Americans’ Spoken Word Listening Is at an All-Time High


PodMov Daily: Friday, November 12

Episode 538: Week Download Complete

Americans' Spoken Word Listening Is at an All-Time High

Young and multicultural audiences are major drivers of growth for spoken word listening — podcasts, news, audiobooks and talk radio. Presented yesterday by NPR and Edison Research, the 2021 Spoken Word Audio Report revealed that 28% of Americans’ listening time is spent with spoken word, an all-time high. 

“While the growth in listening is really astounding, what stands out from this research is the use of spoken word audio for intrapersonal needs,” said Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick. Among some younger listeners, the connection they find in spoken word is “an antidote to a superficial social media world.”

The comparison of 2014 to 2021 offers a remarkable snapshot. All good news: While white listeners have increased time spent with spoken word by 26%, Black listeners have increased that time by 83% and Hispanic/Latino listeners by 80%. In the last seven years, spoken word listening has risen 40% overall.

How to Break Your Show's Format (If You Must)

Breaking your podcast’s format — changing its essential structure, tone, or nature — is generally not a good idea. UK producer and consultant Nick Hilton explains why, though not all interruptions will harm a show’s progress. “There are some good reasons, both creative and practical, for shaking up your format.”

A planned shift from what listeners expect is much more likely to succeed. It’s an extreme example, but Gimlet’s Reply All demonstrates what can happen when a total overhaul is forced. If it’s unclear to the listener what you’re up to (and if they like it or not), the reasons behind a show’s identity crisis become irrelevant.

The key is to thoughtfully guide your audience through the experiment. “Breaking your format is a right you earn via the loyalty of your listeners,” Hilton says. “Strike too soon, and the assumption will be that you are fickle or that the content being released is not the final one (and no-one wants to listen to your drafts).” AI-Powered SEO for Podcasts

With the power of AI, enhances podcast SEO using the content you’ve created. It’s a powerful tool built specifically to increase engagement, reduce ‘bounce rate,’ and grow your show. Audiosignals helps with six of the 10 steps to podcast SEO for impactful benefits, fast.

A podcast’s description is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface, each topic within the audio is an opportunity. Audiosignals creates tailored clips to attract new visitors — and extend time spent on your page. High-quality clips are more likely to be shared, producing backlinks to boost your traffic.

With an innovative internal linking structure, Audiosignals gives Google full access to your content’s text. Simply insert a podcast link, and AI builds clear summaries of its most relevant material. Ready to leverage smarter SEO?

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Center stage: The third annual Afros & Audio Podcast Festival is this weekend. The virtual event will feature a variety of panels, workshops, live shows, and exhibitor booths focused on the Black podcast and audio space. Explore the speakers, schedule, tickets, and more.
  • Demo derby: KCRW’s 9th annual 24-Hour Radio Race is tomorrow, and registration ($12) closes today. Single and group podcasters will compete to make the best 4-minute nonfiction stories in just 24 hours. Expert judges will name 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, plus 10 finalists.
  • The Blob: Spotify is acquiring Findaway, an audiobook services and distribution company. Its multiple businesses will make Spotify “both a commercial bookseller and a publisher,” writes Ashley Carman of Hot Pod. More audiobooks are expected on the app early next year.
  • Help desk: The fourth issue of “Starting Out” offers terrific internship tips from Anna Sale, creator and host of Death, Sex & Money. Producer and reporter Alice Wilder asks critical questions about confidence, getting paid, and navigating the leap to an Associate Producer role.

Don't miss an episode of The Daily

Share With a Friend

About the Author


Join the Movement