The Popularity of Podcasts and Audiobooks


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The popularity of Audiobooks and Podcasts begin to increase, especially during the quarantine.

Kylie McLean, Staff Writer

Over the past years, podcasts and audiobooks are beginning to rise in popularity. Due to apps like Spotify and Audible, the accessibility of podcasts and audiobooks have opened to a larger audience. states, “There are now more than one million active podcasts and over 30 million episodes, including content in more than 100 languages.” Listening to large varieties of different shows and books attract more and more readers. 

Podcasts have become more and more popular, especially since podcast ad revenue has had a growth of 1,000% in 5 years, according to During quarantine, platforms like Spotify have started to see a rise in podcast audiences. The Verge says, “Overall, Spotify said that now it has 299 million monthly active users, a 29 percent increase compared to last year, while subscribers increased by 27 percent to 138 million.” This shows that the more Spotify makes investments into podcasts, the more Spotify users explore different episodes they can listen to. observes, “According to the latest data, 55% of the US population, or approximately 155 million people have listened to a podcast.” Many people have listened to podcasts, and the numbers continue to rise because of how beneficial they are. 

In quarantine, people are communicating less and are using their phones more. The overuse of phones leads to an audience increase in podcasts. According to, Edison research has found that podcast listening habits have changed during COVID, “I would argue that podcast content keeps getting better and better. Podcasts allow you to sink down into the rabbit hole of your particular niche topic in a way that AM/FM content will never allow you to do.” Podcasts include details on certain topics that interest the audience, stories about certain subjects, answers to questions that listeners have, and include experts to give information to the audience. 

There are several different types of podcasts. Some of the more popular genres of podcasts are history, education, religion, audio dramas, sports, comedy casts, society and culture, feminism, health, advice and self-help, business, news and politics, personal journal, interview cast, environment and science, technology, crime, kids and family, law, pop culture, philosophy, games, and hobbies. Podcasts in the genre of ‘Society and Culture’ have become more popular. Over quarantine people have found it enjoyable to listen to people talk about certain things you can relate to and enjoy.

Natalia Diaz, a 9th grader at Saugus, states, “ I have been listening to different sorts of podcasts during the quarantine. I like to listen to them because they help me fall asleep, and they are super interesting, especially the true crime ones.” This shows how podcasts can be a good way to find interesting things about topics you like. They can be a good source of entertainment during quarantine.

Sarah Sol, a freshman, says her input on podcasts, “ When I listen to podcasts, it helps me take my mind off of everything and it also gives me a few laughs. I am also listening to a lot more podcasts during quarantine.” Podcasts can ease stress off of students and can cheer them up or just keep them from being bored during quarantine.

Another freshman at Saugus, Yeilany Sosa, states, “ I like listening to commentary podcasts, like teenager therapy because I find it very relaxing. When you listen to a podcast, you don’t strain your eyes reading and can do other things while you listen. I personally like commentary or real life podcasts because I can relate to what they are saying and learn many things, while also being entertained.” Podcasts can be very beneficial and relatable to listeners and can trigger the reader’s interest in certain topics. 

Audiobooks have also had a rise in popularity. says, “Last year audiobook sales increased by 16% in the United States and generated over $1.2 billion in revenue, whereas in 2018 it only made $940 million, an increase of 25% from 2017.” This shows how much the audience of audiobooks has grown over the years. claims, “Audiobooks are in the midst of a boom, with Deloitte predicting that the global market will grow by 25 percent in 2020 to $3.5 billion. Compared with physical book sales, audio is the baby of the publishing world, but it is growing up fast.” Some popular audiobooks are The Handmaid’s Tale read by Elizabeth Moss, Charlotte’s Web read by Meryl Streep, Becoming read by Michelle Obama, and many more.

During quarantine, people can become stressed but listening to audiobooks can combat negative thoughts and feelings. According to Psychology Today, “those of us prone to anxiety and depression… listening to someone else read aloud can help by replacing negative thoughts with something else.” Especially during times of stress, listening to audiobooks can be helpful. 

Audiobook listeners can also benefit from audiobooks in a few ways. notes, “According to the Audio Publishers Association, audiobooks help “build and enhance vital literacy skills such as fluency, vocabulary, language acquisition, punctuation, phonemic awareness, and comprehension-skills that often boost reading scores.” Several other beneficial factors of listening to audiobooks are that it helps relax the eyes, impacts sleep, and improves time management.

Podcasts and audiobooks have had a rise in popularity and an increase in listeners throughout the years. Listening to these can have several benefits like lowering stress during quarantine and being easier to listen to while busy, making it more practical and convenient. There are easy ways to listen to enjoyable books and get information about topics that interest and entertain you.