Industry News

NPR and Edison Research Unveil Spoken Word Audio Report

The fifth edition of the The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research was unveiled during a webinar presented yesterday (11/9). The 2023 edition concludes that spoken word audio listening time and audience size “attained record highs in the U.S.” This report places special focus on listening locations and explores spoken word audio consumption at home, at work, in-car, and other locations. Some of the key findings include: 1) Almost half (48%) — approximately 135 million people — of those in the U.S. age 13+ listen to some type of spoken word audio daily, up two percentage points (46%) from last year. Listeners in the U.S. age 13+ spend 31% of their daily audio time with spokenim word, which is a 55% increase over nine years ago (20%); 2) Spoken word listening at home has grown dramatically: 60% of the total daily audio time spent with spoken word audio is at home, 24% in the car, 13% at work, and 3% at some other location. The time spent listening to spoken word audio at home has grown to 41 daily minutes in 2023 from 27 daily minutes in 2014. Increases in at-home spoken word audio listening are seen across every hour in the listening day; 3) Spoken word listening in-car has shifted post-pandemic, but AM/FM radio remains on top: Of all the daily time spent listening to spoken word audio, time spent listening in the car has declined from 36% in 2014 to 24% in 2023. In the car, 62% of spoken word audio consumed by those in the U.S. age 13+ is to AM/FM radio content, including over the air and streams; 4) For the first time ever, the mobile device is the primary way people listen to spoken word: 39% of spoken word audio consumed daily by those age 13+ in the U.S. is on a mobile device, followed by 35% on an AM/FM radio receiver. At home, 41% of spoken word audio is consumed on a mobile device, and at work, 47% of spoken word is consumed on a mobile device. AM/FM radio receivers still dominate in-car, garnering 60% of the spoken word audio listening there; and 5) Podcasts represent a large and growing share of spoken word listening: Podcasts now represent over one-third (36%) of time spent with spoken word audio. Twenty-eight percent of time spent listening to podcasts goes to NPR/public radio. At home, 40% of spoken-word audio listening goes to podcasts. See more about the study here.