On the Business Beat, Jeff talks about the growing popularity of spoken word among audio listeners, according to a new study by Edison and NPR.
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Good morning, Paul! Today’s Business Beat presented by Kapnick Insurance. We’re focused on what’s trending in audio and what’s trending is spoken words’ share of audio listening. It’s surging up 8% this year, according to a new study from Edison Research and NPR, which shows spoken word’s share of audio listening is consistently growing as it gobbles up an ever-increasing slice of the total audio. Edison defined spoken word as audio content, encompassing news, sports, talk, personalities and audiobooks. Now what makes up the rest of the share of the audio pie? Well, nearly three of every four hours of audio time, about 72%, is still spent listening to music. Twenty-eight percent now goes to spoken word, up from 20%, just seven years ago, said Lamar Johnson, vice president of sponsorship and marketing at NPR. Lamar says that spoken word growth is being largely driven by new audiences, especially younger listeners and multicultural audiences, which include black, Hispanic and Asian listeners. Now the younger listeners are becoming a major factor in the growth of spoken word as persons age 13 to 34 increased their share of time spent with spoken word audio by a stunning 116% increase from 2014 to 2020. The nation’s multicultural population is also a huge catalyst for the format. Hispanics, Latinos now allocate 27% of their audio time to spoken word. That’s a staggering 80% leap from 2014. Well, African-Americans devoted 22% of their time, also an 80% increase. Now of course, spoken word’s audio expansion parallels is directly related to the sharp, upward trajectory of podcast listening, which hit an all-time listening high in 2021 with 57% of the U.S. population having listened to at least one podcast this year. So, there you have it, Paul. People are listening and we’re happy to contribute to the spoken word category here on the Business Beat I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat brought to you today by Dell Technologies on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.