NPR & Edison Present: The 2022 Spoken Word Audio Report

October 2022

The fourth annual Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research explores the ways spoken word media consumption in the U.S. has increased over time, looking at both the number of listeners, and how long they listen.

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With almost half (46%) of the U.S. population listening to spoken word audio content daily and growing, the report provides key insights on the audio landscape for marketers and advertisers. This year’s report also included special focus on the increased importance of spoken word as a medium among younger demographics.

Highlights include:


increase in share of spoken word audio listening since 2014.


increase in share of spoken word audio listening among Gen Z (13-24) since 2014.


of daily spoken word audio listeners’ time is now spent with spoken word audio.

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How the study was conducted

Edison Research’s Share of Ear is a quarterly survey of Americans who are asked to keep a detailed one-day diary of their audio usage. Share of Ear utilizes a nationally representative sample of those age 13+. The sample for this study was 4,118.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely cited studies in the audio space.

Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space.  Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. For the 2021 U.S. elections, Edison Research provided exit polls and tabulated the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.

About NPR

NPR, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, is widely known for its rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling that connects with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in-person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding.

Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (, and now on smart speaker devices — where listeners can simply say, “Play NPR” to tune into their local Member station’s live stream. Users can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now and the Visual Newscast on screened speakers. For more information, visit and follow NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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40% listening increase
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The Audio Indicator: The Spoken Word Audio Report Highlights Growth Among Diverse Audiences

Spoken word’s share of audio listening has increased 40% in the last seven years, and 8% in just the last year alone, demonstrating a growth that is accelerating.

November 2021

NPR & Edison present: The 2021 Spoken Word Audio Report

Spoken word audio's share of listening is at an all-time high, a new report from NPR and Edison Research finds. And young and diverse listeners are consuming content at rates never recorded before.