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Have you heard? Audio is the new everything

The rise of audio is a trend that just won't quit.

Suddenly, the world of content is all about asynchronous audio. Podcasts are the new blogs. Audiobooks are the new eBooks. Smart speakers and virtual assistants are the new search.

The most important first step in staying on top of the audio-first world is to know that it's happening.

More YouTube users are even listening to videos without watching them.

[ Don't miss Mike Elgan every week on Insider Pro ]

If you think that blogs, ebooks, browser-based search, video, augmented reality and virtual reality is really where everyone's attention will be focused over the next three years, I think you're about to change your tune.

Welcome to the audio-first world. Let's look at the trends.

Podcasts are the new blogs

One way to look at the rise of asynchronous audio is to notice that media consumption keeps expanding. Americans now consume an average of more than 12 hours of media per day.

Media consumption has moved beyond those times when we're looking at a screen or page, and into those times when we cannot consume visual content. People now consume media while walking the dog, doing the dishes, shopping, hiking, gardening, waiting in line, commuting and in other situations where we're not able to focus our attention on visual content. Asynchronous audio is the only medium that can be consumed like this.