Radio + Audio + Podcast NewsRadio & Podcast News - Gen Z leading growth in Spoken Word...

Radio & Podcast News – Gen Z leading growth in Spoken Word Audio listening

Edison Research and NPR have released the fourth edition of their Spoken Word Audio Report, which shows continued growth in share of listening, particularly with those ages 13-34. The Spoken Word Audio Report has been tracking the medium’s growth since 2014. This year’s report indicates time spent with spoken word audio has grown 45% over the last eight years and 214% with younger demos over the same period. The report says 46% of the U.S. population now listens to some form of spoken word daily, up from 45% last year. For the first time ever, those daily listeners are spending more time with spoken word than music at 51% and listening for an average of two hours and 19 minutes per day. Read more here.

CRTCRogers Sports & Media has applied to the CRTC to reduce Canadian content quotas for KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) Edmonton and Country 106.7 (CIKZ-FM) from 40% to the standard 35%. A quota established when the stations were first licensed 18 years ago, Rogers’ application says “it’s important to recognize that we live in a changed cultural ecosystem in which our radio stations now compete with global online platforms (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music) for listeners and for advertising dollars – online platforms with no regulatory obligations, including minimum Canadian content levels. In addition, the Canadian radio sector has been and continues to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…and that English-language commercial radio stations in Canada continue to be the hardest hit with a revenue decline of 29.6% from 2019 to 2021.” Rogers says its radio stations have recorded significant losses in the last few years (with total revenue losses of 44% between broadcast years 2018-19 and 2020-21). It maintains that having a minimum 35% threshold for the next licence term would provide it “with the flexibility to adjust to changes that are beyond our control, while maintaining a baseline that was established by the Commission for all commercial radio stations in the Regulations.”

Dan and Mary Lou Smoke, the hosts of Smoke Signals, a First Nations radio program on CHRW Radio Western, Western University’s campus radio station, have been recognized with honourary degrees at the school’s fall convocation. Smoke Signals has been on-the-air since 1991 and is recognized by the National Community and Campus Radio Association (NCRA) as Canada’s longest-running Indigenous campus radio program. The couple, who are both CTV London alumni and now both 68, started the program to promote and educate others about Indigenous identity and culture. The Smokes have also taught in Western’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS), including “The Representation of Indigenous Affairs in the Mainstream and Alternative Media.”  

Takara Small is hosting They Did That: History Lost and Found, a new podcast for Sony Music Entertainment and UK podcast publisher Somethin’ Else, highlighting innovators and trailblazers who helped build our modern world, but were forgotten or erased from history books because of who they were: women, LGBTQ+ or people of colour. Small is a technology contributor to CBC News and BBC World Service Radio. She also served as the host of CBC Podcasts’ Death in Cryptoland.


“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee is America’s #1 Christmas song, edging “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms for the first time in five years by a fraction of a percentage point, according to P1 Media Group’s annual Christmas Music Research. This year’s research tested the appeal of the 40 most-played and 40 most-streamed Christmas songs from the 2021 Holiday Season, based on Luminate’s holiday charts. There are 10 new entries for 2022: Frank SinatraLet it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow (#32); Darlene LoveWinter Wonderland (#34); Bruce Springsteen Santa Claus is Coming to Town (#35); Michael Bublé – It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas (#40); Taylor SwiftLast Christmas (#42); John Legend What Christmas Means to Me (#53); NSyncMerry Christmas, Happy Holiday (#55); Sia Snowman (#56); Jonas Brothers Like it’s Christmas (#57); and Gwen Stefani You Make it Feel Like Christmas (#60). 27% of those surveyed said Christmas music should begin in early November, while 24% preferred the beginning of December. 48% said Christmas music programming should stop on New Year’s Eve, 24% on Boxing Day and 16% Christmas Day.

SiriusXM has unveiled its extensive holiday music lineup with 22 holiday-themed channels, including new channels: Jingle Jamz, Cool Jazz Christmas, and Kids Christmas. Find the full list here.

LISTEN: Is Radio Playing Dead? On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill expounds on the stations and shows he’s hearing that are mailing it in, doing smash and grab type bits that don’t build brand for either the station or the personalities; and radio’s share of the audience against streaming and podcasting continues to diminish as a result. Spoiler: Matt does not twist his ankle coming off his soapbox. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

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