Share of Spoken Word Audio Listening in the U.S. is Up 20% Since 2014

From work-week lunch tables to late night TV shows, spoken word audio programming has become the subject of more and more conversations. Listener behaviors and preferences related to podcasts, news, sports, talk radio and audiobooks have changed in the last five years.

  • 121M Americans listen to spoken word audio each day, an increase of 16M 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 has driven 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

The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research is derived from a national quantitative survey and analysis of in-depth, one-on-one interviews. It also includes five years of previously unreleased tracking data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study, measuring the daily listening habits of Americans using a 24-hour diary.