Books and poems aren’t just for reading. They’re also rich, lyrical works ripe for streaming. Scroll through the genres under Browse on Spotify, and sure enough, you’ll find Word, a category home to recordings of everything from poetry to guided meditation, audiobooks, and short stories. If you’re searching for a track full of rhythm and tone—minus the music—Word is the place to find it.
The Word genre, under Genres & Moods after selecting Browse, contains a diverse catalogue with written works from throughout history. Need a refresher on why Odysseus spent so much time at sea? Start with Mythologies. Craving something a little more modern? Try poetry by and from the Beat poets. Looking to learn a new language? We have audio courses in Spanish, Italian, French, and Chinese. And if you’re searching for something to sink your teeth into, try Sofia Ek’s audiovisual book, The Minefield Girl.
Or, maybe you just need to chill out. If so, you’re not alone. Word listeners stream tracks on guided meditation most of all. According to our data, people can’t get enough of this mindfulness practice—similarly to how yoga was a growing fitness genre on Spotify last year. Top-streamed meditation pieces include The Honest Guys’ “Guided Meditation: Deep Relaxation,” Mark Williams’s “Guided Body Scan Meditation,” and Erica Rayner-Horn’s “Guided Meditation I – Breathing Calming Body & Mind.”
But the age-old art of storytelling holds strong as well. The other top-played spoken-word recordings include Fairy Tales for Kids’ “Beauty and the Beast,” Bart Wolffe’s “The Invisible Man – Part One,” and a reading of “Just So Stories: How the Whale Got His Throat,” by Rudyard Kipling. As for who’s listening to the spoken word on Spotify, it’s primarily people aged 55 and up who speak English, with users from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, and Ireland taking the top five slots.
Stories, books, and poetry as we know them largely started as oral traditions—something to keep communities warm and together through the long nights. From Grimms’ fairy tales or Leonard Bernstein’s classical music lectures, the flame of the spoken word is alive on Spotify.
Looking for something versatile enough to play before bed or during a long road trip? Try our collection of audiobooks.