adults doing so weekly in Q1, compared to 20% a year earlier.

Another area where audio has expanded in the past year relates to voice assistants. Despite some users having concerns about their privacy when using voice-assisted devices, voice assistant use grew from 36% of adults in Q1 2019 to 44% in the same quarter this year. It’s also worth noting that research from last year shows that voice assistant users prefer to interact with the technology on their smartphones.

Smart Speaker penetration also grew at the start of the year. Per Nielsen’s report, one-third of US households owned a Smart Speaker in Q1 (up from 28% in Q1 2019.)

Radio reached 9 in 10 (91%) adults in the first quarter this year, stable from 92% the year before, with satellite radio also flat. The time adults spent listening to the radio per day dipped slightly. Of the total 12:21 (hours: minutes) adults spent each day (multitasking included) on various devices and media during Q1 2020, only 1:39 was spent with radio (down from 1:42 in Q1 2019).

By comparison, the daily hours spent with app/web on a smartphone increased by 45 minutes to 3:46. This puts the time US adults spend on a smartphone second only to their time spent viewing traditional TV, which decreased to 4:16 per day in Q1 (vs 4:27 in Q1 2019).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on the total US adult population.

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