Study: Spoken Word Listening Up 20%


Edison Research and NPR presented the new spoken word data Tuesday which showed, since 2014, share of time spent listening to spoken word audio has increased 20%, while time spent with music decreased 5%.

The report says the 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. The data comes from 3,013 online interviews which were conducted with adults 18 and over. Respondents qualified for the survey by consuming spoken word audio at least monthly. Additionally, in-person interviews were conducted with individuals who listened to spoken word audio at least monthly.

The report takes a close look at 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.

Here are some of the highlights from the report:

– 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 aged 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.




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