Spoken word audio report 2022

Nov 10, 2022

As of November 10, 2022, almost half of the U.S. population engages with spoken word audio. A recently released report by NPR and Edison Research explores the methods in which the spoken word media consumption has drastically improved, including the count of the listeners and the length of the duration they listen to the content to.

This year’s report focuses on younger demographics being more interested in the medium and overall reveals nearly 200% increase in listening to the spoken word audio especially between the demographic aged between 13-24. Here are the key findings from the study:

The number of spoken word audio continues to steep up: 26 million more people have begun to engage with audio content, taking the total number close to 131 million people in the U.S. over the age of 13 from 105 million people in 2014

Listeners Age: According to the study, most listeners between the age of 13-24 show the most explosive growth with share of spoken word audio. The report showed that Gen Z presently spends roughly about 22% of their time engaging with spoken word audio, when compared with those between the ages of 13-24 in the year 2014, it was found that a nearly 214% increase for this age group.

For the first ever time, daily spoken word audio listeners spend a majority of their audio time with spoken word. Those who listen to spoken word audio daily spend 51% of their total daily audio time with spoken word.

The Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick referred to her past experience in talk radio, and noted, “The relationship between content makers and listeners remains as strong and fluid as it was a decade ago, even as the audio space has evolved with more spoken word content available on demand. Digital platforms have opened up new ways for people to listen to and connect.”

“It’s exciting to see the phenomenal, sustained growth of Spoken Word across diverse audience groups over the last 8 years – especially among Gen-Z listeners. The findings in this report highlight the current opportunity and future potential that exists by engaging with audiences through the powerful medium of spoken word” said NPM VP of Sponsorship Marketing, Lamar Johnson.