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Just last week, NPR and Edison Research released the fifth iteration of the Spoken Word Audio Report. This year’s report highlighted a number of key spoken word audio data points among people in the U.S. age 13+, but the most important finding is that Spoken Word audience size and time spent listening continues to reach new heights. Not only are more people listening to spoken word content every day, but more time is being spent with Spoken Word sources overall as well.
The report also chronicles differences by location, highlighting significant growth of at-home listening to spoken word audio. One detail we didn’t get to within last week’s webinar is which specific audience segments are driving this impressive growth of time spent with spoken word. Not only are Americans 13+ spending more time listening to spoken word audio, but this growth in time spent listening is being sparked by the 13-34 age segment.
The Share of Ear study is unique as the only product that measures time spent with all audio sources, and it also provides a wealth of historical data that goes back to 2014. In 2014, 20% of all audio time was spent listening to spoken word audio among people in the U.S. 13+. This has now increased to 31% of all audio time in 2023. This alone is a great story for spoken word audio content creators and marketers.
But even more impressive is the fact that Americans age 13-34 are really pushing this growth in time spent listening forward. Nine years ago, this group only spent 12% of their daily audio time with spoken word sources. This percentage of time has now ballooned to 30% of their total audio time, a rate of change that is significantly higher than what we see from older groups.
There have been many developments within the space over the past nine years driving this trend, including an explosion of new content for audiences to choose from and major app platforms adding and promoting spoken word content to their users.
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