In this report, we explore how children and young people's listening habits have developed post-lockdown. We asked three key questions: whether they enjoy listening, how frequently they listen, and what formats they listen to – referring specifically to audiobooks and podcasts. 2022 is the first year where we have not issued separate reports about audiobooks and podcasts, but rather looked at attitudes to hearing stories across different formats.
- 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.
- This is lower than 2021, when 43% said that they enjoyed listening.
- 2 in 5 (39.7) children and young people listened to audio, such as audiobooks or podcasts, at least once a week, and a further 1 in 5 (21.4%) listened less than once a week.
- While more girls than boys enjoyed reading (51.6% vs 42.4%) and writing (40.8% vs 29.9%), slightly more boys than girls enjoyed listening (38.3% vs 36.2%). However, the gap for listening is smaller than for reading or writing.
Links with other behaviours
- Half (49.1%) of those children and young people who said they enjoyed listening to audio said that when they listened to stories rather than watched videos they used their imagination more.
- 3 in 5 (58.5%) of those children and young people who enjoyed listening to audio said that when they listened to an audiobook or podcast it made it easier for them to understand a story or subject.
- Around 2 in 5 of those children and young people who enjoyed listening to audio said that it made them want to talk more about a subject with family and friends (41.9%) and that it got them interested in reading books (37.4%).