Over the past few years, audio content has grown significantly. For publishers, advertisers, marketers, and consumers alike, the medium has emerged as a crucial element of the media mix. The data that we have provided below focuses entirely on spoken-word content which excludes music. These behavior patterns reveal larger global trends.

The marketing industry is dynamic and always evolving; trends, technologies, and techniques never remain the same. The last thing you want is for your company to lag behind while your competitors stay on top of the game, which is why it’s crucial that it keeps up with new advances in the market. However, how can you be certain that you’re in step with the times? An ideal marketer keeps an eye on marketing data to stay current and stay on top of the newest marketing trends. We’ve gathered the numbers and facts you need to help you connect with your consumers, know about audio content, reach your target audience, and increase sales whether you’re focused on SEO, content marketing, social media, video marketing, email marketing, lead generation, advertising, marketing technology, or sales, thereby tuning your content strategy.

1. Market Sizing

Spoken word audio listeners online are increasing year over year, which has made it an important marketing tool. Here are some facts you need to know:

  • According to estimates, 193 million people, or 68% of the population aged 12 and above, listen each month—a 1 million increase from 2020 after pandemic.
  • 62% of people aged 12 and over listen to online audio on a weekly basis, or 176 million people. This is a record high for this category with 7 million more people, or 60%, than in 2020.
  • The average weekly listening time of podcast consumers has increased from 15 hours and 12 minutes per day in the 2020s to 16 hours and 14 minutes today.

Results from e-Marketer suggest that:

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  • Adult digital audio usage time increased by 8.3% to a daily average of one hour and 29 minutes.
  • Adults spent 11% of their daily media time listening to digital audio in 2020, and the number will rise to 11.7% in 2021, or 1 hour and 34 minutes.
  • The average daily listening duration is expected to increase to 1 hour and 37 minutes in 2022.
  • In 2020, active digital audio listeners devoted 2 hours and 5 minutes to audio, and they’ll probably increase that amount by 5 minutes this year.
  • In 2020, 91.7% of adults listened to digital audio content on a mobile device at least once per month.

2. Podcasting is now Popular among Marketers

Over 222 million people, or 78% of the population, regularly consume information through podcasts via streaming service. Podcast listening is still expanding significantly and steadily.

  • According to podcast statistics, of those 12 and older, 162 million, or 57% listened to a podcast episode at least once.
  • 41% of the population, or approximately 116 million people, watch it each month.
  • Around 80 million individuals, or 28% of the population over 12, listen to podcasts every week.
  • Weekly podcast listeners typically listen to eight podcasts or 5.1 shows.
  • As of 2021, 56% of podcast listeners were in the 12- to 34-year-old demographic, up from 49% in 2020.
  • Ages 35 to 54 account for 39% of monthly listeners, a decrease from 40% in 2020 and a 39% listening share in 2021.
  • The age group over 55 accounts for the smallest percentage of listeners, accounting for 26% of monthly listeners, up from 22% in 2020.
  • Men make up 48% of monthly podcast listeners, women 49%, and non-binary/others 3%.
  • In 2021, 43% of male listenership listened on a monthly basis, up from 39% in 2020.
  • In 2021, 39% of females would listen to audio each month, up from 36% in 2020.

All in all Podcast Industry is booming after the pandemic.

3. Consumer Demographics

Even though there are a variety of consumer demographics, all age groups are experiencing growth. Gen Z is leading the way as expected, but Millenials and Gen X aren’t far behind. Additionally, nearly half of senior and older persons are regular listeners.

Age 12 to 34: 86%

Age 35 to 54: 72%

Age 55+: 46%

4. Audiobooks are trending in Digital Marketing Era

  • In 2021, an estimated 131 million people—roughly 46% of the population aged 12 and over—listened to an audiobook, an increase of 1% from the previous year.
  • Even though fewer individuals commuted in 2020 compared to 2019, audiobook sales increased by more than 17%.
  • In terms of revenue, the audiobook market will be worth $1.3 billion in 2021.
  • In 2021, the market’s size is projected to grow by 5.5%.

5. Audio Content Audience Engagement

According to research by Trinity Audio,

  • More than half of all listeners listened through the entire audio content, according to the Listen-Through-Ratio (LTR) for audio versions of news items and blog entries, which is 59%.
  • The LTR for long-form content (five minutes and longer) is highest at 70%, while the LTR for short-form content (under three minutes) and medium-length content (between three and five minutes) are both equal at 55%.
  • The Click-Through-Ratio (CTR) for long-form content, such as novels and editorial articles, is three times more than that for short-form content.
  • The biggest spikes in listening periods were during morning sessions (7 am–10 am) and evening sessions (5 pm–8 pm).

6. Audio Content Articles

Although less dynamic than podcasts and audiobooks, audio articles nonetheless give listeners a simple way to get information. Audiences for audio articles are typically multitaskers who prefer to hear rather than see the content.

  • Over the past six years, audio content listening has grown by 30%, and it will grow by 8% in 2020.
  • 43% of people listen to audio content every day, and 75% do so every month.
  • The average daily listening time of people who listen to spoken-word audio is two hours or 48% of their total daily listening time.
  • In the population aged 13 and over, spoken word listening now makes up 26% of total listening, up from 24% in 2019.

7. Radio remains a key area

The popularity of cell phones has been crucial in maintaining the importance of radio, even though it now primarily consists of streaming rather than transmission.

  • Radio regularly reaches 63% of those over the age of 18.
  • The daily average for audio listening is 41% spent on radio.
  • AM/FM radio is listened to daily by 55% of Gen Z.
  • AM/FM radio is preferred over streaming audio, YouTube, and other sources for the majority of the time that 13 to 24-year-olds spend listening to audio in the car.
  • The concept of using a car as an entertainment platform will likely continue to evolve, which will likely help the radio maintain its high listening share through 2021 and beyond.

8. Consumer perception

Audio is an effective approach to connecting with customers because it is a hands-free medium that listeners can follow throughout their day. According to research, there are many reasons why consumers will listen:

  • Audio outperforms ad-based video on demand, digital video, linear TV, and social media as the most immersive media format that fosters memorability, trust, and connection.
  • While local content and host trust are the two factors that most strongly influence listening, audio platforms are more trusted than other media sources.
  • In addition to the comfort and multitasking advantages of audio content listening that have long been acknowledged, personal development, superior content, and audio content’s capacity to enhance mental health are further powerful motivators for more listening.


Throughout this research window, digital audio content has demonstrated exceptional resilience and adaptability. Consumption of audio content has not been influenced by COVID-19. In fact, consumers changed their behaviors and tastes as a result of working from home and attending school online.

Given that it can reach users at any time or location and, more crucially, in any context, spoken-word audio is playing an increasingly significant role in creating an engaging and timely user experience. It has a significant benefit for engagement and advertising because it is intimate and immersive.

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