The audio universe in the United States has gone through a major digital transformation over the last decade, sustained by the development of online streaming services and online radio. Contrary to various other traditional media formats, over-the-air (OTA) radio has partly managed to readjust to this digital shift, maintaining an extended weekly reach and holding the largest share of audio ad spending. Its pervasive range notwithstanding, OTA radio is still facing a decline that is being counterbalanced by the rise of its online counterpart, with internet-based radio platforms now accounting for close to 600 million U.S. dollars’ worth in revenue. Paid music streaming subscription numbers have also been mounting up year after year, boasting a tenfold increase from 2014 to 2021. Despite its ever-increasing omnipresence in the day-to-day life of consumers, online audio was still expected to be the most under-invested media in the U.S. in 2022 – meaning the share it takes of consumers’ media time is significantly larger than its piece of the ad revenue pie.

Podcast advertising

Podcast advertising spending in the U.S. has been enjoying double-digit growth and was expected to more than double between 2021 and 2025, reaching a projected value of 2.74 billion dollars in the latter year. At the same time, the share of podcasts in digital radio ad spending was projected to double between 2019 and 2024. As far as genres go, the largest slice of the podcast advertising cake was held by news, while the leading podcast advertiser in the country was mental health services portal BetterHelp.

Radio advertising

The advertising revenue of OTA radio stations in the U.S. has been decreasing for almost two decades, with the overall value in 2020 being half of what it was in 2006. A decline in traditional radio ad revenue has gone hand in hand with the gradual rise of the ad revenue of its online counterpart, doubling in value in the last decade. T Mobile US is the leading radio advertiser , with Comcast and Procter & Gamble hot on its heels. Government and companies related to politics secured the top spot among the leading radio advertising industries, with retail nabbing second place and insurance and real estate clinching bronze.

Digital audio advertising

Digital audio advertising spending has been on a roll, with values nearly tripling in the last five years, and more than five out of 10 U.S. marketers saying they plan to increase their programmatic audio ad spend. The ad spend of digital audio services has also been going up a steady upward path, and it is projected to account for almost 40 percent of the country’s total digital audio revenue by 2025. The digital audio streaming environment is increasingly competitive, with Swedish giant Spotify holding on to the lion’s share of subscribers as Apple, Amazon, and Google continue adding on to their own audio services.

Consumer perception

Despite its decline in revenue and audience, OTA radio keeps holding a revered spot in the American collective consciousness, with almost half of listeners deeming radio ads to be trustworthy . A quarter of podcast listeners also indicated a preference for ads that sound just like the ones that can be heard on traditional radio. Speaking of podcasts, more than half of listeners said they searched online for more information on a product or service after hearing it being advertised on a podcast , while four out of 10 said they proceeded to buy an advertised product.

Podcasts have the brains, radio has the reach, and streaming has the financial muscle of people willing to reach for their wallet – a powerful mix of elements that advertisers will have to set their focus on to make the most out of the increasingly effervescent waters of the American audio ocean.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 36 most important statistics relating to "Audio advertising in the U.S.".


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