The share of time spent listening to spoken word audio has increased 20% since 2014, while time spent with music across the same period decreased 5%. This shift is led by a dramatic increase in spoken word audio consumption on mobile devices across age groups, and increases in spoken word share among those ages 13-34. These findings are part of The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research…
This new Report examines listener behaviors and preferences related to spoken word audio – podcasts, news, sports, talk radio and audiobooks – and includes five years of previously unreleased data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study.
Key findings from the Spoken Word Audio Report include:
- 121 million Americans listen to spoken word audio each day, an increase of 16 million people in the last five years
- Growth in spoken word listening has been greatest among young people: those age 13-34 now spend 19% of their audio time with spoken word audio (up 58% from 2014).
- Mobile technology use is driving growth in spoken word audio category: 22% of listening to spoken word audio in 2019 is now on a mobile device, compared to 9% five years ago.
- Spoken word audio yields deep connections and involvement from its consumers, with large percentages of consumers reporting they turn to spoken word audio content for information, inspiration, entertainment, and companionship.
- 59% of spoken word audio listeners are digital-first, meaning they listen most through computers, mobile devices, and smart speakers. Forty-one percent are analog-first, meaning they listen most through AM/FM radio receivers.
Direct to Full Text Report (39 pages; PDF)