Average American Listens to Four Hours of Music Per Day, Survey Finds

Over 124 million Americans tuning in to online radio each month, more info inside.

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A new Edison Research study has found that an average American listens to about four hours of music each day, giving a detailed breakdown of the audio sources.

As Billboard reports, broadcast radio is accounted with the greatest share of listening time, 52 percent to be precise.

Continuing the breakdown, 20% of listening time is attributed to owned music, including CDs, digital downloads, vinyl LPs and even cassette tapes. As the same source indicates, CD listening has comprised "a significant" part of the owned music category.

Streaming services take up about 12% of the listening time. Researchers call this category "internet radio," noting that 47% of Americans aged 12 and about, or 124 million people, tune in to online radio each month. The figure goes well up to 75% in the 12-24 age group.

The remaining listening categories include satellite radio (8%), podcasts (2%) and a general "other" category (2%) that features audiobooks among other sources.

The survey results further point out that audio is "the hottest space in the world of media." According to Larry Rosin of the research team, "It shows why three of the four horsemen of the Internet - Apple, Amazon and Google - are in the audio space. Who knows if Facebook will follow them?"

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pretty accurate. I listen to Thrash metal when I poop. Helps me maintain focus for my power-squeeze. That's usually about 4 hours of my day.
    I'm honestly surprised at how much that is. But putting aside any opinions on genre and such I think it's definitely a good thing.
    i honestly doubt most people pay enough attention to what they are listening to so its not that much
    Yeah....I'm definitely an outlier on this. I listen to closer to 8-10 hours of music a day easily.
    4 hours? Not a chance. Maybe when I was 14 without a job...but what normal person can listen to that much a day?
    I am 25 and I listen to at least 10 hours of music a day. I have my Ipod playing all day when I'm at my desk, during my commute to and from work, at the gym when I'm working out, relaxing at home I play vinyl or my guitar and I'm also in a band so all the time we practice can be added up and I regularly go to local shows so that will sometimes add another 4 hours of music being heard. Not to mention all the times in public whether it be at the Pub or the Mall there is music being played so if you think about it the time adds up pretty quickly.
    I can vouch for this. At my work, I could easily put 4 hours of music. That doesn't include commute, guitar practice, and evening chill which consists music.
    I listen to music 24 hours a day; there's always a song in my head or playing in the background whether it's at work, at the gym, in the car or at home. There are even times when I've woken up in the morning with a completely random song stuck in my head for no reason whatsoever.
    I guess live music isnt popular enough to be on the chart.
    I think it's understandable. Majority of people will know only popular acts, and their tickets are more expensive, so the frequency of concerts is very small. Even for people who go to smaller concerts the amount per day is pretty small in comparison unless you're going to concerts a few times a week every week. Or, from the looks of, they're just counting recorded music.
    Way Cool JR.
    I listen to all my music on FM radio, CD, vinyl and cassette. I listen to a couple songs on YouTube once in a great while, but that's just to watch the music videos. I don't have any use for anything else. But I don't listen to 4 hours of music in a day, maybe every 3 or 4 days combined.
    between playing guitar and listening to music...pretty much for me 10 hours a day
    I am lucky to work for an employer that allows us to wear earphones at our desk. I keep my music in my ears the entire time while I am at work. That accounts for 40 to 50 hours a week for me. It's kind of liberating to be jamming some Opeth while the vice president of operations walks by your desk.
    Reminds me of how lucky we are (us Americans and others here like from the UK, etc) that we don't live in places like North Korea, Africa or certain parts of The Middle East, plus some other nations as well where others may not be able to enjoy or even listen to any music at all.
    I cannot listen to broadcast radio... idiot DJs, crappy commercials, and the fact that there is little choice in programming in my area. I listen to SiriusXM for 4 to 8 hours a day as I travel daily for work. I will also stream Pandora for a couple of hours when working in my garage. I used to listen to my iPod religiously everyday, but that tapered off when I got the Satellite radio subscription.
    Not surprised. Technically any 'sound' we hear is music.
    Technically every music is made of sounds. The difference is that in music you willingly put certain sounds and notes in a certain order and rythmn.
    Someone like John Cage would say we never stop listening to music. I'm still not too into his whole chance style, but listening to everyday sounds as you would a record really does make the world a lot more interesting I find.