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Expand chart
Data: 2021 Spoken Word Audio report from NPR and Edison Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

New data finds the share of audio consumed by people ages 13+ in the U.S. that includes the spoken word — podcasts, audiobooks, live talk shows, etc. — has increased by 40% since 2014, while the share of music vs other mediums has decreased by 8 percentage points in that time.

Why it matters: Streaming has made it much easier for consumers to convert hobbies from the analog world, like listening to the radio or reading a book, to the digital world.

  • Data from NPR & Edison Research's latest annual "spoken word" report shows that much of the growth of spoken word audio is coming from outsized consumption among younger adults (13-34 year-olds) and multicultural audiences.

Driving the news: Spotify on Thursday announced it is acquiring Findaway, an audiobook distribution company.

  • The deal will scale Spotify’s audiobook catalog and bring new features to Spotify that will enhance listeners‘ engagement with books, says Nir Zicherman, head of audiobooks at Spotify.

Spotify started out as a music platform, but has quickly become a leading distributor and incubator of podcasts through a series of acquisitions and significant financial investment.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 27, 2021 - Technology

America's attention recession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New data shows that there's been a pullback from the historically high levels of media audience growth — and in some cases consumption — during 2020, pointing to signs of a slight "attention recession" in the past few months.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic drove a once-in-a-lifetime surge in the attention economy online, but the gradual return of normal life in many places — along with media overload and exhaustion — has down-shifted consumption patterns.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.