Welcome to the New Golden Age of Audio

Inside today's obsession with podcasting, streaming and the power of sound

Headshot of David Griner

Just a few years ago, all things audio seemed destined for the dustbin of history.

Podcasts were clunky to find and follow (remember that it wasn't until 2012 that the iPhone even had a Podcasts app, which didn't become a built-in part of the iOS until 2015). The music industry seemed to be in a nosedive. Radio was sputtering. And audiobook lovers seemed to be few and far between.

But now? Things have changed in a big way.

In the post-Serial age, podcasts are suddenly one of the hottest trends in content. TV stars are clamoring to launch podcasts, while up-and-coming podcasters are getting their own TV shows. Radio hosts who once seemed tied to an archaic medium are suddenly riding the crest of a massively popular wave thanks to their talents for interviewing and storytelling.

Streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora continue to evolve, improving and expanding the ways we discover new music and rediscover old favorites. 

Audiobooks are exploding, with sales jumping more than 20 percent per year, surpassing $1.7 billion in revenue as their print and even ebook counterparts struggle.

This week, Adweek takes an in-depth look at this new golden age of audio. Check out our coverage of this unquestionable trend, and check back all week as we roll out more articles and videos (and heck, maybe even a podcast) on the technology, tactics, personalities and brands that are defining an era of resurgent sound:

Celebrities Are Flocking to Podcasts, but Will They Stick Around? >

Major Brands Are Betting Big on Podcasts, and It Seems to Be Paying Off >

Even Spotify Is Surprised by the Huge Success of Its Discover Weekly Playlists >

Video: What You Need to Know to Create a Killer Podcast >

Come back to Adweek.com throughout the week for more articles, video and special features on the surprising resurgence of audio and what it means for marketers.

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."