Pandemic Pause: Americans Waiting 75 Minutes Longer Every Day Before Consuming Audio, Study Finds

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COVID-19 has introduced a series of lifestyle changes in the United States, from mastering Zoom to wearing masks, and one new piece of data suggests that audiences also have adjusted their approaches to media.

An Edison Research study found that Americans are waiting 75 minutes later to begin consuming audio during the coronavirus-altered era. Prior to the pandemic, 50% of the Share of Ear project’s respondents indicated they started listening to audio content by 7:15 a.m. But since the advent of COVID-19, half of the study’s participants are not on board the audio train until 8:30 a.m.

"This data shows that if Americans continue current work patterns, audio strategies may need to be adjusted," Edison Research director Laura Ivey suggested in a release about the study.

Among the changes that might be up for review are starting/ending times for morning dayparts, rotations of music at stations and the placement of the most influential guests on morning TV shows. Artists appearing on live media outlets for promotional purposes might also find it more favorable to barter for a later time slot.

Numerous studies have shown that Americans are sleep-deprived. The Edison study does not indicate if the later audio start time is a result of people sleeping longer during the COVID-19 era, going to sleep later or simply waiting longer after they rise to engage with media.

This article first appeared in the weekly Billboard Country Update newsletter. Click here to subscribe for free.

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