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Audiobooks and literacy

Our latest research into audio found that in 2022, nearly 2 in 5 (37.5%) children and young people said they enjoyed listening to audio either very much or quite a lot. Listening to audiobooks and podcasts can:

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  • Encourage reluctant readers

    In 2022, 3 in 10 children and young people who didn’t enjoy reading and/or writing enjoyed listening. Read more.

  • Help close the gender gap in engaging with stories

    In 2022, the gap between boys' and girls' enjoyment of listening was much smaller than for reading or writing. Read more.

  • Support wellbeing

    In 2020, 1 in 3 children said that listening to audio made them feel better during the COVID-19 lockdown. Read more.

  • Widen children’s access to books

    For children with lower reading ages, audiobooks can help remove the barriers around reading and help them access more advanced stories. Read more.


We have published a series of resources for parents and schools to help explore the world of audiobooks.


We’ve been working with partners including Audible, Penguin Random House, National Prison Radio and Fun Kids to include audio elements in many of our projects.


Explore our research on children and young people's and adults' engagement with audiobooks.