The Spoken Word Audio Report

November 2023

The highly anticipated fifth installment of The Spoken Word Audio Report is here, and the outlook for spoken word has never been better. In 2023, the Report delves into listening locations and spoken word audio consumption, examining habits at home, work, in-car, and other locations.

Get the full report today and gain valuable insights on the rising tide of spoken word audio.

Download Now
Highlights from the 2023 Report:

Spoken Word Audio listening is at a record high.

It may be starting to sound like a broken record, but spoken word audio just keeps breaking the record. Today, 135 million people listen to spoken word audio each day. That’s 30 million more people than nine years ago, and almost half the U.S. population 13+. And Spoken Word’s share of all audio listening has increased 55% over the past 9 years. No matter how you slice it, the headline is growth.


Listening at home has skyrocketed.

In the home is now far and away the #1 location for spoken word audio, with 60% of total daily time spent with spoken word audio happening there. An additional 24% of listening is in the car, 13% at work, and 3% at other locations (think at the gym, on the train, in the grocery aisle).


AM/FM radio still dominates in the car.

The share of in-car listening to spoken word has declined post-pandemic, from 36% of all in-car audio in 2014 to 24% of all in-car audio in 2023. In the car, 62% of spoken word audio consumed by those in the U.S. age 13+ is to AM/FM radio content, including over the air and streams.


Mobile devices are now the primary listening medium.

For the first time, the largest share of daily spoken word audio listening — 39% — is via mobile phone, followed by 35% on an AM/FM radio receiver. At home, 41% of spoken word audio is consumed on a mobile phone, and at work, mobile’s share rises to 47%. AM/FM radio receivers still dominate in-car, garnering 60% of the spoken word audio listening there. 

Watch the 2023 Webinar

Download the 2023 Report

Complete the form below to receive a PDF of the 2023 Spoken Word Audio Report.

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 4,193.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Apple, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, and Univision. Edison Research  is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, Spotify, SXM Media, ESPN, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. Edison Research has conducted research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election. 

About NPR

NPR’s 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 it’s easy to listen to our stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, “Play NPR,” and you’ll be tuned into your local Member Station’s live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at and by following NPR Extra on Facebook and Instagram.

More Insights from National Public Media

October 2022

NPR & Edison Present: The 2022 Spoken Word Audio Report

The latest and fourth installment of the report explores the ways spoken word audio listening has increased over time, with a special focus on the increased interest younger listeners are showing in the medium.

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.

October 2020

NPR & Edison present: The 2020 Spoken Word Audio Report

Spoken word audio listening is growing at a dramatic rate, a new report from NPR and Edison Research finds. Since 2014, the share of time spent with spoken word audio has increased 20%. This shift comes at the expense of music, which saw its share of time decrease by 5% across the same period.

Memorability matters.

Explore the 86% correlation between memorable sponsor messaging and in-market activity with the new Transference of Trust report from NPR and Neuro-Insight.
Get the Report