The Spoken Word Audio Report

November 2019

The audio landscape is changing dramatically, and it’s not just about new technologies – the type of content people are listening to is changing. The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research examines listener behaviors and preferences related to spoken word audio – podcasts, news, sports, talk radio and audiobooks. Among its key findings: share of time spent listening to spoken word audio has increased 20% since 2014, while time spent with music decreased 5%. This shift is led by a dramatic increase in listening on mobile phones, and increased tune-in among A13-34 listeners.

Get the Report

The Fall 2019 Webinar

Watch how people are listening to Spoken Word Audio today

Join Joseph as he walks us through the ways that he encounters spoken word audio on a daily basis.

Hear from listeners who choose spoken word content about their motivations for tuning in.

Hear listeners describe the evolution of spoken word content, both in terms of their own listening as well as the medium itself.

Hear listeners talk about the ways that spoken word audio content has had an impact on their lives.


Download the Report

Complete the form below to receive a PDF of the Fall 2019 Spoken Word Audio Report.

How The 2019 Spoken Word Audio Report Was Conducted

Spoken Word Audio Study: A total of 3,013 online interviews were conducted with persons age 18+ using a nationally representative sample. Respondents qualified for the survey by consuming spoken word audio at least monthly. Data weighted to national 18+ U.S. population estimates. Additionally, in-person interviews were conducted with individuals who listened to spoken word audio at least monthly.

Edison Research Share of Ear®: A total of 4,000 respondents age 13+ completed an online or offline survey which was offered in English and Spanish. Data weighted to national 12+ U.S. population estimates and has been tracked since 2014.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world, and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, CBS, PodcastOne, WNYC, and many more leading companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

About NPR

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect 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 consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information at and following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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